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Can Your Firm Be Sued for a Data Breach?

Recent high-profile data breaches show that data can be vulnerable to physical or electronic theft, exposing individuals to unauthorized third parties and, ultimately, potential identity theft.

Although a company can face consequences for failing to use reasonable measures to protect its customers' data by the FTC, current law is inconsistent and not well settled concerning lawsuits. However, political pressure may lead to legislative changes that give more leverage to plaintiffs who sue over security breaches.

Companies can also be held liable in a broader context -- as opposed to an individual lawsuit -- in two ways: via the Federal Trade Commission and through consumer class actions brought by private parties or state attorneys general.

Microsoft warns of zero-day attack

Microsoft Corp. warned of a new, unpatched memory corruption error in its word processing software and said that it was investigating reports of "limited" attacks that exploit the problem.

The bug can be exploited by adding a string of characters in a Word file that can corrupt the PC's memory and allow the attacker to run unauthorized software on the system, Microsoft wrote in a security advisory. The bug affects many versions of the software, including Word 2000, 2002 and 2003, the Word Viewer 2003 and several versions of Microsoft Works.

Identity Theft At the Heart Of Raids Aimed At Illegal Immigrants

Federal agents raided Swift & Co. plants in six states as part of an operation aimed at illegal immigrants using stolen identities at the company's plants.

"Evidence uncovered during the ICE investigation indicates that large numbers of undocumented workers may have illegally assumed the identities of U.S. citizens and improperly used their Social Security numbers to gain employment at Swift facilities," the government statement said. "ICE agents and the Federal Trade Commission have identified hundreds of potential victims."

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