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Data theft: stories from the news and solutions

January 21st, 2006 · No Comments · data theft, information security

The crime of data theft is one of the most under-reported and difficult to detect crimes of the 21st century.

Data is the currency of the information age. Hackers, spammers, and other computer criminals are in a constant arms race with security professionals as they seek to find new ways to steal information. As the amount of digital information increases every year, it becomes increasingly difficult to prevent its unauthorized disclosure.

John McCumber, a very seasoned information security professional, once shared with me that at a minimum, the essential steps to safeguarding information include at least five steps:

  • Identify what information resources you have
  • Prioritize your information resources in terms of business significance
  • Determine the “states” in which you must protect the information (storage, transmission, processing)
  • Implement security countermeasures that reduce your residual leve of risk to an acceptable level
  • Re-evaluate your resources and corresponding countermeasures over time

Information security is as much art as it is science. As a community resource, I’ve decided to post major stories related to data theft to raise awareness of the frequency and variety of data theft.

Stories related to data theft in the news

Workplace data theft runs rampant BBC On-Line

ChoicePoint data theft Fallout Spreads to 145,000 Internet News

Congressional Testimony on Theft of Electronic Data US House of Representatives

Data theft affects 145,000 nation wide MSNBC

Lock that USB port to stop casual data theft Engadget

Suspect in SJ Medical Data Theft to be in Court CBS

Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island Admits Data Theft

50 million identities stolen in US Washington Post

Ford discloses employee data theft UPI

Data breaches worst ever last year Seattle Times

Portable storage devices: the curse of convenience InfoWorld

Wave of Data Theft Causes Corporations to Consider Network Risks Aon Focus

USB Devices offer Old-School Way to Steal Data CNet

Time to Get Physical (Physical Security and Data Theft) Redmond Magazine

Data Theft Detective Work Begins at the Office TechTarget

Beware Christmas Data Theft Dangers, Warn Police ComputerWeekly

Data Theft grew 650% over past three years US Department of the Interior

Ubiquitous Technology, Bad Practices Drive Up Data Theft Washington Post

Arrest in Wells Fargo Data Theft SFGate

University Suffers Massive ID Data Theft ZDNet (yikes- George Mason is my alma mater!)

Guidance Software Investigating Stolen Data InternetNews

The MarketPlace Report: Consumer Data Theft National Public Radio

Prevent Data Theft Using Removable Devices Get Safe Online Coalition

Data Theft by Camera Phone The Institute of Internal Auditors

Data Theft in Arizona EHealth Confidentiality Policies

Don’t Let Data Theft Happen to You New York Times

Former Bank Employees Are Charged In Data Heist InformationWeek

Scope of bank data theft grows to 676,000 customers ComputerWorld

Police Probing Data Theft from Information Security Company Employee Baltimore Sun

MCI Data Theft Intensifies Encryption Debate eWeek

Data for 600,000 Time Warner Employees MIA Cnet

Bank Alerts Customers to Data Theft Washington Post

Insiders May Pose Biggest Data Theft Risk

Security Pro says Companies Face Some of their Biggest Data-Theft Threats from their own Employees Red Herring

iPods Open Backdoor for Data Theft VUnet

Money Lost on Piracy and Data Theft CSO Online

Julius Baer Confirms Data Theft Finextra
Stories from information security mailing lists

Computer Containing Airline Ticketing Info Stolen InfoSec News

Data Theft: Ethics Example ST-ISC

Another Laptop Stolen Containing Banking Records ST-ISC

Bank Rhode Island Customer Information Stolen InfoSec News

A Tough Lesson on Medical Privacy ST-ISC

Law Office Theft ST-ISC

Wells Fargo Data Theft ST-ISC

Firms Loses Secrets of 180,000 clients InfoSec News

Motions Set in Technology Espionage Case InfoSec News

Info-Theft in Japan is Setting Price of Personal Data ST-ISC

Hacker Gets Acxion Custom Information InfoSec News

Game Biz Mystified by Code Theft InfoSec News

The Wells Fargo Example Focus-Virus

Laptop Security Full Disclosure

University of Miami discloses privacy data disclosed Dshield

Healthcare Security Incidents: Summary Incidents list on SecurityFocus

Security with USB Devices Pen-Test list on SecurityFocus

Coke Says Insider Got Personal Data on 450 other Employees InfoSec News

Sacked Staff Turn to Sabotage InfoSec News

Removable USB Devices DShield

Removable USB Devices (continued) DShield

How to Foil Data Thieves InfoSec News

USB Port & Access Protection SecurityBasics

802.11b USB Wireless Stick WindowsSecurity

Disable USB on a Per User Basis Focus MS

USB and Smart Drives SecurityBasics


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