While data breaches are as common as any other daily occurrence in the business and individual worlds, the large security incidents don’t happen as often, especially if you think that one of the breaches in the top ten all time largest data exposures dates back to 1984. 2011 is not yet over and it already is the poster child of this top we all want to see unchanged.
2011 is the only year with three major data loss incidents in the top ten: Sony Corporation with 77 million records exposed, SK Communications, Nate, Cyworld with 35 million and again Sony Corporation through their Sony Online Entertainment division with close to 25 million records exposed. Luckily for us, although it featured large incidents, 2011 did not create as many victims as 2009 with its two incidents, Heartland Payment Systems, Tower Federal Credit Union, Beverly National Bank which share the number one position in the infamous top with 130 million records exposed and RockYou Inc. with another 32 million. Read more
According to the PlayStation blog, the 70 million users of Qriocity and PlayStation Network may have had their personal information compromised due to a successful hacker attack. Also the network has been shut down since April 20th and users have been unable to download content or play online.
The hacker attack resulted in personal information such as names, home addresses, e-mail addresses, birth dates and passwords being compromised, but the damage to credit card information has not yet been assessed. Read more
Military personnel included in exposed group of carpooling employees
A website built to help commuters carpool to work is exposing sensitive information of workers for hundreds of employers in Southern California, including at least one military installation. The reason for the data breach was caused by programming errors in the website code.
The bugs, discovered on the RideMatch.info website enable hackers to easily access personal information such as names, home addresses, phone numbers, the times they commute to and from work, and in some cases employee numbers. According to a recent article published by The Register, the SQL injection vulnerability was still active 2 days ago, although it has been discovered two weeks before and reported to a developer who runs the website.
The issue has been discovered and reported bu Kristian Hermansen, a security researcher. Upon receiving a form to fill in by his employer, apparently a legal requirement for all employees, he investigated the website where the information was to be posted.
RideMatch.info is a joint project developed by transit authorities in five regional governments in Southern California. Each individual using the website enters work and home addresses and the time they leave from each. Based on the data, the website then teams them with others who live and work nearby and commute at similar times, thus providing an effective carpool matchmaking services. Too bad the same range of data can be accessed by any hacker willing to exploit the vulnerability!
Everyone fears the Internal Revenue Service! But now it’s for a new reason. It seems using two applications they provide exposes taxpayers’ data to security breaches. The IRS deployed two critical computer systems although they new of their weak security and the risks they embedded.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) office, explains DarkReading, has recently issued a statement saying the IRS’s mainframe-based Customer Account Data Engine (CADE) for managing taxpayer accounts and its Account Management Services (AMS) for IRS access to taxpayer data contained security flaws that the IRS identified but did not fix before deploying them last year.
The billion-dollar, high-sensitivity CADE system is one of the key elements of the IRS’s computer modernization program, and processed about 20 percent of the 142 billion tax returns filed to the IRS.
AMS, meanwhile, includes taxpayer identification numbers in its application error log, and its operating system has only a 77.8 percent compliance rate with the required security settings, according to the report.
TGTA has no proof on any data being compromised or being accessed by any wrong doers, yet the risk has been quite real.