Shane Chambers No Comments

First Large GDPR-Era Fine Handed Down to British Airways (£183m)

In a move that is likely to shock corporations in Europe and beyond, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined British Airways (BA) just over £183 million, due to a 2018 data breach in which personal data belonging to 500,000 of its’ customers was compromised. The move marks the first large fine handed down to a company since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in May of last year and, shockingly, was less than 50% of the maximum fine that the ICO could have set for BA.

In 2018, British Airways suffered a breach that exposed credit card info, names, addresses, travel details and login credentials for 500,000 customers
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Shane Chambers No Comments

Ransomware Strain ‘SamSam’ Reportedly Earned Handlers Over €5.1m

A strain of ransomware titled SamSam has earned its handlers over 5.1 million euros to date, according to estimates, since it first began hitting enterprises in 2015. Security firm Sophos has released the data in a report, after tracking the Bitcoin addresses found on SamSam ransom notes and sample files.


The note displayed on PCs that were infected by SamSam ransomware, as seen by businesses, hospitals, schools, local councils and more

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Ticketmaster Ireland Among Those Affected in Huge Third-Party Data Breach

It has come to light that a recent breach disclosed by Ticketmaster UK may be much larger than initially reported, with not just the company’s UK site, but also their sites for Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey and even the US found to contain digital card-skimming code. Similar to the recent breach at Harvey Norman, this incident was caused by cyber criminals compromising a third-party service provider, not the site itself directly, leading security experts to believe many more websites may be at risk or have been compromised. This is part of a concerning new trend whereby cyber criminals are targeting third-party providers, who may deal with hundreds of websites, rather than attacking a website individually, exponentially increasing the damage inflicted.


Ticketmaster originally believed that only its UK website had been compromised, in a statement released last week

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Shane Chambers No Comments

EU-US Data Transfer May Be Stopped As Privacy Shield Comes Under Fire

The flow of data between the United States and the EU may be at risk as tensions are rising around Privacy Shield. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last two years, you will likely have heard of the GDPR – the EU data protection regulation that now fiercely protects EU citizen data, whether in the hands of a non-EU or EU-based organisation. You may have wondered, then, how companies in places like the US are still able to legally hold and process EU data without falling foul of the GDPR, and the answer is Privacy Shield. Privacy Shield is a framework that allows companies on both sides of the Atlantic to transfer data while complying with the GDPR. However, this may all soon change, with Members of the European Parliament calling for Privacy Shield to be brought up to scratch or invalidated.


Privacy Shield’s predecessor, Safe Harbour, was already invalidated in 2016 after it was ruled to be inadequate by the EU

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Shane Chambers No Comments

University of Greenwich Ordered to Pay £120,000 After Data Leak

In one of the last data breach fines to be handed down in a pre-GDPR Europe, the University of Greenwich has been ordered to pay a £120,000 fine to the Information Commissioner’s Office. The breach in question stemmed from a micro-website set up by students in 2004, and ultimately resulted in the details of 20,000 staff members and students being leaked online.


The University of Greenwich, in London, has accepted that it was responsible for the incident, and intends to pay the fine immediately.

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