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Shocking Breaches of 2013

Largest data breaches in 2013

2013 has been a tough year for large, well-known tech companies that have fallen victim to cybercrime. From Facebook to Adobe, the continuing evolution of online threats means more organizations have been the victim of hacking than ever before. Here we run down some of the most shocking incidents from 2013, showing that when even the largest companies are at threat, it might be time to ensure your business is adequately protected.

Whether it’s services such as email encryption or a penetration testing service, businesses should be urgently checking their online security solutions. Because hacks such as the ones outlined below can cause any number of problems, be it expensive remedies or costly PR.

The New York Times

In January 2013, The New York Times was the victim of a security breach which lasted for four months. Custom malware was deployed on to the computers of 53 employees by a sophisticated team of Chinese hackers, giving the hackers access to information stored on the computers. They also managed to gain the password of every member of staff on the payroll. Although the hackers were dispelled, rumours of hacked information reaching the Chinese authorities have persisted.

The US Federal Reserve

In February 2013, the hacktivist collective Anonymous broke into several government websites and stole and posted sensitive information about 4,600 banking executives. This exposed the database of the St Louis Federal Emergency Communications Service, which allows the government to talk to financial institutions at times of crisis. With Anonymous posting login details and contact information to the government’s own website, a demand was made around reforming US computer crime law.

Facebook

Also in February 2013, Facebook was the victim of a sophisticated attack which may have allowed hackers access to its internal corporate network. Malware from a mobile developer website infected with malicious code caused the problem. Then in June 2013, Facebook found a bug which may have allowed contact information about members to be leaked with over 6 million Facebook users having their email addresses and telephone numbers shared without their consent.

Apple

In early 2013, Apple experienced a breach on its corporate servers after employee computers were infected with malware, all funnelled through a vulnerability in the Java web plug-in. This attack took place only a week after Facebook was hit by its very similar attack. The company announced that it was working with law enforcement agencies to investigate the security breach, but claimed that there was “no evidence that any data left Apple.”

All of these incidents show that no company or organization is immune to online security breaches. It’s a good time to check your own business’s online security. Whether it’s stringent testing or using a unified email security solution such as Mimecast, which will insure your companies emails and files will be archived and safe from prying eyes.

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Owner of ZeroSecurity, interested in programming, malware analysis and penetration testing. If you would like to write for the ZeroSecurity team, please use the contact form above.

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