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Data Theft

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BUSINESS
October 24, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Barnes & Noble, the country's largest bookseller, said data thieves hacked into payment devices at 63 of its stores nationwide and may have stolen credit and debit card information from customers. The chain said it discovered that in each of the stores, hackers had planted bugs in one card reader. Customers swipe their payment cards through the readers and, if debit card users, enter their personal identification number, or PIN. Machines were tampered with in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
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OPINION
April 13, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The discovery of the Heartbleed bug, an online security flaw that's alarmingly widespread, was just the latest reminder of how vulnerable Internet users are to the mistakes made by others. In this case, a programming error in a supposedly secure Internet communications protocol allowed hackers to steal passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information from websites for up to two years before the problem was found. A new version that removed the bug quickly became available, but even if Internet users change their passwords and credit card numbers, their personal information will still be up for grabs until the websites they used for banking, shopping and services install the update.
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BUSINESS
February 15, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Is your address book community property? Some app makers seem to think so. The buzz in the tech world is that a number of high-profile apps, including Facebook and Twitter, routinely access and rip off smartphone users' contacts. The apps in question run on Apple's iOS andGoogle's Android operating systems. The practice hit the spotlight after a techie noticed that Path, a social network, was uploading entire address books without users' permission. The company has since said it will stop the practice and get rid of all the purloined data.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
The massive theft of Target Corp. customer data contributed to a huge drop in fourth-quarter profit as the retailer scrambled to win back the trust of consumers and shore up its hobbled payments system. The Minneapolis-based chain reported that profit was nearly halved from a year earlier to $520 million and revenue slid 5% to $21.5 billion. Target also racked up $61 million in expenses related to the hack, though it expects all but $17 million of that to be covered by insurance.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The Federal Trade Commission opened a potentially significant new front Friday in its efforts to protect consumers against data theft. The commission announced a settlement with mobile device manufacturer HTC America that requires the company to plug security holes in millions of smartphones and tablet computers, develop a comprehensive approach to data protection and undergo independent security assessments every other year. Federal law gives the commission the authority to go after "unfair" business practices that harm consumers, and it's used that authority increasingly in recent years to crack down on companies that don't safeguard the sensitive data they collect from customers.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Concerned Target Corp. customers took to Twitter on Thursday to express concern and frustration about the disclosure that hackers stole credit card and debit card information from some 40 million of the retailers' customers. Several wondered what they should do to protect themselves. Some said they were immediately canceling all of their credit cards to avoid the potential for fraud. Others said they planned to stop shopping at Target. If the concern on Twitter was any indication, Target has quite a public relations fiasco on its hands.
NATIONAL
June 18, 2007 | From the Associated Press
The state has hired a computer security expert to determine the likelihood of someone getting access to data on a backup storage device that has been stolen, Gov. Ted Strickland said Sunday. Matthew Curtin of Interhack Corp. was to start his investigation today. The theft was revealed Friday.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Settling the biggest reported case of data theft by a financial insider, Bank of America Corp. will provide free credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and reimbursement for losses to as many as 17 million consumers who dealt with its Countrywide Financial mortgage unit. The agreement was approved Monday by a federal judge in Kentucky. Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide in 2008, denied all allegations of wrongdoing, saying it had settled only to "avoid the additional expense and uncertainty of further litigation.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
The massive theft of Target Corp. customer data contributed to a huge drop in fourth-quarter profit as the retailer scrambled to win back the trust of consumers and shore up its hobbled payments system. The Minneapolis-based chain reported that profit was nearly halved from a year earlier to $520 million and revenue slid 5% to $21.5 billion. Target also racked up $61 million in expenses related to the hack, though it expects all but $17 million of that to be covered by insurance.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2006 | Cyndia Zwahlen, Special to The Times
A thief takes a laptop belonging to Fidelity Investments that contains the Social Security numbers and birth dates of nearly 200,000 Hewlett-Packard Co. retirees. An auditor loses a computer disk that holds sensitive information on employees from -- of all places -- security software maker McAfee Inc. Behind the headlines about these large corporations is a sobering question for smaller businesses: Are you -- and by extension your customers -- protected against similar data losses?
