• United States



by CSO Contributor

U.S. Knew Last Year of Flu Vaccine Plant’s Woes; Phishing Feeds Internet Black Markets; PetCo, FCC Settle Over Online Security Flaws

Nov 18, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

U.S. Knew Last Year of Flu Vaccine Plant’s Woes

More than a year before British regulators closed a plant and impounded its flu shots because they may have been contaminated, the Food and Drug Administration discovered the problem. According to a story in the Washington Post, a House committee looking into the flu vaccine shortage released FDA inspection reports, letters and e-mails revealed that the agency delivered a report of the problems it found to Chiron Corp. nine months behind schedule. Documents also showed that the FDA rebuffed the company’s efforts to learn how it could improve conditions at the plant. Earlier the FDA publicly asserted that it had not reason to suspect that past safety violations would threaten this year’s flu vaccine supply.

For more details, read the full article in the Washington Post.

Phishing Feeds Internet Black Markets

The Washington Post, in the first part of a series Thursday, examines the increasingly devious practice of phishing. The data collected from unwitting consumers is feeding criminal black markets, according to the article. Scammers sell the data to organized criminal gangs that profit by using the data to open new lines of credit to buy high-priced items, which are then sold for cash. In addition to duping consumers through e-mail, some scammers are setting up fake storefronts, complete with a bogus privacy policy and fake testimonials. The sites collect data when customers order the “bargains” that these sites offer.

For more details, read this article in the Washington Post.

A second Post story profiles several victims of phishing. Take Nancy and Dan Boyle of Racine, Wis., for instance. Nancy replied to an e-mail that appeared to be from Bank One, warning her that her account would be suspended unless she confirmed her information according to new anti-fraud measures taken by the bank. Shortly thereafter, she noticed that $1,800 was missing from her bank account. Read about other phishing horror stories in the Post article.

Think you can tell the difference between a legitimate and fake website or e-mail? Take this test and find out.

PetCo, FCC Settle Over Online Security Flaws

PetCo Animal Supplies falsely promised its online customers that their credit card numbers were secure when they were actually vulnerable to hackers. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, the Federal Trade Commission settled with the company. PetCo promised to upgrade its online security and submit regular reports on its progress. The company did not admit making misstatements about its online security safeguards and will not pay a fine. The case is the fifth that the FTC has brought against companies for their exagerrated website security claims.

For more details, read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.