1.2 Billion Passwords Stolen by Russian Criminals

The Internet is becoming a more dangerous place every day, as demonstrated by the amount of data breaches that have come to light in the past year alone. It seems that every time we turn around there’s another data breach – Target, eBay, P.F. Chang’s. Possibly even worse than those data breaches are the breaches that involve billions of passwords to sites that we’re still unsure about. It’s estimated that Russian criminals stole credentials from over 420,000 websites recently. These websites range from local mom and pop type websites all the way up to the big names. The big issue – the names of the sites can’t be released due to non-disclosure agreements.

What Does This Mean for Me?

Surprisingly, these thieves don’t seem to be interested in anything financial. They’ve simply been gathering peoples’ data from different websites. That’s the reason that it’s taken so long for people to become aware of the problem. Since most individuals and companies aren’t being targeted directly, those individuals and companies haven’t noticed that anyone has stolen their credentials. The problem is that these criminals could, at any time, decide that they want your financial information. This means that as an Internet user, you need to be extremely careful about your credentials as well as where you share your credit card information.

How Can I Improve My Cyber Security

There are many different ways to do this, but CNN has a few suggestions for this particular type of attack that could help you keep your credit card information under wraps and make it difficult for these criminals to access your information.

  • Use a two-factor security code – Many websites are starting to offer this. You’ll have your actual password (the one that you make up) as well as a second set of credentials. This is usually a randomly generated code from an app that you can download on your smart phone or tablet so that only you have access to that security code.
  • Be aware of who you’re giving your credit info to – Generally speaking, it’s best not to give your credit card information on the Internet. It can be unsafe, as hackers are capable of getting into all different types of websites. You should use a two-factor security code for whatever websites you give your credit card information to – it’s also advisable to use our rules for strong passwords whenever creating an account that uses your credit card.

Does your small business need some help in the cyber security department? Outsourcing your IT and learning more about it can be a great first step. To talk to someone about cyber security for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

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Source: CNN Money


Going Forward from the eBay Data Breach

The eBay data breach that we covered last week has left a lot of people worried about their online safety. While we’ve talked a lot about how you can keep yourself safe online in general, there are a few extra things that you can do to stay safe on a website like eBay. The nature of the site means that you’re monetary information is right there for any hacker to get ahold of and see. Spending your money online isn’t difficult once a hacker gets ahold of it. That being said, check out these suggestions from The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and use them in conjunction with your previous IT safety knowledge.

  • Change your password – Most of you know to do this anytime that a data breach has occurred, with big name companies (and even full web browsers) being attacked in the past year. Creating a strong password that a hacker is going to have a hard time getting ahold of is a smart way to keep your information secure.
  • Don’t use your eBay ID or password elsewhere – If you maintain the same identification across different websites, it becomes increasingly easy for hackers to steal your information. If you decide that using it both places is something that you HAVE to do to remember your information, be sure to change your username and password elsewhere, too.
  • Never give your personal information to eBay over email – Hackers are getting better at appearing like they’re sending you information directly from companies via email when what they’re really doing is stealing your personal information. Only use the website itself and even then limit the amount of information you’re giving out. You never want to be an open book for hackers.
  • Check your credit report and bank statements – Know what money is going in and out of your account. You should also check your credit score once per year to find out if a credit card has been opened that you aren’t aware of or if there’s some change in your score that you can’t explain. This could mean someone has hacked your information and stolen your identity.

Keep yourself and your information safe by following the tips above and using good common sense on the Internet. If you own a company and are worried about people hacking into your company information, you should consider outsourcing your IT needs to a company like Working Nets who can help you figure out what the best way to keep your information safe is. To inquire about protection against security breaches, call us today at (443)-992-7394 or fill out our online form.

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Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2014/05/26/how-to-protect-yourself-after-the-ebay-data-breach/

Second Largest Data Breach Hits EBay

EBay has now fallen victim to a cyber-attack, which was disclosed by the company Wednesday. The hackers were able to gain access to the database of 145 million EBay users and their records. Hackers were able to steal information like mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and passwords; however the company assures its users that no PayPal or financial data was compromised during the attack.

EBay has given a small insight as to how the hackers were able to gain access to the information. They claim that the attack took place between the end of February and the beginning of March and that hackers used credentials they obtained from employees. Using this information, they were then able to access the company’s database holding millions of users’ records.

The attack has left many experts questioning how the company missed the attack that took place nearly three months ago. Experts are left wondering if the employee’s whose credentials were stolen were really authorized to have access to such information. EBay is working with FBI to investigate the attack and has hired a forensic division from Mandiant, a company through FireEye Inc. to help with the investigation. Internet security expert Dan Kaminsky wants to know how the information was compromised and why it took so long for EBay to detect the attack. The attack comes in second to the October 2013 attack on Adobe Systems Inc. that left 152 million user accounts compromised, but surpasses the December 2013 attack on Target Corp that compromised 40 million credit card accounts and 70 million customer records.

If you are concerned that your business could be in jeopardy of a hacker attack, contact Working Nets Inc. today. At Working Nets, we provide services like security and disaster preparedness as well as virus and spyware protection. Working Nets strives to provide small businesses with the protection they need to help their information stay secure. To inquire about protection against security breaches, call us today at (443)-992-7394 or fill out our online form.

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