BUSINESS
January 10, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Target Corp. on Friday said that last month's data breach affected up to 110 million customers and that the data theft was broader than originally thought. The Minneapolis-based retailer said that as as many as 70 million customers' information, which included names, mailing addresses, emails and phone numbers, was stolen last month during the busy holiday shopping season. Target said the theft was not a new breach but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation into the theft of millions of customers' credit and debit card information during the busy holiday shopping season.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Concerned Target Corp. customers took to Twitter on Thursday to express concern and frustration about the disclosure that hackers stole credit card and debit card information from some 40 million of the retailers' customers. Several wondered what they should do to protect themselves. Some said they were immediately canceling all of their credit cards to avoid the potential for fraud. Others said they planned to stop shopping at Target. If the concern on Twitter was any indication, Target has quite a public relations fiasco on its hands.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu, Walter Hamilton and Chris O'Brien
As millions of bargain-crazed customers swarmed through Target stores on Black Friday, one of the most audacious heists in retail history was quietly underway. A band of cyberthieves pilfered credit and debit card information from the giant retailer's customers with pinpoint efficiency as shoppers bought discounted sweaters and electronic gear on the unofficial launch of the holiday shopping season. By the time the scheme was discovered, the unidentified hackers had made off with financial data of 40 million Target customers over a 21/2-week period.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The Federal Trade Commission opened a potentially significant new front Friday in its efforts to protect consumers against data theft. The commission announced a settlement with mobile device manufacturer HTC America that requires the company to plug security holes in millions of smartphones and tablet computers, develop a comprehensive approach to data protection and undergo independent security assessments every other year. Federal law gives the commission the authority to go after "unfair" business practices that harm consumers, and it's used that authority increasingly in recent years to crack down on companies that don't safeguard the sensitive data they collect from customers.
OPINION
February 21, 2013
In what has become a depressingly familiar ritual, computer security experts revealed this week that hackers with apparent ties to a foreign government - in this case, the Chinese military - had "systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations" since 2006. But while such high-level international cyber intruders grab headlines, most successful online attacks are not all that sophisticated. Despite their Hollywood-enhanced image as inventive uber-geeks, most hackers don't actually have to work very hard to steal data or disrupt websites.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Barnes & Noble, the country's largest bookseller, said data thieves hacked into payment devices at 63 of its stores nationwide and may have stolen credit and debit card information from customers. The chain said it discovered that in each of the stores, hackers had planted bugs in one card reader. Customers swipe their payment cards through the readers and, if debit card users, enter their personal identification number, or PIN. Machines were tampered with in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2005 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
Executives at besieged information broker ChoicePoint Inc. have said they had no idea how vulnerable the company was to the identity thieves who recently tapped into personal data on 145,000 Americans, igniting a national furor over privacy. Chairman Derek Smith told CNBC last week, for instance, that management "never realized the sophistication organized crime" would demonstrate in order to access ChoicePoint files.
OPINION
February 21, 2013
In what has become a depressingly familiar ritual, computer security experts revealed this week that hackers with apparent ties to a foreign government - in this case, the Chinese military - had "systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations" since 2006. But while such high-level international cyber intruders grab headlines, most successful online attacks are not all that sophisticated. Despite their Hollywood-enhanced image as inventive uber-geeks, most hackers don't actually have to work very hard to steal data or disrupt websites.
BUSINESS
February 15, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Is your address book community property? Some app makers seem to think so. The buzz in the tech world is that a number of high-profile apps, including Facebook and Twitter, routinely access and rip off smartphone users' contacts. The apps in question run on Apple's iOS andGoogle's Android operating systems. The practice hit the spotlight after a techie noticed that Path, a social network, was uploading entire address books without users' permission. The company has since said it will stop the practice and get rid of all the purloined data.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Settling the biggest reported case of data theft by a financial insider, Bank of America Corp. will provide free credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and reimbursement for losses to as many as 17 million consumers who dealt with its Countrywide Financial mortgage unit. The agreement was approved Monday by a federal judge in Kentucky. Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide in 2008, denied all allegations of wrongdoing, saying it had settled only to "avoid the additional expense and uncertainty of further litigation.
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