Despite what US mainstream media might be conveying with their breathless coverage of celebrity accounts being hacked for their lewd selfies, not all hacking activity is for titillation or criminal exploitation. A duo of hackers, self-dubbed LulzSecPeru, have penetrated multiple Peruvian government websites and servers, defacing webpages and stealing confidential data as a demonstration of their hacking abilities and purportedly to shake things up politically. Among the data stolen were several thousand emails from the former Prime Minister, which revealed the presence of possible undue influence by Peruvian industry lobbies. The sudden transparency nearly forced the resignation of the entire cabinet in a Congressional vote of no confidence which only missed passing by one vote.
What this means for you:
Once again, hackers prove that if it touches the internet (and sometimes even when it doesn’t), privacy breaches are just around the corner, especially when what is hidden is likely to be highly valuable to someone. Though this particular feat was slightly less salacious than the celebrity breaches, the only rule of thumb that can be followed is this: if you don’t want your “dirty little secrets” spread all over the internet, don’t put it on an internet-facing computer, cloud server or mobile device. Information, especially confidential data, is the new currency of the world economy, and as with all currencies, most folks will go to great lengths to amass it, especially if it has the potential to undermine authority or generate wealth. Complete isolation from the internet is impossible for most businesses, but you should review very carefully what information is stored where, and the potential damage it can cause your company if it were stolen or exposed in a security breach.