Verizon Breach Affects 6 Million, British Hospitals Get IT Boost, Terror Financing Report Kept Secret, and More

Verizon Breach Affects 6 Million, British Hospitals Get IT Boost, Terror Financing Report Kept Secret, and More

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  • Cell phone and wireless provider Verizon confirmed this morning that the data of some six million users was leaked online was due to a security lapse caused by human error. Customer phone numbers, names, and some PIN codes were revealed online. The breach originated from NICE Systems, an Israeli company Verizon used to facilitate customer service calls. A security setting was made public, making Verizon data stored in the cloud visible to anyone who had the public link. The breach was discovered by cybersecurity firm UpGuard—which discovered leaked voter data earlier this summer—and was reported on June 13. The security hole was closed on June 22. Experts advise Verizon customers to update their PIN codes. 

  • England’s health secretary has pledged £21 million to major trauma centers to bolster cybersecurity in the wake of the WannaCry attack on the National Health Service. The 27 hospitals receiving the funding are those which have given specialist care to people injured in recent terrorist attacks, such as the Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena, and London bridge attacks. Hospitals will use the money to update IT systems, improve staff training, and become more resilient against cyberattacks. 

  • The United Kingdom is refusing to release a report into foreign funding of Islamist extremism in Britain on national security grounds. The government had previously said it hoped the report could be released, but this most recent decision raised eyebrows due to its timing—just two days ago, the High Court ruled that the government was not breaking rules by licensing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which is assumed to be the focus of the report. Islamist extremist organisations were generally funded by “small, anonymous public donations” but that “for a small number of organisations with which there are extremism concerns, overseas funding is a significant source of income,” according to a summary given by the government. Political opposition parties are lambasting the decision to keep the report secret, saying it isn’t being released to placate Saudi Arabia. 

  • In other news, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is focusing too much on immigration and not enough on emergency management and cybersecurity, The New York Times reports. Meanwhile, DHS Secretary John Kelly had a tense meeting yesterday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about deportation tactics and the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan. Investigations reveal that Indiana’s state DHS agency is in hot water. More information has emerged about the 16 military personnel killed in a Mississippi plane crash earlier this week. Foreign nationals with bona fide relationships to people in the United States are continuing to enter the country, exceeding the 50,000-refugee limit Trump put in place. Internet of Things security begins at the supply chain level ​according to the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ​