Daily Digest (9/22)

Minn. Hospital Patients, Donors Hit in State’s Second-Largest Data Breach; Hackers Leak Information on 1,000 Top Belarus Officers; US Judge Approves Delay on WH’s WeChat Ban; Google and Apple to Limit Third-Party Tracking for Advertising. Click “Continue reading” below.

Minn. Hospital Patients, Donors Hit in State’s Second-Largest Data Breach

Patients and donors to the Allina Health Hospitals or Children’s Minnesota, a two-hospital pediatric health system in the Twin Cities, were notified that their data may have been exposed in the second-largest healthcare data breach in state history.

The breach followed a ransomware attack on third-party vendor Blackbaud, one of the world’s largest providers of education administration, fundraising, and financial management software in May, Infosecurity Magazine reports.

More than 3 million people in the U.S. have been affected by the Blackbaud attack. 

Hackers gained access to copies of a backup fundraising database stored by the Children’s Minnesota Foundation on Blackbaud’s cloud-computing systems, according to the report. 

“Based on our investigation and review of the affected Blackbaud database, the incident involved limited patient information that the foundation received in connection with its fundraising efforts,” Children’s Minnesota said in a statement.

The data included “full names, addresses, phone numbers, age, dates of birth, gender, medical record numbers, dates of treatment, locations of treatment, names of treating clinicians, and health-insurance status.”

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Hackers Leak Information on 1,000 Top Belarus Officers 

Hackers leaked the names and personal details of 1,000 high-ranking Belarusian police officers over the weekend in a response to violent police crackdowns. 

Details including, names, dates of birth, and the officers’ departments and job titles were exposed Saturday via a Google spreadsheet, ZDNet reports. 

The hackers leaked the data to Nexta, an independent Belarusian news agency, who published an unredacted version on Saturday.

The news agency asked followers to help verify the list’s accuracy and help expand it with additional details, according to the report.

“If you know facts about the crimes of specific people on the list — as well as their personal information (addresses, phones, car numbers, habits, mistresses/lovers) — write to the bot (REDACTED),” Nexta told readers. 

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US Judge Approves Delay on WH’s WeChat Ban 

A federal judge has approved a request from a group of U.S. WeChat users to delay federal government restrictions on the Chinese-owned app.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California said in a Saturday ruling that the government’s actions to block WeChat from app stores would affect users’ First Amendment rights by restricting their communication on the platform, The Associated Press reports.

The WeChat users requested an injunction after the Commerce Department said Friday it would bar WeChat from U.S. app stores beginning Sunday.

WeChat and another Chinese-owned app, TikTok, have been targeted by the Trump administration for national security and data-privacy concerns.

President Donald Trump said Saturday that he supported a proposed deal that would have TikTok partner with Oracle and Walmart to form a U.S. company, but TikTok still could be banned in the U.S. on Nov. 12 if the deal was not completed, according to AP.

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Google and Apple to Limit Third-Party Tracking for Advertising

Google and Apple said they would shield users from hundreds of companies that compile profiles based on online behavior. 

Google said it would phase out third-party cookies on its Chrome browser, starting in January, to make it harder for advertisers to track browsing habits but would continue to collect data from its own search engine, Wired reports.

Apple will require apps in a forthcoming version of iOS to ask users before tracking them across services. 

Abhishek Sen, cofounder of the NumberEight intelligence startup in the UK, said that Apple’s decision meant that “consumers (were) getting more conscious of privacy” and that it marked “the death of the cookie.”

NumberEight and similar companies use sensor data to categorize and contextualize user behavior to push targeted ads. 

With the new steps, rather than knowing user demographics or personal preferences, Google and Apple’s services will combine what they know on their own apps with information on what the user is physically doing at the time, Wired reports.

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By DPN Staff