Hackers don’t always target the largest companies. But they are everywhere, it seems, and quite prolific at breaking security protocols and exposing valuable information online. Only in the past few days, news of three such incidents have made the news.
The first such breach targeted the Colombian Police. Anonymous might be the best known hacker group at the time, but the “Colombian Hackers” have used spam bombs to access and expose personal data of employees of the National Police, also inviting the public to harass them.
BET24.com was the second victim of a breach and data loss incident triggered by hacking. Customers have been notified 19 months after the incident, although the gambling site claims they have upgraded their security earlier to prevent such incidents. The original hack accessed details such as names, addresses, email addresses, user account IDs, account passwords and encrypted customer payment card numbers. The information has been found in the possession of other individuals that the hackers, who have acquired it after the hack.
“The stolen information is so far known to have been used to access a limited number of customers’ BET24 accounts, third-party accounts and personal email accounts,” is said in a security notice. “A small number of customers have alerted us to unauthorised activity on their BET24 accounts and we have fully reimbursed them for any financial loss incurred on their accounts.”
The Tasmanian Government has been the target of the third hack, those responsible claiming to have stolen 1800 usernames, email addresses and hashed passwords. The data belonged to personnel of several state agencies including Departments of Premier and Cabinet; Treasury; Infrastructure, Energy and Resources; Health and Human Services; Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment; and Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts.
The weekend brings news of several security breaches, some showing a trend, others just containing very real warnings. As the week starts, here’s what you might have missed over the weekend, to keep you alert and informed. Today’s roundup brings you a few employees gone rogue on corporate data, sensitive information posted online, again the ever present stolen laptop and quite a few of these mishaps happening in institutions related to health care.
A security breach that happened back in April finally surfaced and it involves South Australian DNA testing company Medvet. The mishap led to customers’ names, work and home addresses, and types of DNA testing kit ordered being exposed online and dutifully indexed by Google. Australia’s Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim has already launched an investigation.
Curiosity is stronger than any sense of security or any fear of hackers and other malicious individuals, this was the conclusion of a security study run by the US Department of Homeland Security. The study proved how easily hackers and other individuals outside companies can easily go beyond firewalls and other security measures by simply planting USB sticks or computer disks in the right place.
The test tempted government employees by dropping the said USB memory sticks and computer disks in parking lots of government buildings and private contractors that work with the government, just waiting for them to take the bait. Read more