Feds: Fandango Customers Were Vulnerable to Hackers, Identity Theft

The movie-ticket company and a credit-monitoring service settle FTC charges.

Fandango puppets
National Journal
Brendan Sasso
Add to Briefcase
Brendan Sasso
March 28, 2014, 10:28 a.m.

If you bought movie tick­ets between 2009 and 2013 on Fan­dango’s mo­bile app, your cred­it-card in­form­a­tion may have been an easy tar­get for hack­ers.

Fan­dango settled a law­suit with the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion on Fri­day over charges that it failed to take ba­sic steps to pro­tect user data on its app for iPhones and iPads.

Cred­it Karma, a cred­it-check­ing ser­vice, settled sim­il­ar charges Fri­day with the FTC for fail­ing to pro­tect mo­bile-app data.

Neither com­pany is re­quired to pay any fin­an­cial pen­alty as part of the set­tle­ments, al­though both Fan­dango and Cred­it Karma are re­quired to es­tab­lish “com­pre­hens­ive se­cur­ity pro­grams” and to un­der­go in­de­pend­ent se­cur­ity as­sess­ments every oth­er year for the next 20 years.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suits, the com­pan­ies dis­abled a de­fault en­cryp­tion pro­cess, known as SSL cer­ti­fic­a­tion. As a res­ult, hack­ers could have eas­ily in­ter­cep­ted private in­form­a­tion, es­pe­cially on pub­lic Wi-Fi net­works of­ten found in cof­fee shops, shop­ping cen­ters, or air­ports, the FTC said.

Des­pite the vul­ner­ab­il­ity, Fan­dango as­sured cus­tom­ers that their cred­it card in­form­a­tion was safe as they checked out. Cred­it Karma claimed it was us­ing “in­dustry-lead­ing se­cur­ity pre­cau­tions.”

In a state­ment Fri­day, Fan­dango said it up­graded its se­cur­ity in March 2013 and that it is not aware of any cus­tom­ers who had their in­form­a­tion stolen.

“Se­cur­ity is among Fan­dango’s top pri­or­it­ies, and we are fully com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing our cus­tom­ers’ per­son­al in­form­a­tion,” the com­pany said. “We have re­viewed and heightened our se­cur­ity pro­gram to pro­tect our cus­tom­ers’ per­son­al in­form­a­tion, across all of Fan­dango’s products and plat­forms, and we test reg­u­larly for data se­cur­ity.”

A Cred­it Karma spokes­man said the com­pany has ad­dressed the se­cur­ity is­sue and is not aware of any lost data.

FTC Chair­wo­man Edith Ramirez noted that con­sumers are in­creas­ingly re­ly­ing on mo­bile apps to make pur­chases and handle sens­it­ive fin­an­cial in­form­a­tion.

“Our cases against Fan­dango and Cred­it Karma should re­mind app de­velopers of the need to make data se­cur­ity cent­ral to how they design their apps,” she said.

Sen­ate Com­merce Com­mit­tee Chair­man Jay Rock­e­feller, Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Patrick Leahy, and oth­er law­makers are push­ing bills that would al­low the FTC to fine com­pan­ies for in­ad­equate data-se­cur­ity prac­tices.

The FTC is cur­rently in­vest­ig­at­ing Tar­get over last year’s massive hack of cred­it-card in­form­a­tion.

What We're Following See More »
BUT CANCELLATION WILL NOT COME SOON
Grassley Says Hearing May Be Pushed Past Monday
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Wednesday a planned Monday hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would likely not go on without accuser Christine Blasey Ford," but said any decision to cancel would be made at the last minute.

Source:
GRASSLEY STILL WANTS HER TO APPEAR ON MONDAY
Ford Asks for FBI Investigation into Her Claims
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Christine Blasey Ford told Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley Tuesday night that she wants the FBI to investigate her claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, raising further doubts about whether she and Kavanaugh will appear before the committee on Monday." Grassley still wants her to

IN AFTERMATH OF FLORENCE
Trump Visiting Carolinas Tomorrow
1 days ago
THE LATEST
"It is not yet clear where in North Carolina Trump is expected visit. Trump is expected to visit Myrtle Beach while in South Carolina.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina are expected to fly on Air Force One with Trump."
Source:
TO OCT. 3
FEMA Postpones Trump Text Alert
1 days ago
THE LATEST

FEMA, "which oversees the wireless emergency alert (WEA) system, announced that the test that had been scheduled for Thursday will be pushed back to Oct. 3, citing the 'ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.'" The system, intended for national emergencies, allows the president to send a nationwide wireless message.

Source:
FORD CAN TESTIFY "IF SHE LIKES"
Graham Says Kavanaugh Vote on Wednesday
2 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login