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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Beware of PureLocker Ransomware

Security researchers Intezer and IBM X-Force have identified a new ransomware that is seriously vicious. It’s PureLocker—named because it is programmed in PureBasic language, which is apparently unusual. The scary thing about this ransomware being written in PureBasic programming language is that it can target different platforms and is transferable between different operating systems, including … Continue Reading

To Extend or Not to Extend Consumer Rights to All

Microsoft announced this week that it would extend the consumer rights currently given to California consumers through the California Consumer Privacy Act to all consumers—no matter where they reside. I applaud this move (especially because I don’t reside in CA). But why should my personal information be protected differently than those who live in California? … Continue Reading

Managed Service Providers Hit with Ransomware Attacks

Cyberliability insurance provider Beazley Insurance Company has analyzed its internal breach response data and determined that in its experience, there has been a thirty-seven percent (37%) increase in ransomware attacks this most recent quarter from the last quarter of 2019. Twenty-five percent (25%) of those incidents were against managed service providers (MSPs). An MSP assists … Continue Reading

CCPA Amendment Details to Consider

In delving deeply into the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Amendments recently signed by the California Governor, and the proposed Regulations issued by the California Attorney General, we thought it would be helpful to point out some details that are important to consider for compliance which are not obvious in the CCPA discussions we … Continue Reading

California DMV Exposes 3,200 Drivers’ SSNs

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on November 5, 2019, that it inadvertently had allowed the Social Security numbers of 3,200 California drivers to be accessed by unauthorized individuals in other state and federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, and the district attorneys’ offices in Santa Clara and … Continue Reading

Energy Sector’s Reliance on IoT Increases Cyber Vulnerabilities

CyberX recently released its 2020 Global IoT/ICS Risk Report (Report), which compiles survey questions and answers from 1,821 production networks of electric utilities, and oil and gas companies. Although the Report admitted that oil and gas companies and electric utilities tend to be ahead of the curve on cybersecurity compared to other sectors, they are … Continue Reading

FBI Warns of E-Skimming Threats

For those of you that have websites that process online payments (such as retail, hospitality, health care, entertainment and utilities), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently issued a warning about e-skimming threats to those websites. E-skimming occurs when an attacker introduces malicious code on the website to obtain in real time debit and credit … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #214 – Veterans Warned About Risk of Misuse of Sensitive Personal Information

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) recently completed an audit of the VA’s Milwaukee Regional Office after it was tipped off by a whistleblower about the exposure of sensitive information on shared drives by employees who did not have authorization to view the information. According to the audit, sensitive information … Continue Reading

Hackers Eavesdrop and Obtain Sensitive Data of Users Through Home Smart Assistants

Although Amazon and Google respond to reports of vulnerabilities in popular home smart assistants Alexa and Google Home, hackers continually work hard to exploit any vulnerabilities in order to listen to users’ every word to obtain sensitive information that can be used in future attacks. Last week, it was reported by ZDNet that two security … Continue Reading

Philadelphia DPH Breach Exposes Hepatitis Patients’ Data

A reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer discovered that sensitive data of hepatitis patients were accessible online through a Philadelphia Department of Public Health (DPH) website tool without the need for a password. The Inquirer was able to access the data of some 23,000 patients who had contracted Hepatitis C. The vulnerable data included the patient’s … Continue Reading

Jackson Health System Fined by OCR

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on October 23, 2019, that Jackson Health System (Jackson), a not-for-profit hospital system comprised of six hospitals, urgent care centers, nursing facilities, and primary care and specialty services based in Miami, Florida, has waived its right to a hearing and did not contest the findings set forth in … Continue Reading

Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Continue to Be Targeted by Cybercriminals

A recent Ponemon Institute study finds that small and mid-sized businesses continue to be targeted by cybercriminals, and are struggling to direct an appropriate amount of resources to combat the attacks. The Ponemon study finds that 76 percent of the 592 companies surveyed had experienced a cyber-attack in the previous year, up from 70 percent … Continue Reading

NSA Warns of Hackers Attacking VPN Service Applications

The National Security Agency issued an advisory last week to warn companies and users that nation-state actors are actively exploiting vulnerabilities in several virtual private network (VPN) service applications to obtain access to users’ devices. The hackers are leveraging vulnerabilities in older versions of VPN applications, and if successful, the attackers can then remotely execute … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #212 – National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: “Own IT”

Everyone should be aware that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. TechNewsWorld is urging all users to “Own IT,” which “means staying safe on social media, updating privacy settings, and keeping tabs on apps. Simply put, users need to take better ownership of their data and their online presence as part of daily safe cyber … Continue Reading

CCPA News: Amendments Signed into Law by the California Governor and Draft Regulations Released by the State’s Attorney General

Last week was a busy week for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as Attorney General Xavier Becerra released draft regulations on October 10 and Governor Newsom signed several pending CCPA amendments into law on October 11.  The CCPA amendments clarified several important issues, including: employee information and business-to-business (B2B) communications are exempt from the … Continue Reading

FBI Warns of Sharp Increase in Ransomware Attacks in Certain Sectors

The Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recently issued a public service announcement warning private companies about the increasing numbers of ransomware attacks affecting private industry. According to the warning, “Although state and local governments have been particularly visible targets for ransomware attacks, ransomware actors have also targeted health care organizations, industrial … Continue Reading

Dental Practice Pays $10,000 Fine to OCR for Disclosing PHI on Social Media

Elite Dental Associates (Elite), located in Dallas, Texas has agreed to settle alleged HIPAA violations with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $10,000. The OCR alleged that it received a complaint from a patient in June of 2016 that Elite had disclosed the patient’s last name and details of the patient’s health condition on … Continue Reading

Department of Defense Subcontractors: Cybersecurity Compliance is Top Priority

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment has been on a fast track mission to shore up the cybersecurity measures of defense contractors and the supply chain to the Department of Defense (DOD). It is in the process of developing a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) requirement for those vendors. … Continue Reading
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