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Author

 Patricia Keefe

Profile of Patricia Keefe

News & Commentary Posts: 25
Articles by Patricia Keefe

Should IT Departments Oversee Spying Operations?

4/6/2007
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?

3/30/2007
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?

3/2/2007
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

2/9/2007
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

1/18/2007
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

11/21/2006
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

8/28/2006
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?

7/18/2006
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

6/27/2006
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

12/19/2005
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

9/7/2005
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

6/22/2005
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

5/27/2005
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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7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
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CVE-2015-3154
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CRLF injection vulnerability in Zend\Mail (Zend_Mail) in Zend Framework before 1.12.12, 2.x before 2.3.8, and 2.4.x before 2.4.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary HTTP headers and conduct HTTP response splitting attacks via CRLF sequences in the header of an email.
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A Local Privilege Escalation issue was discovered in Avast Secure Browser 76.0.1659.101. The vulnerability is due to an insecure ACL set by the AvastBrowserUpdate.exe (which is running as NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) when AvastSecureBrowser.exe checks for new updates. When the update check is triggered, the...
CVE-2014-8161
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PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive column values by triggering constraint violation and then reading the error message.
CVE-2014-9481
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The Scribunto extension for MediaWiki allows remote attackers to obtain the rollback token and possibly other sensitive information via a crafted module, related to unstripping special page HTML.
CVE-2015-0241
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The to_char function in PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a (1) large number of digits when processing a numeric ...