2012: Looking back at the major hacks, leaks and data breaches

2012: Looking back at the major hacks, leaks and data breaches

Summary: ZDNet looks back at the year, on a month-by-month basis, at some of the most publicized hacks, leaks and data breaches of 2012.

TOPICS: Security, Cloud, Privacy

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  • July: Yahoo password breach exposes 450,000 user logins

    Yahoo, beleaguered by corporate failures and a revolving door of CEOs, came under fire once again after hackers were able to attack the firm's networks by exploiting a flaw and downloading 450,000 plain-text login credentials.

    While the breach was not as large as others, such as LinkedIn or Global Payments, but details of the breach were soon reported and it became quickly apparent how easy it was to acquire the vast cache of data. Using a union-based SQL injection attack, it showed just how insecure Yahoo's security was.

    Yahoo was subsequently sued for negligence shortly after the hack in a San Jose, California court. The hackers said in a blog post: "We hope that the parties responsible for managing the security of this subdomain will take this as a wake-up call, and not as a threat." A week later, the former Web portal giant gave the all clear and resumed its operations.

  • Nvidia developer forums hacked, company investigates

    Graphics unit maker Nvidia suffered a relatively minor security breach that affected the firm's developer forums. Coming only a few weeks after the LinkedIn, eHarmony, and Last.fm password debacles, by comparison the breach was not as bad as those who suffered breaches earlier.

    The firm said that it had secured the hashed passwords with "random salt values" making it slightly more difficult for the passwords to be decrypted, but Nvidia still sent all of its forum users a temporary password that must be changed on first use.

  • Formspring password breach, mass password reset follows

    Formspring was also next on the list of companies to be attacked and passwords stolen. As soon as the firm realized there had been a security breach, Formspring sent out an email to those affected asking them to change their password. 

    Around 420,000 password hashes were posted to a security forum, but username and other data were not submitted, making it almost impossible to do anything with. However, the form-based question firm used the SHA-256 algorithm to secure its user's accounts and passwords were hashed with random salts. Formspring now uses bcrypt in order to secure accounts even further.

Topics: Security, Cloud, Privacy

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  • And yet, we still tout the "security" of "the cloud"

    And yet, we still tout the "security" of "the cloud."

    Truth be known - if you're a cloud provider, you've probably been hacked. And you might not even know it.

    Yet, here we are, in an age where we claim cloud computing is "more secure."

    It's not more secure. In fact, the hacks against the cloud are far more scary and the stolen information far more important than anything we've seen against desktop PCs.

    Hack one person? You get one credit card number. Hack a cloud provider? You get EVERYBODY's credit card number.

    Frankly, it's time to re-think "the cloud" and how to provide security. Maybe "the cloud" isn't such a good idea for everything after all.
    • It's not the cloud.

      It's typical ZDNet propaganda by omission, details were left out. The first thing anyone want's to know in these articles is what OS was hacked. Most problems relate to password breaches, where a single Windows computer was hacked by a "Zero day" or malicious email to get password information and then everything came apart. Administrators can't remember all their information, but keeping it stored on a networked Windows notebook is negligence. For example, like what happened at Google. That's why Google no longer allows Microsoft operating systems to be used by employees. Another ZDNet article without any backbone, specifically for the benefit of MS.
  • It's not the Cloud????

    Funny . . . the servers, OSs, procedures, etc that a Cloud vendor provides is that part of the Cloud on which your corporate data resides but now with it there instead of in-house you have absolutely NO control over it. Plus, as the Cloud vendor expands its customer base, you will start to see the management and maintenance of your data outsourced offshore to the cheapest bidders who most likely will not care about the security of your company's data or or so underpaid that selling your customer database is the only way that the person can provide for their family.
  • Unfortunate Article Format - Poor editorial decision

    I really, really, really, really, really, really, really could have used a 'View as one page' option on this article. In it's present format it is totally useless to me. That also means that I do not have the opportunity to view your ads and sponsors. Think about it.
    Leo Regulus