Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. St. Jude Denies Report Its Heart Devices Are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks The Wal Stree Journal In its report, Muddy Waters said it had seen demonstrations of cyberattacks against St. Jude devices, citing the work of cybersecurity startup MedSec. Why Dropbox’s data breach response is still wrong ZDNet One day Dropbox may well get its head around the best-practice methods for handling customer data breaches, but today is not that day. News broke … Opera announces data breach: stored passwords stolen for 1.7M users Naked Security Opera was once a proudly Norwegian browser that was different from the rest in more than just look and feel. Most other browsers used one of three … OneLogin Announces Security Breach That Exposed Customer “Secure Notes” Softpedia News OneLogin announced a server security breach that allowed an intruder to take a peek at customer Secure Notes thanks to a…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. FBI investigating Russian hack of New York Times reporters, others WBAL Baltimore (CNN) -Hackers thought to be working for Russian intelligence have carried out a series of cyber breaches targeting reporters at the New York Times … Pulse shooting survivors fall victim to hospital data breach WESH Orlando Victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting have another cause for concern after Orlando Health revealed there was a data breach while they recovered … Epic Games Forums Suffer Data Breach; 800k Accounts Stolen Hack Read The security breach took place on 11th August 2016 in which a hacker bypassed the security of Epic Games forums using an SQL security flaw … Federal Court in Illinois dismisses biometric data privacy case against Smarte Carte Biometric Update A federal district court in Illinois recently dismissed a biometric data privacy case against Smarte Carte, based on a U.S. Supreme Court…       Read More

Written by: Tiffany Winks, Esq. On Tuesday, August 23, 2016, a Federal Judge in Atlanta awarded a whopping $7.5 million in legal fees to consumers’ lawyers in a lawsuit against Home Depot for its 2014 data breach.  Not only did the Court award these substantial attorney’s fees, but it also tipped its hat to the lawyers for taking the risk to litigate a data breach case, as the law is extremely cutting-edge. This massive slam against Home Depot comes only months after it entered a settlement agreement in March 2016 to create a $13 million dollar settlement fund to reimburse consumers.  This outcome will undoubtedly encourage more class action lawsuits, and should be a cautionary tale to companies to get ahead of emerging data breach threats to avoid similar harsh penalties.

Written by: Dale Slemons, Esq. Summer is slowly winding down and those fun filled, company sponsored, summer softball teams are gearing up for the playoffs, including our very own HBS “Devil Goats”. Good luck Goats!!! While most company softball teams play for exercise, fun and the occasional adult beverage after the hard fought game, during playoff time the competition can get more intense and is more likely to result in injuries. Regardless of the intensity of the competition or the level of play, sports injuries are inevitable given the number of participants in afterhours recreational teams, be it softball, bowling or badminton. As these injuries inevitably  occur, employers need to be aware of the way that the law is interpreted in Georgia or whatever jurisdiction they may be subject to. In Crowe, 145 Ga. App. 873 (1978) and it’s progeny, the Employee/Claimant had sustained a serious injury to his collar bone during…       Read More

Written by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. The Georgia Court of Appeals recently held the line against data breach cases when it affirmed the dismissal of a class action against the Georgia Department of Labor.1)McConnell v. Department of Labor, 2016 Ga. App. LEXIS 356  Thomas McConnell had filed a class action against the Georgia Department of Labor after a department employee sent a spreadsheet with the name, Social Security number, home phone number, email address and age of over 4,000 Georgians, to approximately 1,000 of the Georgians on the list.  McConnell filed a class action alleging negligence by the Department in disclosing personal information, invasion of privacy, and breach of fiduciary duty. He sought damages for the fee he paid to “Life Lock” for credit monitoring and identity protection services, and the fear and anxiety of potential identity theft in the future. He did not allege that anyone had used his information…       Read More

