It was recently announced that Electronic Health Records (EHR) are in use in all military hospitals. Granted the article is mostly marketing screed for one company, but it still represents a big step. Outside of the Department of Defense (DoD), this probably doesn’t seem like a very big deal. Inside the DoD, it’s HUGE. This is the culmination of years of work and millions, possibly billions, of dollars spent. It’s an important step in improving the health care for Wounded Warriors. It also sets the stage for wider adoption of EHR in the private sector. But there are reasons to be concerned about this, of course. There are few, if any, pieces of information more intrinsically private and personal than[…]

Comptroller Susan Combs offered another apology Thursday for the information breach in her agency, saying she now is offering a year of free credit monitoring to the 3.5 million people at risk of identity theft after their data was exposed on a public computer server…She announced in a written statement April 11 that the Social Security numbers and other personal information of 3.5 million people were left exposed for a year or more in a publicly accessible computer server at her agency. Dallas News According to this article in the Dallas Morning News, 3.5 million identities were left free for the taking on a public server for at least a year. That is a colossal security lapse. However, it is[…]

Last week, we received a fax at the office from a branch of Virginia Commerce Bank. It was addressed to “Katie” and had our fax number clearly written on the cover sheet. The cover sheet had this interesting quote: This facsimile, which may contain confidential or legally privileged information, is intended for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed only. If you are not the intended recipient (or authorized delegate for the recipient) of this message, please telephone the number listed above to advise us, so that we can arrange for its proper destruction and resend it to the correct recipient. Thank you. It probably goes without saying that there isn’t a “Katie” working here at Gemini[…]

You know those Facebook applications that occasionally pop up on your news feed, promising to add a “dislike” button, let you view who’s been looking at your profile, or implement some other feature that Facebook won’t ever support?  A lot of these applications are not much more than thinly disguised malware designed to harvest personal information or trick the user into participating in a click fraud scam. Well, it looks like we’re in for a lot more of them, thanks to a new, cheap toolkit that allows users with little to no programming knowledge or experience create these malicious applications.  For the low price of $25, this application will guide you through the process of creating your own nefarious Facebook[…]

My name isn’t common, but there’s at least one other person with that name. And he’s not at all careful about email addresses. I’ve had email from him in the past – or, rather, from organizations to whom he’s given my email address. I feel as if I know him. I know where he went to school; I know who he works for. I know who he donates money to. I think I even saw his birthday in one of the emails. And now I know he lost his passport.