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.

TOPICS: Security, Malware

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  • LinkedIn,, eHarmony

    In June, LinkedIn,, 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. 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: 


  • MacRumors

    In November this year, the MacRumors forum was breached by hackers who probably gained access to names, passwords and emails of its users.

    In a blog post, administrators said that all of its 860,000 users were affected.

    "In situations like this, it's best to assume that your MacRumors Forum username, email address and (hashed) password is now known," Editorial Director Arnold Kim said. "While the passwords are "hashed" (which is a one-way conversion from your actual password to a scrambled version), given computing power these days, if your password isn't very complex, they could brute force figure it out by trying lots of combinations."

    The hack involved a hacker gaining control of a moderator account, who then boosted their privileges in order to steal the data. 

    Read also: 

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.