Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Data Theft: Hackers Attack

Crooks may seek your identity, but “hacktivists” cause the blockbuster breaches .-

    We are constantly warned  to protect our  passwords, Social Security numbers and other  “personal identifying information” to thwart  thieves who may steal laptops or perpetrate online fraud. Although such breaches have  soared since 2005 (right) as criminals try to  commit identity theft, the truly enormous  breaches (bottom) have increasingly been car­ ried out by “hacktivists”—individuals or groups  who are angry about an organization’s actions.  Hackers, for example, exposed data about 77  million Sony customers after the company  pursued legal action against other hackers.  “More than 107 million people were affected  by hacking during the first half of 2011,” says  Jake Kouns, CEO of the Open Security Foun­dation in Glen Allen, Va., which runs the Data­ LossDB project .  
    Will you be informed if your data are ex­posed? Maybe not. Congress is considering bills  that would require companies to notify custom­ers of breaches only if there was a “reasonable risk” that personal information was taken. Right now many states require companies to disclose all breaches.  



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