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Well-Intentioned Employees Can Make Poor Judgment Calls

Posted May 8, 2012    Peter McCalister

In 2007, Google’s Street View project began to collect “payload data” including e-mail addresses, text messages, and passwords from unsecured Wi-Fi networks of potentially hundreds of millions of people. More than a dozen countries began investigations of Street View in 2010 and in the United States, the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, state attorney generals and the F.C.C. began looking into the matter.

On April 13, 2012 The Federal Communications Commission released a report on Google’s Street View project after a 17-month investigation. The initial viewpoint was the data collection was a result of a “rogue” engineer operating on his own. That however, has been revealed to be false. According to the report, the engineer suggested it was entirely intentional: “We are logging user traffic along with sufficient data to precisely triangulate their position at a given time, along with information about what they were doing.”

Google responded in a blog saying, “The project leaders did not want, and had no intentions of using, payload data.” In addition, Google stressed that the engineer started the project on his “20 percent” time – time that Google gives to employees to work on their own initiatives.

So how did this happen? A Google executive says, “Quite simply, it was a mistake.” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center says, “This is what happens in the absence of enforcement and the absence of regulation.”

Sometimes well-intentioned employees make poor judgment calls, putting their company in a compromising situation. Proper regulations, especially when employees are empowered to work on their own initiatives, can prevent media frenzy, or as in this particular case, an investigation for potentially breaking privacy laws.

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You Change Your Oil Regularly; Why Not Your Passwords?

Posted September 11, 2014    Chris Burd

There are many things in life that get changed regularly:  your car oil, toothbrush and hopefully, your bed sheets.  It’s rare that you give these things much thought – even when you forget to change them. But what if you’re forgetting something that can cost you millions of dollars if left unchanged for long periods…

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On-Demand Webcast: The Little JPEG that Could (Hack Your Organization) with Marcus Murray

Posted September 10, 2014    Chris Burd

IT security has come a long way, but every once in a while you see something that makes you think otherwise. Every day, internal and external hackers breach and traverse “secure” environments, making you wonder just how easy it is for attackers to completely compromise your network. In a new on-demand BeyondTrust webcast, Marcus Murray,…

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Retina Vulnerability Audits – September 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted September 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

The following is a list of Retina vulnerability audits for this September 2014 Patch Tuesday: MS14-052 – Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2977629) 35141 – Microsoft Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2977629) 35142 – Microsoft Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2977629) – IE8/2003 35143 – Microsoft Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2977629) – IE8…