Feeds

The lawyers are coming

IT security negligence

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Following the first virus epidemics (I Love You, Melissa, Nimda, etc.) insurance companies in the US began to remove the computer damages cover from their commercial insurance plans, writes Bloor Research analyst Robin Bloor. At the same time the US was on a legislative security spree, which was another reason for the insurance companies to duck out. Thus it came to pass that the victims of security problems started to conjure with the word "negligence" and take their stories to their lawyers.

To be realistic, it was not before time, but it had to be tried out in the courts for anyone to have an idea of what the definition of IT security negligence was.

The following two cases, both of which are done and dusted, provide the early guidelines:

  • Maine Public Utilities Commission v. Verizon. Verizon rents the use of Maine Public Utilities infrastructure, but Verizon went out of action due to the Slammer worm - revealing that Verizon's patch management process was not up to snuff. Verizon asked Maine for a refund for the time it was out of action. Maine refused to pay asserting that Verizon was negligent. The argument went to court and the verdict went to Maine.

  • The State of New York v The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). ACLU, through poor IT security, let confidential information about its donors leak out. The State of New York felt litigious about this. The ACLU's defence was to point the finger at a supplier to which it outsourced its security. The case was eventually settled out of court on the advice of ACLU's lawyers. The defence wasn't going to wash.

All of this makes the current

"hackergate" scandal

in the US Congress all the more ironic. Apparently, Republican staff members hacked in to Democrat computers to steal confidential memoranda that related to judicial nominees. Democrats realized that something was amiss when these memoranda began appearing in the press and they complained to the Senate sergeant-at-arms.

He began investigations which led directly to Republican staff members. Some Republicans have seen fit to blame the Democrats for negligence in the area of IT security - and to be honest, I think they should 'fess up - and switch to using Apple or Linux.

What's wrong with Microsoft Windows security you ask? Well there will be an official judgment on this at some point. A 50-year-old female victim of identity theft is suing Microsoft over its inadequate security. The suit alleges that Microsoft's "eclipsing dominance in desktop software has created a global security risk" Dana Taschner, the lawyer who filed the suit, wants Windows PC users to launch a class-action suit together. It will be interesting to follow this one.

© IT-Analysis.com

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.