How do I feel?
I feel like the justice system has let me down, like the Wall Street protesters who, e.g. want to see the executives of my former employer who lied to congress at least get arrested.
TD Ameritrade (TDA) has refused to pass a security audit, and the attorneys supposedly representing the class are OK with that. If TDA had secured their customer data properly, they would, most certainly, be eager to show their customers and target market.
My friends and I are angry that TDA’s security is still Swiss cheese. Earlier this year, they accidentally admitted that they didn’t even have an IDS or IPS system in place! I hear they still don’t encrypt customer data and still grant staff far more customer data access than is needed to do their jobs. They’re in violation of Massachusetts law. They’re literally making millions serving customers over the Internet that they wouldn’t make without the Internet, but not taking the small steps necessary to protect those customers. They spent millions on attorneys (at one judge-managed mediation session, there were ~30 attorneys present.) Instead of covering up their mistakes, they should be doing the right thing.
They profit off the Internet, but won’t invest in it! Their databases are an open book to gangs and even determined high-school students. They should be hiring and training their staff and deploying resources so that they can pass a security audit. They’ll get hacked again. And when they do, they’ll be back in court. And this warning, which I delivered in court, will haunt them.
The Armstrong court cherry picked which objections in my final filing to address and which to ignore. The court demonstrated that it doesn’t even understand the 9th District’s own General Order (regarding PDFs) because it’s too technical! (Even though it’s quite simple.) There’s no way it understood all the key technical security issues in this case.
There’s been a news blackout with respect to the fact that TD Ameritrade actively covered up the security breach, as the whistleblower-sourced information I’ve published here details.
I’m glad that TD Ameritrade has at least received some bad press for its disgraceful behavior, and that those who filed claims are expected to receive significant compensation. I’m glad that the bulk of the class is at least somewhat aware of the breach. Unfortunately, the insignificant cost of this settlement sends the message that executives who underfund the Information Security department and direct the cover-up of a security breach breach are making the right choices, as far as the financial interests of shareholders go. TDA would need to spend more than it spent settling this case to shore up its security enough to pass a proper audit.