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
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2595
Published: 2014-08-31
The device-initialization functionality in the MSM camera driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, enables MSM_CAM_IOCTL_SET_MEM_MAP_INFO ioctl calls for an unrestricted mmap interface, which all...

CVE-2013-2597
Published: 2014-08-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in the acdb_ioctl function in audio_acdb.c in the acdb audio driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to gain privileges via an application that lever...

CVE-2013-2598
Published: 2014-08-31
app/aboot/aboot.c in the Little Kernel (LK) bootloader, as distributed with Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to overwrite signature-verification code via crafted boot-image load-destination header values that specify memory ...

CVE-2013-2599
Published: 2014-08-31
A certain Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) patch to the NativeDaemonConnector class in services/java/com/android/server/NativeDaemonConnector.java in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.3.x enables debug logging, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive disk-encryption pas...

CVE-2013-6124
Published: 2014-08-31
The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) init scripts in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.4.x allow local users to modify file metadata via a symlink attack on a file accessed by a (1) chown or (2) chmod command, as demonstrated by changing the permissions of an arbitrary fil...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.