Jun 072019

From the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK, news about two cases involving employees behaving badly. One case involved a housing association employee snooping in records without justification, and the other involved a Restorative Justice Caseworker who sent personal data on victims and offenders to her home email address.

A former customer services officer at Stockport Homes Limited (SHL) has been found guilty of unlawfully accessing personal data without a legitimate reason to do so.

Wendy Masterson spent time looking at anti social behaviour cases on SHL’s case management system when she wasn’t authorised to do so. She accessed the system a total of 67 times between January and December 2017.

The offences came to light following an audit of Masterson’s access to SHL’s case management system, after concerns were raised regarding her performance, which resulted in Masterson’s suspension and her subsequent resignation.

Masterson, of Middlesex Road, Stockport pleaded guilty to unlawfully accessing personal data in breach of s55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 at Stockport Magistrates Court on 6 June 2019. She was ordered to pay a £300 fine, £364.08 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

Mike Shaw, Group Manager Enforcement at the Information Commissioner’s Office, which brought the prosecution, said:

“People have the absolute right to expect that their personal information will be treated with the utmost privacy and in strict accordance with the UK’s data protection laws.

“Our prosecution of this individual should act as a clear warning that we will pursue and take action against those who choose to abuse their position of trust.”

In other news from the ICO:

A Restorative Justice Caseworker has been prosecuted for sending sensitive personal data to her own personal email account without authorisation.

Jeannette Baines had worked at Victim Support and sent spreadsheets containing a combination of victim and offender data from her work email address to her personal email address during her last week of employment.

Jeannette Baines, of Merseyside appeared before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court and was found guilty of obtaining personal data, in breach of s55 of the Data Protection Act 1998. She was sentenced to a 3 year conditional discharge, ordered to pay costs of £600 and a victim surcharge of £20.

Jun 062019

Alberto Nardelli reports:

The European Union’s embassy in Moscow was hacked and had information stolen from its network, according to a leaked internal document seen by BuzzFeed News.

An ongoing “sophisticated cyber espionage event” was discovered in April, just weeks before the European Parliament elections — but the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s foreign and security policy agency, did not disclose the incident publicly.

Read more on BuzzFeed.

Jun 012019

Katie Sullivan Borrelli reports:

Broome County says an unauthorized individual may have had access to the personal information of county employees and individuals who receive the county’s care, including their Social Security numbers, medical records and bank account information.

In a news release sent on its behalf by Mullen Coughlin LLC, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, the county said someone accessed a county employee email account between Nov. 20, 2018, and Jan. 2, then accessed several other accounts that had sensitive information, through credential harvesting.

An investigation began after the county was made aware of changes to an employee’s direct deposit information Jan 2.

Read more on PressConnects.

May 302019

Luzerne County’s administration has shut down some computer servers and work stations to address a cyber attack discovered last weekend, officials said.

On Wednesday morning, county Administrative Services Division Head David Parsnik said the clean-up process may take several days to complete.

By the afternoon, the administration sent workers an email indicating the servers may be shut down until Monday to “properly remediate any damage caused by the recent virus introduced into our system.”

Read more on Times Leader.    The county has hired Sylint to help them.

May 242019

Ian Duncan reports on how your emergency backup might fail for reasons you didn’t anticipate, perhaps.

Gmail accounts used by Baltimore officials as a workaround while the city recovers from a ransomware attack were disabled because the creation of a large number of new accounts in one place triggered Google’s automated security system, a spokesman for the company said.

Lester Davis, a spokesman for Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, said city employees began realizing there was a problem Thursday morning and were able to talk to senior executives at Google later in the day to resolve the issue. “They know Baltimore is dealing with a sensitive situation,” Davis said. “I don’t think it was ever their intent to be disruptive. … They stepped in and overruled the machines.”

Read more on Security Watch.