#4 - Life’s a Breach - Is My Data Safe?

#4 - Life’s a Breach - Is My Data Safe?

December 12, 2017

No! Thanks for reading (listening).

It could be worth defining what a data breach actually is.

Cyber security people often refer to three essential pillars upon which anyone responsible for data must adhere. They are called the CIA, oddly. Not to be confused with the American super-spy organisation or the FBI, NSA, USPI (US Postal Inspectors of course) or NCIS (whatever the hell that actually is… is it even real?)

The CIA of cybersecurity stands for Confidentiality (can you keep my secret), Integrity (can you make sure my secret cannot be accessed or changed by anyone else), Availability (can anyone else deny me access to it).  If somebody screwed up any of these it’s a problem. A data breach is when a company royally screws up the first one, Confidentiality, and allows data about us, that we trusted them to keep on the down low, available to others.

Two of the most high profile examples which occured in 2017 were of course Equifax and Uber. I could easily spend this whole time ripping into the Equifax breach alone but thankfully, John Oliver and Last Week Tonight have already done a stellar job of that. I highly recommend checking that out.

The Uber breach was also super fun and also had in common with Equifax an attempt to cover it up, or, at least pretend it wasn’t happening for a while.  The Uber/Equifax policy on disclosure is somewhat akin to Homer Simpson, aptly putting it…”I’ll hide under some coats and hope that somehow everything will work out!”

The Uber breach was extra special in that they actually paid the hackers to shut-up and destroy the data they stole so no worries there right? Because hackers have a really rock solid code of ethics. Uber even said they had evidence to suggest data was destroyed. What evidence exactly was that? A screen shot of an empty directory called “Stuff we Stole from Uber” or perhaps they just send them a empty USB stick in the mail with a post-it note saying “See! Gone! We cool?” I’m not totally convinced. Have a quick surf through Dream Market (other Dark Web Marketplaces are available) and see what’s there.

But how do these things happen in the first place? 

Read more in the official show notes

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