Patricia Keefe

Profile of Patricia Keefe

News & Commentary Posts: 25
Articles by Patricia Keefe

Should IT Departments Oversee Spying Operations?

Wal-Mart always seems to be in the news for one reason or another. Supporters tout its pioneering marketing model and groundbreaking success in offering low-cost goods to consumers and keeping operational costs low. And then there is Wal-Mart's leading-edge IT department and its cutting-edge use and investigation of bleeding-edge technology -- ever in the pursuit of keeping costs low and maximizing profit.

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The TJX Haul: Largest Ever AND The Perfect Crime?

The California Secretary of State web site gets to keep it's title as number one in the race to be the longest running data breach. It left three years of files exposing personal data up online, practically for the taking. But the TJX Companies take the cake when it comes to known harm. The company has the dubious distinction of having the largest ever number of stolen credit and debit cards - 45.7 million - whi

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Got Time?

That whole time-change thing that has everyone rolling their eyes -- you know, early daylight-saving time? OK, it's not Y2K. (What could be?) And as I noted in a recent column (which goes into this issue in greater detail), no one is talking disasters of biblical proportions. But there is a little more to this than the momentary irritation of missed appointments and calendars being off an hou

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Combating The Black Market In Personal Data

Be afraid, be very afraid - but read today's cover story on the hacker economy anyway. It will both fascinate and scare the pants off you at the same time, as it details how our personal identities and financial histories are harvested, dissected in online chop shops and sold in multi-pack bundles to anyone willing to fork over a small investment in cash in return for making a big score in hours or days. (If you read nothing else, che

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Trust: It's A Terrible Thing To Waste

Kill me now. The latest data hack at the TJX companies has me, and a lot of other people I know, on the edge of their seats. We shop a lot at the TJX family of companies -- T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and A.J. Wright and Bob's Stores -- and yesterday's announcement that the company had been hit hard by a data hack is not sitting well.

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Making A List And Checking It Twice

Thanksgiving on the doorstep means December is just around the corner, bringing with it expressions of cheery good will to all buttressed by those endless, frantic holiday to-do lists. This year, though, before turning out the lights to hit the company party, IT is going to have to check off one more item, and it's a doozy.

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A Lesson Plan For The Department Of Education

Another week, another preventable exposure of citizen data at a government agency. Last week's spillage in the spotlight came courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education. A glitch in a new software program created a situation where the wrong client data was being shown to people trying to update their student loan accounts. After a number of complaints, the ED shut down the affected Web pages. Then, apparen

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Dude! Wanna Be In The National Student Database?

It's been a while since I've been in college or hung around with anyone who is, but I distinctly recall that no matter who was paying the freight, a student's grades were delivered only to the student. Even paying parents had no right to see the results. In the weird halfway house of adulthood that makes up the college experience, students are considered adults in some areas, children in others. Grades fell into the adult side of the class. And my guess is this goes for student health and other

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Upping The Ante On Data Collection

So much about the overall issue and recent incidents of data loss are astounding, it's hard to know where to start. One good place is the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, which offers up some sobering statistics on stolen data: Since Feb. 15, 2005 there has been over 200 data breaches (with some companies starring as repeat offenders) affecting the data of 88,399,953 individuals. At least - that's what's been report

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Homeland Insecurity

It's interesting that our government is so concerned about homeland security that it does not mind bypassing secret courts to even more secretly eavesdrop on citizens, and yet it cannot seem to find the time, energy, and/or dollars to successfully bring its own agencies up to snuff security-wise.

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Baked-In Security

While much of the Monday-morning quarterbacking of the response to Hurricane Katrina revolves around poor communication, bureaucratic missteps, sluggishness, and red tape on both the state and federal levels, the disaster got me thinking about something entirely different: the readiness of our national infrastructure--roughly 80% of which lies in private hands--to withstand or bounce back from a disaster or cyberattack of similar proportions.

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Data Security: IT's Oxymoron

In case you haven't noticed, the last decade in banking has been all about mergers (each one bigger than the last), big-buck CEOs, increasing fees, and decreasing access to human beings. Sure, some consumer accounts got lost or crunched in the slamming together of newlywed bank systems, but who cared? Not the regulators and not the banks.

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Security Is the New Cold War

Electronics, technology and ubiquitous computing have made the world a far more convenient and efficient place to live. The speed with which the things we can now do, get done, is as mind boggling as is the rate at which they quickly become obsolete, or melded with yet another cool, useful technology. Just look at the speed with which cell phones have been turned into the Swiss Army Knife of personal technology. Nevermind calling, it's fundamental use. How 80s.You can use cell phones today to ta

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Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
New 'Mac-A-Mal' Tool Automates Mac Malware Hunting & Analysis
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/14/2018
IoT Product Safety: If It Appears Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Pat Osborne, Principal - Executive Consultant at Outhaul Consulting, LLC, & Cybersecurity Advisor for the Security Innovation Center,  3/12/2018
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From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.