Data breaches have dominated the headlines as of late, from the Target credit card breach to the most recent iCloud nude photo breach. I’m going to give you the answer to the question posed in the headline right now, in case you don’t want to read any further. The short answer to the question, NO.
That’s right; you’ll never be able to sit comfortably and know that all of your private data is being protected and will never be hacked or brute-forced into. Because the fact is, every company gets hacked. Some hacks are large and make the headlines, such as Target and iCloud. Others are small and go by unreported, and sometimes those companies declined to comment or even report the hack to their customers. Check out this list of recent hacks…
September 2, 2014 The Home Depot
Atlanta, Georgia BSR HACK
The Home Depot appears to be another victim of a data breach of their POS systems, reportedly by the same Russian hacking group that hit Target, Michaels, Neiman Marcus and P.F. Chang’s.
Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security reported that a significantly large amount of debit and credit card information went up for sale on the underground cybercrime sites, all leading back to purchases made at Home Depot stores across the US.
Home Depot is currently investigating the potential breach. Updated postings will follow as more information comes in.
More Information: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-retail-hacking-20140904-story.html
September 1, 2014 iCloud
Cuppertino, California BSO HACK
“A few days ago a group calling themselves hackappcom posted a proof of concept script on the popular code repository called Github that would allow for a user to attempt to breach iCloud and access a user account. This script would query iCloud services via the “Find My iPhone” API to guess username and password combinations. The problem here was that apparently Apple was not limiting the number of queries. This allowed for attackers to have numerous chances to guess password combinations without the fear of being locked out”.
The number of celebrity photos or private information breached is still unknown.
August 28, 2014 J.P Morgan Chase
New York, New York BSF HACK
The FBI is investigating a sophisticated hacking attack on JP Morgan Chase and potentially seven other financial institutions. Originally it was reported that possibly one to four other institutions may have been affected, but it appears that the breach could be much larger than originally thought.
The hackers, who are reportedly Russian, gained enough personal information to completely wipe out bank accounts. The sophisticated and coordinated attacks go beyond the typical criminal hacker (s) according to authorities. Investigators are looking into the reasons behind the coordinated attack.
It appears that not only did the hackers gain access to the accounts, but also altered and possibly deleted information.
The attack appears to have been coordinated and directed at specific JP Morgan Chase employees to gain access to their computers and databases at the bank.
Experts are communicating that the hackers would have had to of spent a significant amount of time researching and studying the record system of the bank prior to attempting any kind of unauthorized access. “What was even more concerning is these hackers were able to modify records using high-level credentials and do it in a way that was undetected.”
Those are just three examples of hundreds of instances of hackers gaining access to sensitive data. Everything from hospitals and credit card companies to Apple and Google, whether it’s hacked services or keylogger tactics, your data is always at risk. It’s the choice you make when you decide to trust information to servers that are not under your control. Now I’m not saying to run out and close all your accounts and bury yourself underground with 40 years supply of food. I’m just saying you have to take precautions with your personal data, don’t always rely on companies like Google and Apple to do it for you.
Both Google and Apple offer two-step authentication, which is a good thing to activate on your accounts, and of course, strong passwords and various passwords are a must. As much as these companies are responsible for your data, the responsibility starts with you first. I mean, you don’t leave your house on vacation without locking the door and setting alarms. You might even have a neighbor or family member come over to check on things from time to time. Think of your online accounts in that manner, and you will probably be OK. I say probably because anything is possible; there’s no telling when a hacker will decide to breach who, what and where.
Featured image courtesy blog.credit.com.