Feeds

ACS:Law fined for data breach

Couldn't happen to a nic...

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

ACS:Law has been fined by the Information Commissioner's Office for failing to follow data protection law.

The one-man law firm, which has since ceased trading, won infamy for using IP numbers to accuse people of illegal file-sharing. Victims received a letter offering to settle the claims rather than go to court. But ACS:Law never took anyone to court, and some judges doubted whether it ever had the legal basis to do so.

The ICO said it would have fined ACS:Law £200,000 for failing to keep information secure, but since it's gone titsup it will instead fine Andrew Crossley as an individual.

Crossley has been served with notice to pay a fine of £1,000 because he has limited means.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: "Sensitive personal details relating to thousands of people were made available for download to a worldwide audience and will have caused them embarrassment and considerable distress. The security measures ACS Law had in place were barely fit for purpose in a person's home environment, let alone a business handling such sensitive details ... As Mr Crossley was a sole trader, it falls on the individual to pay the fine. Were it not for the fact that ACS:Law has ceased trading so that Mr Crossley now has limited means, a monetary penalty of £200,000 would have been imposed."

A spokeswoman for the ICO said Crossley had provided the court with a written, legal statement showing he was skint.

ACS:Law's website was brought down in September 2010.

Crossley's arrogance at the time spurred on the hackers to deeper attacks and the eventual leaking of 6,000 people's details. At the time, he told the Reg: "It was only down for a few hours. I have far more concern over the fact of my train turning up 10 minutes late or having to queue for a coffee than them wasting my time with this sort of rubbish."

The ICO found Crossley had failed to seek professional advice when setting up systems, had used a hosting service aimed at home users and had failed to install a firewall. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.