2013 YEAR OF DATA BREACHES
Data Breach: The unintentional release of secure
information to an untrusted environment.
Many companies have suffered this year from data
breaches. Weather information was accidentally
published or the security system was hacked the victims
in these cases reach the millions.
First half of 2013 showed us that technological
advancements could make us even more vulnerable.
Unfortunately despite all of the security measures
companies take attackers will find away to penetrate
defenses and access sensitive information.
In February of this year twitter suffered a data breach
where the information of over 250,000 users was
exposed. Email addresses, passwords, and usernames
where unprotected leading Twitter to switch to a two-
factor authentication system to boost security and
protect its users.
This past January a highly refined hacker targeted reporters
at the New York Times in a breach that lasted months.
The sophisticated attacker broke security firewalls to have
access to the system. Once inside, they went on to
utilize valid credentials to access the computers of 53
employees. Once firewall systems where breached, the
attackers moved to a domain which contained all the
passwords of every Times Employee.
A bug that was uncovered through the companies white
hacker program, exposed the email address and
telephone numbers of 6 million Facebook users this past
Facebook said the issue stemmed from the way it
generates friend recommendations and that no other
user information was exposed.
The popular note-taking service had to reset the passwords
of all of its 50 million users after it detected a massive
The company commented explaining that its security team
discovered suspicious activity which appeared to be a
coordinated attempt to access its restricted systems.
The ticketed vendor Vendini detected an unauthorized intrusion
into its systems back in April of this year, the company did not
make the announcement until July (learn more in this Forbes
The attacker obtained personal information such as names,
phone numbers, passwords and even credit card numbers of
thousands of the companies customers.
As many as 30 organizations where affected such as the
University of Michigan, Ashville Community Theater, and
The Livingsocial breach affected over 50 million people.
Information like names, email addresses, and date of
birth was exposed.
The company went on to say that credit card was store in a
separate payment processing system but never
disclosed how it detected the attack in the first place.
WASHINGTON STATE COURT SYSTEM
As many as 1 million license numbers and over 160
thousand social security numbers where stolen this past
March from a security breach of the Washington State
Administrative Office of the Courts website.
Aside form the seriousness of the situation it also turned
embarrassing for some individuals. The data that was
stolen regarded individuals that had been booked into
city or county jail or that had been issued DUI’s .