The world's biggest data breaches and hacks of 2013

The world's biggest data breaches and hacks of 2013

Summary: From Facebook to Adobe, 2013 has been a tough year for companies looking to defend against cybercrime.

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TOPICS: Security, Malware
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  • The NSA

    In June, the most high-profile data breach occured: catastrophic for the agency involved, and a catalyst for the subsequent media frenzy and outrage of the U.S. general public. Edward Snowden, a former contractor of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), leaked confidential documents to The Guardian and Washington Post, before going on the run and eventually entering Russian territory.

    The contractor quietly, over time, saved copies of confidential documents that documented the NSA's monitoring and spying activities at home and abroad. Documents are still steadily being released in to the public sphere, and as a result, the debate over governmental reach has been brought into the spotlight. Not only this, but the NSA revelations have impacted on international relationships between the U.S. and other countries. 

    Read also: 

  • LinkedIn, Last.fm, eHarmony

    In June, LinkedIn, Last.fm, and eHarmony were all subject to user passwords being leaked online, where a hacker posted the files on forums asking for help in cracking them.

    The eight million hashed passwords posted appear to belong to the professional social network, music streaming site and dating service. 

    All posted over several days, the biggest list of 6.46 million passwords was believed to belong to LinkedIn, and were not 'salted' -- which makes cracking hash lists faster and easier. In a blog post, LinkedIn later confirmed that some of the data did relate to user passwords -- and emails were then sent asking users to reset their details.  

    EHarmony confirmed the data breach, saying that a 'small fraction' of its users were affected. Last.fm soon followed suit, conducting an investigation and suggesting that passwords by changed. 

  • Adobe

    In October this year, Adobe admitted that 2.9 million user accounts were compromised in an attack which stole names, financial data and customer orders information.

    Brad Arkin, senior director of security for Adobe products and services, explained in a blog post that "one of the unfortunate realities of doing business today" was cyberattacks, and unfortunately Adobe's security team discovered sophisticated attacks on the company's networks, although the culprits were not discovered.

    In addition to the theft of customer data, Adobe said that illegal access to source code for products including Acrobat, ColdFusion, and the ColdFusion Builder was also discovered, although this was not a risk for customers. 

    Arkin said that while sensitive data and encrypted credit or debit card numbers were taken, federal investigators did not believe unencrypted numbers were removed from servers. 

    After the data breach, Adobe reset the passwords on breached Adobe customer IDs and notified customers if their financial details were exposed. In addition, the company offered these customers to enrol in complimentary credit monitoring services for a year. 

    Read also: 

     

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Topics: Security, Malware

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  • Merry Xmas....

    Again, your editors have put your hard work and talent into an unacceptable 'Slide Show' format.

    And, as yur editors well know, I ( and mnost other tech's) canhnot or will not read it.

    Time to clean up your resume, if you haven't already done so.
    Leo Regulus
    • rep: Merry Xmas

      time to give auto pager a try :D
      Hip Pham
  • Slide Show Stopper

    I agree with Leo Charlie. Tell ZDNet (and TechNet) to lose the slideshow format. Stops me every time.
    Governerd