Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations. She counsels a range of public and private clients from industries such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine and charitable organizations, on state and federal data privacy and security investigations, as well as emergency data breach response and mitigation. Linn is an Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Cybersecurity at Brown University and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law.  Prior to joining the firm, Linn served as assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Rhode Island. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and her B.A., with honors, in American Studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Read her full rc.com bio here.

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DSH Warns of North Korean Advanced Persistent Threat Group Kimsuky Tactics

The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) this week issued Alert (AA20-301A) titled North Korean Advanced Persistent Threat Focus: Kimsuky warning U.S. businesses, and particularly those in the commercial sector, about tactics used by North Korean advanced persistent threat (APT) group Kimusky. https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-301a The Alert, co-authored by the Federal Bureau of … Continue Reading

Urgent Warning of Imminent Threat to Hospitals Issued by U.S. Government

On October 27, 2020, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned the health care industry about “an imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.” According to the warning, which was shared during a conference call, the government has received “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. … Continue Reading

UK National Cyber Security Centre Issues Security Alert for SharePoint Vulnerability

The UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued an alert on October 16, 2020, to raise awareness “of a new remote code execution vulnerability (CVE – 2020 – 16952)”, which affects Microsoft’s SharePoint product. According to the alert, “successful exploitation of this vulnerability would allow an attacker to run arbitrary code and to carry out … Continue Reading

Ransomware Attack Affects Georgia County Election Administration System

Hall County, Georgia reported on October 7, 2020, that it was the victim of a ransomware attack that disrupted some of its systems, including email and telephone services in public buildings and the sheriff’s offices. Last week, the county indicated that in addition to telephone and email services, the ransomware attack also affected the county’s … Continue Reading

NSA Issues List of Vulnerabilities Used by Chinese Backed Hackers

The National Security Agency (NSA) issued a Cybersecurity Advisory on October 20, 2020, entitled “Chinese State-Sponsored Actors Exploit Publicly Known Vulnerabilities,” alerting IT professionals to 25 vulnerabilities that Chinese state-sponsored hackers are using against U.S. businesses that “can be exploited to gain initial access to victim networks using products that are directly accessible from the … Continue Reading

OCR Settles with NY Spine for Failure to Provide Access to Records

Continuing its enforcement priority of assisting patients with obtaining access to their health records, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently settled its ninth case with a covered entity that it alleged failed to provide proper access of health records to a patient. NY Spine Medicine, a medical practice providing neurological and pain management series … Continue Reading

Secureworks 2020 Incident Response Report Confirms Increased Vulnerabilities with At Home Workers During Pandemic

Secureworks issues an annual Incident Response Report that is very helpful in obtaining information on what types of incidents are occurring in order to become more resistant to threats. The 2020 IR Report was recently issued, and it contained some conclusions that made sense, while others were surprising. The Report, entitled Pandemic-Driven Change: The Effect … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #256 – COVID-19 Scams Continue to Plague U.S. Public

It has been widely reported that hackers are taking advantage of the pandemic to perpetrate scams and frauds. We have seen attacks against workers of companies through phishing emails that include an attachment or link offering information or access to specialized treatment for COVID-19 to lure people to click on them. Once they click on … Continue Reading

Patching Gets More and More Complicated but is Critical for Managing Risk

Patching vulnerabilities has always been challenging, but these days, it is getting more and more complicated as manufacturers try to stay abreast of zero-day vulnerabilities and issue patches as quickly as they can. Microsoft is well-known for its Patch Tuesday, which is a monthly roll-out of the patches for vulnerabilities it has become aware of … Continue Reading

Dignity Health Settles with OCR for $160,000 for Failing to Provide Access to Records

Continuing with its previous enforcement actions centered on covered entities’ failure to provide patients with access to their health records, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on October 9, 2020 that it entered into a settlement with Dignity Health, doing business as St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix (St. Joseph’s) for $160,000 … Continue Reading

Community Health Systems, Inc. Settles for $5 M in Multi-State Settlement

On October 8, 2020, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (AG) announced that his office has entered into a multi-state settlement agreement with Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS) stemming from an investigation of a 2014 data breach that exposed personal information of approximately 6.1 million patients, including 45,000 New Jersey residents. This is after CHS … Continue Reading

Morgan Stanley Settles with OCC for $60 Million

Morgan Stanley has settled claims by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that it failed to properly decommission data centers that housed client data of its wealth-management operations two times—once in 2016 and once in 2019 for $60 million. According to the OCC, Morgan Stanley “failed to effectively assess or address risks … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #255 – Federal Agencies Warn of Online Predators’ Access to Children During Pandemic

Late last week, October 9, 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York issued a warning to the public entitled “Internet Predators: Warnings & Prevention for Families During the Pandemic and Beyond”  which is a must read for parents, teachers, families, and frankly, everyone. Warning: it is a scary read in … Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber of Commerce and FICO Release Security Guidelines on Telework During COVID-19

It is no secret that companies are experiencing an increase in security incidents following the transition from work in the office to work from home during the pandemic. There are a number of causes, including the difficulty of controlling the security of at-home technology equipment such as routers, printers, personal assistants and other IoT devices, … Continue Reading

Premera Blue Cross Settles with OCR for $6.85 Million for Breach of 10.4 Million Records

Premera Blue Cross (Premera) has agreed to settle with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $6.85 million over allegations of violations of HIPAA after an investigation of a data breach that occurred in 2014 affecting 10.4 million individuals. This is the largest settlement the OCR has entered into with a covered entity in 2020, … Continue Reading

Health Care Entities Continue to Get Hit by Ransomware: Universal Health Services Estimated to be Largest One in 2020

Health care entities continue to face a barrage of attacks from cyber criminals, and it is widely reported that the health care industry is getting hit more frequently than any other industry. Ransomware is the name of the game for these attackers in all industries, including health care. Unfortunately, what is being touted as one … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #254 – FBI Issues Warning of Using Hotel WiFi if Teleworking from Hotel

On October 6, 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) issued a warning to consumers about using WiFi when teleworking from a hotel. The FBI acknowledges that many workers are having difficulty working from home during the pandemic due to a host of issues. According to the FBI, “U.S. hotels, predominantly in major cities, have … Continue Reading

OFAC Issues Advisory on Sanctions for Facilitating Ransomware Payments

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory “to highlight the sanctions risks associated with ransomware payments related to malicious cyber-enabled activities.” The advisory acknowledges that the incidents of ransomware attacks on U.S. companies have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the advisory does … Continue Reading

Tyler Technologies Victim of Cyber-Attack

As one of the largest information technology service providers to local governments, the cyber-attack on Tyler Technologies (Tyler) in Plano, Texas is a sobering reminder of how a cyber-attack on a third-party vendor can put government data at risk. According to reports, Tyler may have been the victim of a ransomware attack that disrupted its … Continue Reading

Athens Orthopedic Settles with OCR for $1.5M for Data Breach

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that it has settled potential violations of HIPAA with Athens Orthopedic Clinic PA (Athens) for $1.5 million, following an investigation of a data breach that occurred in 2016. The data breach compromised the protected health information of 208,557 individuals when … Continue Reading
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