News / Economy

Official: Many US Companies Lax with Data Security

Attorney General for the State of Illinois Lisa Madigan testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on protecting consumer information in Washington February 5, 2014.     Attorney General for the State of Illinois Lisa Madigan testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on protecting consumer information in Washington February 5, 2014.
x
Attorney General for the State of Illinois Lisa Madigan testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on protecting consumer information in Washington February 5, 2014.
Attorney General for the State of Illinois Lisa Madigan testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on protecting consumer information in Washington February 5, 2014.
Reuters
U.S. companies that have fallen prey to hackers, exposing the private information of millions of customers, have often failed to take basic security precautions to protect client data, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told a U.S. House panel on Wednesday.
 
Madigan said previous investigations, conducted before the recent spate of high-profile breaches, had turned up repeated instances where companies allowed their systems to retain unencrypted data, failed to install software patches for known vulnerabilities and retained information longer than necessary.
 
Madigan said her office and that of Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen are now leading a multistate investigation into recent data breaches that affected millions of customers of U.S. retailers Target Corp, Neiman Marcus Group LLC , and Michaels Stores Inc.
 
On Tuesday, top executives of Target and Neiman Marcus told the Senate Judiciary Committee that hackers had found ways to penetrate their best security practices.  Both companies bemoaned the sophistication of hackers behind recent data breaches that exposed the private data of millions of their customers.
 
“During prior breach investigations, we have found instances when companies failed to take basic steps to protect consumer data,” Madigan told the House Energy and Commerce committee. “So the notion that companies are already doing everything they can to prevent breaches is false.”
 
The companies offered reasons for not deploying more secure technology that ranged from high costs to length of check-out times to disputes between banks and retailers, Madigan said.
 
“Frankly, it is negligent of the U.S. to fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to security of our payment systems,” she said.
 
In testimony on Tuesday, Target Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan apologized for a cyber breach over the holiday shopping period in which about 40 million credit and debit card records were stolen, along with 70 million other records with personal customer information such as telephone numbers.
 
He told the committee the company had not been aware its systems had been hacked before being notified of the breach by the U.S. Justice Department.
 
The companies, joined by lawmakers and consumer advocates, suggested an accelerated move to a new type of payment cards known as “chip-and-PIN.” Those cards store customer information on computer chips and require users to type in personal identification numbers to make further breaches less likely.
 
Some U.S. lawmakers are once again taking up an effort to pass legislation to regulate data breach responses after similar pushes gained little traction in the past.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.