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.
Adobe has been forced to release an out-of-schedule emergency security patch to its users, after a zero-day vulnerability was discovered to affect Adobe Flash Player. Users are being urged by Adobe to update to version 184.108.40.206 of Flash Player, which contains mitigations for the zero-day as well as addressing three other flaws. This latest flaw was discovered already being used in the wild to attack Windows users, and doesn’t exploit browsers like typical Flash exploits – instead, it works through Microsoft Office documents which it utilises to download and execute malicious code.
Most Flash exploits take advantage of web browsers, however this zero-day utilises Office documents and is usually received through phishing emails
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.
Almost two years ago, the European Union signed the General Data Protection Regulation (better known as the GDPR) into law, allowing for a 24 month period before the regulation would become binding to allow organisations and businesses time to comply with its requirements. At the time of writing, the GDPR will come into force in just eight days, a thought which may strike fear into the hearts of many business owners who are not going to be fully compliant by the deadline. So what exactly is going to happen, come Friday the 25th of May? We’ve taken the time to compile some information and predictions to help cut through the noise and focus on what’s important.
The GDPR, which replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive, was adopted on 14th April 2016 and will become enforceable on 25th May 2018.
It seems that everyone in the cyber security sphere is talking about ransomware these days. Last year, attacks such as WannaCry, NotPetya and BadRabbit took the business world by storm, costing billions in damages. Ransomware is by no means a new threat (it has been around since at least 2005), but it is one of the fastest growing and most costly. Cyber crime is constantly changing, and criminals keep creating news ways to steal money. Ransomware has gotten increasingly sophisticated since 2005, but the people using and deploying it haven’t necessarily – now some cyber criminals are making more money selling high-tech ransomware strains to non-technical criminals than if they were to conduct the attacks themselves. The result is that more and more ‘hackers’ have access to ransomware and need very little technical know-how to operate it, leading to more and more ransomware attacks each year. It may come as a surprise, then, to hear that the FBI received less reports of ransomware attacks in 2017 than in 2016 and 2015, despite the increase in attacks.