Jan 04 2024
Welcome to Gone Phishing, your daily cybersecurity newsletter that’s noticed a perceptible dip in cybercrime whilst everyone and their mum is busy checking X for the #EpsteinClientList to drop 💀💀💀
Today’s hottest cybersecurity news stories:
🏛️ XCast might become eXCast after DoJ’s $10m fine 💸
💰 Fines galore! NY fines hospital $300k for web trackers 🛰️
📞 BT’s deadline to remove Huawei from network whooses by 📅
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has cracked down on VoIP service provider XCast for allegedly aiding illegal telemarketing since January 2018, breaching the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). 🚨
🏛️ The DoJ revealed that XCast flooded American consumers with billions of illegal robocalls, often impersonating government agencies and making false claims.
👮 To remedy the situation, XCast must now comply with stringent measures, including customer screening processes, to prevent further illegal telemarketing. Despite a hefty $10 million civil penalty judgement, the order is temporarily suspended due to XCast's financial constraints.
🚫 The calls, reaching numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, contained misleading information, threatening utility cutoffs or prompting urgent action on fake credit card charges. XCast is now required to sever ties with non-compliant firms and has been permanently barred from providing VoIP services without call-blocking safeguards.
🌳 In a parallel move, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned Response Tree for alleged dark pattern manipulations. Operating over 50 websites, the Californian company collected consumer data, selling it to telemarketers for millions of illegal calls.
The FTC has now prohibited Response Tree from engaging in or aiding robocalls and calls to numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.
Stay informed, stay protected! 🛡️
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The New York State attorney general's office has slapped a hefty $300,000 fine on NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) for privacy violations related to the improper use of tracking tools on its websites and patient portal.
🏥 The hospital allegedly breached HIPAA rules by sharing patient information with third parties for marketing purposes, prompting the regulatory action.
HIPAA Hip Hooray 🎉
As part of the settlement, NYP must take corrective measures, ensuring all third parties delete patient health information obtained through the tracking tools. The hospital, with over 2 million annual patient visits across 10 hospitals in NYC, had used tracking pixels and tags from tech vendors like Meta/Facebook and Google.
Following a report in June 2022, NYP discontinued the use of these technologies, conducting a forensic investigation and reporting the incident to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in March 2023. The fine underscores the importance of robust internal policies for third-party vetting and compliance with HIPAA regulations.
You Were Warned ⚠️
While the HHS OCR has warned entities about potential HIPAA enforcement actions involving online trackers, the New York attorney general's office leads the charge in taking enforcement action.
Regulatory attorney Rachel Rose predicts increased HIPAA-related activities by state attorney general offices in 2024, citing a national focus on third-party issues and state breach notification law requirements.
Stay vigilant, stay compliant! 🛡️
🃏 The Motley Fool: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.” Good ol’ George Dubya 😂 Let us tell who’s not fooling around though; that’s the Crüe 👀 at Motley Fool. You’d be a fool (alright, enough already! 🙈) not to check out their Share Tips from time to time so your savings can one day emerge from their cocoon as a beautiful butterfly! 🐛 Kidding aside, if you check out their website they’ve actually got a ton of great content with a wide variety of different investment ideas to suit most budgets 🤑 (LINK)
🚵 Wander: Find your happy place. Cue Happy Gilmore flashback 🏌️⛳🌈🕊️ Mmmm Happy Place… 😇 So, we’ve noticed a lot of you guys are interested in travel. As are we! We stumbled upon this cool company that offers a range of breath-taking spots around the United States and, honestly, the website alone is worth a gander. When all you see about the Land of the free and the home of the brave is news of rioting, looting and school shootings, it’s easy to forget how beautiful some parts of it are. The awe-inspiring locations along with the innovative architecture of the hotels sets Wander apart from your run of the mill American getaway 🏞️😍 (LINK)
🌊 Digital Ocean: If you build it they will come. Nope, we’re not talking about a baseball field for ghosts ⚾👻🍿 (Great movie, to be fair 🙈). This is the Digital Ocean who’ve got a really cool platform for building and hosting pretty much anything you can think of. If you check out their website you’ll find yourself catching the buzz even if you can’t code (guilty 😑). But if you can and you’re looking for somewhere to test things out or launch something new or simply enhance what you’ve got, we’d recommend checking out their services fo’ sho 😉 And how can you not love their slogan: Dream it. Build it. Grow it. Right on, brother! 🌿 (LINK)
The deadline has passed for UK telecommunication companies to eliminate Huawei equipment from their core networks, with BT acknowledging that its 2G and 3G services still use non-compliant infrastructure. 🚨 Despite this, the extent of potential consequences for BT remains uncertain.
⚠️ Formal legal notices were issued to UK telecom operators in November 2022, mandating the removal of China-based Huawei equipment due to security concerns. The extended deadline of December 31, 2023, was granted after complaints from operators, including BT, about the initial January 28, 2023 deadline.
🚦 BT claims that over 99% of its core traffic, including 4G and 5G data sessions and voice calls, is now served by non-Huawei equipment. The remaining less than 1% comprises 2G and 3G services, and BT assures that it is actively working to complete the migration.
💸 Potential fines of up to 10% of turnover or £100,000 ($126,611) per day loom for non-compliance, pending Ofcom's progress report due on March 31. Observers suggest flexibility on deadlines to avoid immediate fines, considering the complexity of removing Huawei entirely from both fixed line and mobile networks.
Stay tuned for updates on telecom regulatory compliance! 🌐
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So long and thanks for reading all the phish!