If you thought you had data breach fatigue, prepare to be exhausted this week:
- Hacker tries to scam Internet with fake DropBox password database – DropBox refutes the claim, noting the “proof of hack” provided consisted of known stolen passwords from other sources.
- Kmart Hacked – Undisclosed Quantity of Credit Card Numbers Stolen – Sears-owned retail outlet may have been a victim of known point-of-sale malware “Backoff”, says no identity info stolen, just credit and debit card numbers.
- SnapChat denies it was source of potential racy photo leak – Third-party addon app “SnapSaved” blamed for providing an avenue for hackers to save pictures from SnapChat. SnapSaved admits to security breach, but downplays claims that hackers could provide a “searchable” database of photos.
- NATO Summit Gets Breached by Russian Hackers – Hackers whom security analysts believe to be Russian exploited a Zero-day flaw in Windows operating systems through a spearphishing campaign targeting Ukrainian government workers, leading to breaches on government servers and probably information leaks from Summit proceedings.
- Google Documents Flaw in SSL 3.0 Protocol – Google documents a serious flaw in encryption protocol SSL 3.0, immediately removes it from Chrome web browsers. Though outdated, SSL 3 is still widely used as a fallback protocol when newer protocols fail to function.
- 850K Records Exposed in Oregon Employment Dept Website Breach – State-run website exposes personal information on hundreds of thousands of job seekers. No financial information was exposed, but leaked info could lead to identity theft.
Another day, another social networking site hacked. This time, unfortunately, it was new internet darling SnapChat that was breached, exposing over four million mobile numbers and user names. The hacker(s) who published the data did so purportedly to compel Snapchat to take action on security flaws in its platform that have been known since earlier in the year, but remained unpatched up to (and even past) the public release on Dec 31, 2013 of the information harvested by exploiting the security flaws.
What this means for you:
SnapChat is very popular with younger generations who moved to the service for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was more privacy (from Facebook-savvy parents and authority figures) and less permanence (Snaps are deleted forever within seconds of being shared). Irony aside, the data exposed in the security breach reveals sensitive personal data from millions of individuals, many of whom are probably minors, a demographic that may include your child(ren).
You can check this website to see if any of your family’s mobile numbers were leaked by this SnapChat hack. While the data released isn’t as sensitive as bits like Social Security numbers, birthdates or debit card pins, some other services do use mobile numbers as identifying data, alongside usernames which many people (including Snapchat teens) like to re-use as part of their online “brand.” Armed even with these slender morsels, clever social engineers can wedge their way into someone’s online presence and use it as a stepping off point for a complete takeover of an identity, leading to credit fraud, theft and much, much worse.
I can count on one hand the number of people that have said to me, “There’s not enough stuff on Facebook!” without using any fingers (and she was new to Facebook). More often, I hear, “I can’t keep up,” or “I have to sort through a lot of fluff to find anything good.” According to an opinion piece published in Business Insider, Facebook appears to be collapsing under the weight of its market dominance that is only exacerbated by the ease of posting anything to their stream from just about any device. So take this fire hose of updates from everyone you know and add video advertisements that will automatically play as they appear (sound muted…for now).
Yep, Facebook is adding commercials to your already overflowing news stream.
What this means for you:
If you weren’t already avoiding Facebook, in-line video advertisements might just push you over the edge. Advertisers seem to be salivating at the prospect, with some analysts predicting 1-day 30-second spots costing millions of dollars, but with the potential of reaching billions of viewers. Seeing as Facebook can segment their users into just about any size demographic target, they may start carving up the ad space into more affordable chunks, giving us the social media equivalent of late-night cable community channel or local TV station commercials. I’m only guessing, but this might raise the banality factor a bit too high for most folks, and Facebook could continue to see an exodus of its highly-prized 18-24 demographic as they move on to more focused and less spammy social media platforms like SnapChat, Instagram and WhatsApp.