Morning Security Brief: Suspicious Power Arrest, Live-Streaming Abuse, HIPAA Breach Consequences, and More

By Carlton Purvis

 ► A Portland man was arrested and charged on Friday with one count of mailing a threatening communication to a member of Congress and one count of mailing a letter threatening to use a biological weapon to a U.S. senator. Christopher Lee Carlson was arrested after an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service uncovered evidence that he was responsible for mailing more than one hundred envelopes from Oregon to politicians and members of the news media. The letters began arriving February 22 to the offices of lawmakers, The New York Times, NPR, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, reports the Chicago Tribune.

►Australian Federal Police say they’ve noticed a new trend by pedophiles in an attempt to avoid detection. In addition to collecting pictures and videos of abuse of children, they are now live-streaming abuse over the Internet for others to watch. “Live streaming child abuse posed a significant technical challenge for police because the material was not always recorded, which made it difficult to trace and block," reports the Sydney Morning Herald. More than half of abuse pictures and videos shared online are shared through peer-to-peer networks, police say.

►BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has agreed to pay $1.5 million to the Department of Health and Human services in addition to a corrective action plan to address gaps in its HIPAA implementation. The settlement comes after 57 unencrypted hospital computer hard drives were stolen. The drives contained information that included social security numbers, names, diagnosis, and health plan identification numbers of more than one million people, reports the Nashville Business Journal. An HHS investigation determined BCBST failed to implement appropriate physical and administrative safeguards to protect information at the leased facility. “This settlement sends an important message that (HHS) expects health plans and health care providers to have in place a carefully designed, delivered and monitored HIPAA compliance program,” Leon Rodriguez, director of HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, said in a statement.

►In other news, Pakistan tells the U.S. that it will no longer allow attacks from Pakistani air space. ♦ Ukraine is a becoming a haven for hackers because of lack of cybercrime legislation and lack of authority from law enforcement. ♦ And there are no immediate reports of damage after a 6.8 earthquake shook Japan on Wednesday morning, three days after the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands.



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