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.

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TOPICS: Security, Cloud, Privacy
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  • Dozens of data breaches, millions affected

    During 2012, almost every industry -- from banking to insurance, government departments and even security companies that help to protect against such attacks -- were hacked or breached and vast amounts of data siphoned off from company networks.

    Many of the successful attacks came from those part of or connected with hacking collective Anonymous, but not all. From Social Security record breaches to a year of poor company policies on password and user details protection, along with massive hacking attacks that gave the ordinary citizen an insight into the shady private intelligence world, here's a look back at some of the major hacks, leaks and breaches of the year. 

  • January: Symantec Norton source code theft

    In January, hackers breached a network belonging to the Indian intelligence service and acquired a vast amount of Symantec's Norton anti-virus source code. It was subsequently posted on Pastebin, often used by hackers to post leak data and source code anonymously.

    Symantec was quick to state that the source code does not reflect the firm's current work. By analyzing the anti-malware source code, malware writers would be able to find weaknesses in order to bypass the software and hijack machines for malicious purposes. It's understood that the Indian authorities intended to inspect the source code, which was stolen from an insecure network.

  • 24 million affected by Zappos hack

    Online retail store Zappos suffered a significant data breach that exposed the accounts of about 24 million. Security experts thought it was the largest consumer data breach of 2012.

    Amazon.com-owned Zappos said hackers attacked an internal corporate network through a Kentucky-based server, and swiped customer account information, including email addresses, the last four-digits of credit card details, and cryptographically scrambled passwords. 

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.
    CobraA1
    • 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.
      Joe.Smetona
  • 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.
    j2will
  • 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