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Legislation to address 21st century cyber security heads to governor

Legislation to address 21st century cyber security heads to governor

The Hacker-for-Hire Prevention Act (AB 195) and Data Breach Notification Act (AB 964), by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), passed out of the Legislature today and are awaiting approval by the Governor.

“Cyber security is becoming a growing issue of concern in our society, because of the serious threat it poses to governments, private industries, and individuals,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau.  “These common sense measures will hold hackers – and those who hire them to commit computer crimes – accountable, and make sure businesses, state and local agencies have strong technological safeguards in place, if our private information is compromised.”

Hacker-for-Hire websites provide a way for individuals to solicit hackers for projects ranging from recovering lost passwords to tracking stolen devices. However, some of these websites also provide a platform for individuals seeking illegal hacking services from malicious hackers, such as installing spyware on devices, gaining access to email and social media accounts, and altering information of unsuspecting victims. Under current law, it is a crime for someone to knowingly hack into another individual’s computer network without permission. It is also a crime to solicit another individual to commit certain crimes, such as extortion or robbery, among others. AB 195 would include soliciting unauthorized hacking services to the list of crimes.

California law requires a business or state agency that owns or licenses computerized data to notify any California resident whose unencrypted personal information was acquired, or reasonably believed to have been acquired, by an unauthorized person following discovery of a data breach. This provision, serves to encourage businesses and agencies who store personal information to adopt encryption standards, so stolen information would be deemed less vulnerable to abuse. However, encryption is not clearly defined in statute. AB 964 defines “encrypted” to mean any data that is rendered unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to an unauthorized person through a security technology or methodology generally accepted in the field of information security.

For more information on AB 195 and AB 964, please visit: http://asmdc.org/members/a49/other-resources/21st-century-cyber-security

Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and portions of Montebello, and South El Monte.

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