Wednesday PM headlines: Massive data breach hits Utah; USU and UDOT help pollinators
Utah Attorney General opposes rule to protect abortion info
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes joined 18 other states in objecting to a proposed federal rule that would expand HIPAA to protect information from officials attempting to prosecute certain legal abortions.
The proposed rule would shield information about legal, out-of-state abortions as well as abortions that meet exception to in-state bans, such as rape cases or medical complications.
Opponents of the rule say it would lessen states’ authority by empowering providers and insurers to determine for themselves whether abortion is lawful. Those in favor say it will protect patients who want to cross state lines for needed healthcare.
Utah’s pending abortion law would ban the procedure in nearly every circumstance, but while it's being litigated, abortion is legal up to 18 weeks. GOP officials haven’t attempted to criminalize seeking abortions in other states as of yet.
Massive data breach hitting Utah
A massive data breach exposing personal details has now reached Utah. The breach, which initially affected millions of people in Oregon and Louisiana, has put information like names, addresses and Social Security numbers onto the dark web.
According to Mike Bruemmer, Experian’s global vice president of data breach resolution, the culprit is a ransomware gang linked to Russia that used a security weakness in a file transfer tool called Move It.
About 2500 companies use Move It, including a vendor working with the University of Utah. The university said donors, thousands of current and former employees, and students have been exposed by the breach.
Bruemmer says ways to protect yourself include taking advantage of credit and bank account monitoring services, changing passwords, turning on authentication and watching out for suspicious calls, emails and texts, especially about the data breach.
USU and UDOT pilot project to help pollinators
A new project from USU and the Utah Department of Transportation is working to support Utah's bumblebees and other pollinators.
They’ve created a one-acre pollinator garden at the northbound I-15 rest stop in Perry in Box Elder County to give pollinators more habitat while also educating people on how to help bees.
A team of biologists has spent the last two years creating the garden. It typically takes around seven years for something like this to really take hold with pollinators, but biologists with the project said there are already signs it’s working.
The garden includes signs, links and QR codes to give people ideas on how to help pollinators back home. Biologists are also looking for community volunteers to maintain the Perry garden, as well as a second garden currently being built near Brigham City.