Risk
11/23/2011
11:34 AM
Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson
Quick Hits
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

RockYou Lawsuit Settlement Leaves Question Marks On Breach Liability

Settlement is small, but legal experts say case might pave way for more lawsuits against breached companies

When Alan Claridge's personal information was compromised in the breach of data from RockYou in 2009, he sued the company for damages. Last week, after two years in litigation, a settlement was proposed -- and legal experts say it might prop the door open for more lawsuits.

According to the proposed settlement, the judgment in Claridge's favor awards him only $2,000 -- though his lawyers get $290,000. The financially troubled RockYou claimed inability to pay the judgment.

The proposed settlement might not make Claridge a rich man, but legal experts say he might have made his point about the liability of companies that lose customer data through breaches, according to a commentary by Data Privacy Monitor.

"Because only the plaintiff’s claims would be dismissed with prejudice, other putative class members may still assert claims for monetary damages," the report says. "It is important to note that the proposed settlement does not vacate the district court’s April 2011 decision, leaving it of record for other plaintiffs to reference in future putative class actions."

Claridge was one of 32 million users whose data was breached in the hack of RockYou in December 2009, and his class-action lawsuit alleges negligence in the company's security practices. According to the lawsuit, RockYou stored all user account data in plain text in its database, unencrypted. The company also only required a five-character password, and did not permit those passwords to use special characters. RockYou used email to send the passwords out.

The crackers breached the RockYou database using an SQL vulnerability that had been documented for more 10 years, according to the lawsuit. The security breach also revealed passwords to outside websites, such as Facebook and MySpace. RockyYou didn't notify users for days after the breach, and incorrectly reported that it affected only older applications. Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0993
Published: 2014-09-15
Buffer overflow in the Vcl.Graphics.TPicture.Bitmap implementation in the Visual Component Library (VCL) in Embarcadero Delphi XE6 20.0.15596.9843 and C++ Builder XE6 20.0.15596.9843 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted BMP file.

CVE-2014-2375
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files, and obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (disk consumption), via the CSV export feature.

CVE-2014-2376
Published: 2014-09-15
SQL injection vulnerability in Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2377
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover full pathnames via an application tag.

CVE-2014-3077
Published: 2014-09-15
IBM SONAS and System Storage Storwize V7000 Unified (aka V7000U) 1.3.x and 1.4.x before 1.4.3.4 store the chkauth password in the audit log, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading this log file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
CISO Insider: An Interview with James Christiansen, Vice President, Information Risk Management, Office of the CISO, Accuvant