Morning Security Brief: Hacking Costs Mount, States and Cybersecurity, Security Becoming Laid Back in Sochi, and More

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

►The Target hacking during the holiday shopping season has been a nightmare for shoppers who used their cards at the retailing giant, but it also has cost financial institutions a pretty penny. Data collected by the Consumer Bankers Association and the Credit National Association says that the cost to these financial organizations has thus far totaled more than $200 million. Nearly 55 percent of the cards of affected customers have been replaced--almost all at no cost to the consumer.

►If you have an account at Kickstarter and haven't changed your password yet, you're behind in your security-breach news. The crowd-funding platform wants users to be aware of a hack last week in which customer data was stolen. Kickstarter says that no financial information was taken. However,  if you have an account, CEO Yancey Strickler says, "As a precaution, we strongly recommend that you create a new password for your Kickstarter account, and other accounts where you use this password."

►Officials from the state of Maryland have signed an agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to define the development of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in the state. According to The Washington Post, "The agreement marks the latest step in a public-private partnership. State officials say 16 companies have agreed to provide hardware, software and expertise to advance the development of cybersecurity technologies, including Cisco Systems, McAfee, Microsoft, RSA and Symantec." The center will find its home in a 65,000-square-foot renovated exisitng structure in Rockville, Maryland. Meanwhile, Ohio wants to be a player in cybersecurity, too. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio Third Frontier Commission hase approved a $5 million grant to support the Columbus Collaboratory, "a partnership established to help companies perform advanced analytics and improve cybersecurity.... The Columbus Collaboratory grant is part of more than $15.8 million that Third Frontier, the state's technology-based economic-development initative, plans to invest this year."

►ESPN reports that in Sochi, at the Winter Olympics venues, "Hotel guests are walking, unchecked, past unused metal detectors. Security guards are no longer poking around at the pockets and ankles of every person entering Olympic facilities. Tangerines and bottles of Coke are making it through security barriers that banned them two weeks ago.... Sometimes security measures are designed to be inconsistent, so that potential evildoers can't figure out the system. But the attitude of the ubiquitous guards seems increasingly laid back--some are flipping through their phones or listening to music while manning their posts--instead of calculated to thwart enemies." Despite all of the fears of terrorist activity, the games have been thus far uneventful, and this may be leading to the more relaxed attitude on the part of security. Or it may be because the larger region has been sealed off tightly, proposes International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. "The parameters of security are far from the main venues. The security forces are acting in an extremely friendly way so the Olympic atmosphere is not harmed at all," he told the Associated Press.


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