Written by: Sam Crochet, Esq. Two class actions currently pending in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, In re Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. Data Breach Litigation and Storm v. Paytime, will impact appellate courts’ future evaluations of “standing.” In Horizon Healthcare, the theft of laptops compromised the information of 839,000 individuals. The Plaintiffs alleged the imminent risk of harm from identity theft led to their spending time/resources to mitigate potential financial loss. Leaning on Third Circuit precedent, the District Court granted the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, reasoning the Plaintiff’s future injuries were not “certainly impending” as they stemmed from hypothetical future conduct of the third party users. In Paytime, an employer’s payroll service suffered a security breach, after which the Plaintiffs alleged injuries due to the expense of time/money to protect themselves from ID theft and the ongoing risk of monetary loss due to fraudulent transactions. Again, citing a prior…       Read More

Written by Sam Crochet, Esq. Last month, the defense community scored a victory in the ongoing debate as to when theft of an individual’s data becomes a concrete injury for purposes of establishing “standing” to sue. In Torres v. Wendy’s, the Florida Plaintiff filed a federal class action against the fast food chain following an early-2016 data breach. The Plaintiff claimed he experienced identity theft and two fraudulent charges on his debit card, which he contended were sufficient to trigger standing. The Court granted Wendy’s Motion to Dismiss, reasoning that, since the Plaintiff suffered no out-of-pocket expenses, he failed to allege actual harm sufficient to establish an injury-in-fact. The Court also addressed the Plaintiff’s claim he had standing due to the threat of future harm given the potential fraud and identity theft. The Court leaned on precedent regarding this issue, ruling the “Plaintiff’s alleged harm [was] highly speculative and the…       Read More

Compiled By: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Oracle’s Data Breach May Explain Spate of Retail Hacks Fortune Oracle has suffered a data breach within its retail unit. … That source said that soon after Oracle pushed new security tools to systems in the affected … Health Care System to Pay Largest Data Breach Settlement Ever SHRM By failing to safeguard patient data, Advocate violated federal patient … “This includes implementing physical, technical and administrative security … Cyberattack on Ariz. Healthcare System May Affect Data of 3.7 Million Campus Safety Magazine The data of 3.7 million people may have been compromised in a cyberattack discovered July 13 on a Phoenix-based healthcare system. Data breach connected to BlueCross WKBW-TV A data breach occured at Newkirk Products, Incorporated, the company that provided … A notice will be mailed to anyone affected by this data breach. FTC Putting Emphasis on Privacy, Data Security, Commissioner Says eWeek…       Read More

Compiled By: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Yahoo probes possible huge data breach BBC News Yahoo is investigating claims the hacker linked to “mega-breaches” at MySpace and LinkedIn has posted details of 200 million Yahoo accounts to a … Why St. Louis could be home to the next big data breach St. Louis Business Journal The number of data breaches across the U.S. has risen over the past five years, according to CEO Canh Tran, who said there’s been a trend in … An Ohio clinic is the latest in a long series of health care breaches The Verge A hacker group called Pravvy Sector reportedly accessed and leaked a massive 150GB data trove from the Central Ohio Urology Group on Twitter … Bitfinex Security Breach: Platform Suspends Trade and Confirms BTC Theft newsBCT Bitfinex, one of the leading digital currency exchange, today reported that it has faced a security breach. Following…       Read More

Written by: Sam Crochet, Esq. Technology is developing at an explosive pace, which is creating endless opportunities for improvement industry-to-industry. For years we have remotely accessed information from our smartphones, but now we are on the front wave of remotely accessing physical devices themselves. Doctors have the capability of adjusting patients’ insulin pumps without the need for an office visit. Some of us control our home security and utilities devices while on vacation. “The Internet of Things” (IoT) promises to make our lives more convenient. However, this evolution attaches tremendous risk to those within the healthcare, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing communities—which could trigger wide ranging legal implications. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are waiting in anticipation of the converging world of products liability and data breach litigation. Last summer, St. Louis-area security researchers performed a controlled simulation in which they cut off a Jeep’s breaks/transmission while its driver drove on a major highway….       Read More