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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.
February: Statfor hacked, Anonymous hands emails to Wikileaks
Loose-knitted hacking collective Anonymous successfully attacked Stratfor, a private U.S. intelligence firm, and swiped around five million emails. The data was then handed to Wikileaks for later publication. The email cache included invoices and details of sources connected to news media outlets, and employees of governments located around the world.
Once the full email cache was released, a controversy began when a number of Western Allied governments were accused of using TrapWire surveillance software. It was an overblown fear, not quite the 'global network of cameras' as suggested by a number of media outlets, but was nonetheless a potentially liberty-infringing network.