Morning Security Brief: MTA to Increase Security, Printers At Risk for Hacking, Beth Israel Breach, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has plans to increase security on buses and subways. “Agency officials said on Monday that they would expand an initiative aimed at uncovering fare beaters on local bus routes; the initiative had been limited to Select Bus Service routes, where riders must pay before boarding. Violators will be issued fines of $100 by members of ‘Eagle teams,’ which are staffed largely by retired law enforcement workers,” The New York Times reports. Additional officers have already been put in place in the Bronx and Queens in response to an increase in crime.

►One in four HP laser jet printers still have their default password settings, says The Guardian reporting on the “dark side to the printer revolution.” Seven months ago, a professor from Columbia University's Intrusion Detection System Laboratory used the printer's remote firmware update to install malware that could cause the device to malfunction. He noted that other malware could be used to turn printers into "reconnaissance devices that operate behind corporate firewalls, spread malware to internal systems, and even exfiltrate printed documents outside of a protected site." HP issued more than 50 firmware updates to try and correct the vulnerability, but still only one to two percent of printers have been updated, according to the researchers.

►Around 4,000 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center patients will be getting letters telling them their information may have been breached after a doctor’s personal laptop was stolen. A suspect has been arrested, but the laptop has not been recovered. “Beth Israel Deaconess routinely protects information on company-issued computers by encrypting the material with software that makes it difficult to decipher, but in this case the stolen laptop was the physician’s personal device that was used for some office work,” The Boston Globe reported.

►In other news, James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooting suspect, had his first court hearing. ♦ Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks will be charged with offenses related in the News of the World phone hacking scandal. ♦ And a mom faces six felony charges for hacking into a school system computer and changing her children’s grades.



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