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The Shocking Tales Of Data Breaches From The World Of Tech

Mehreen Siddiqua Apr 04, 2018
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Is it only Facebook that is in hot waters for data privacy breach? We know that is not the case. But whenever Facebook fails its users, we suddenly start to take the issue of data breach seriously.

In information age the priciest asset is data. This makes it vulnerable to theft and so the firms that provide data security are in demand. Yet there are incidents of data breach surging and now Facebook finds itself in hot waters after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Following this incident, the civil society, legislators and the users in general demand for active investigation and practical efforts to secure data.

Also, everyone took to social media to voice their concern and actively campaign for #deletefacebook. Since then, the tech giant has lost billions in brand worth and the stock prices has plummeted. However, it’s worth noting that this was not the only tech giant that failed to protect data. Several incidents on data theft in the recent past have brought to our attention the incompetence of tech companies.

Two instances, in general govern these security breaches.

There was a cyber criminal actively fishing for data and ends up on a vulnerable system.

Or

A vulnerable system that lacked effective data protection was exploited by employee or others to cause a breach.

You will notice either of the two instances are witnessed in all the recent data breach stories. So let’s explore some of the tech giants that compromises our data.

Yahoo – the final nail in the coffin

The tech giant that was once worth a $100 billion was eventually acquired by Verizon for $4.48 billion. Yahoo had been through a series of data attacks but the breach in 2013, compromising 3 billion user accounts was the final nail in the coffin. Not surprisingly, the group of hackers were able to get the names, dates of birth, email addresses as well as the passwords. It was touted as the biggest data breach in history.

“The company required all users who had not changed their passwords since the time of the theft to do so. Yahoo also invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so they cannot be used to access an account.”

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Uber defends leak of user information

The famous taxi-hailing firm tried to cover up a breach that took place in 2016 by paying hackers to delete the data. Almost 2.7million users in UK were affected including 57 million customers and drivers from around the world. Uber later confirmed that the names, email addresses, phone numbers and license details were compromised.

In a written statement, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said: “While we have not seen evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident, we are monitoring the affected accounts and have flagged them for additional fraud protection.

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Equifax fails to protect data

The company is a credit bureau that got infamous due to a data breach. It happened as a result of an application vulnerability that exposed the personal information, social security numbers and addresses of 147.9 million consumers. On top of that, they admitted their incompetence as they were clueless about the incident for 2 months. Besides that, 209,000 customers of Equifax had their credit card data exposed.

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Ebay cyber attack compromises 145 million users data

The tale of the online auction giant is also not free from controversy. eBay was hit by a cyberattack in 2014 and the personal details of 145 million users was accessed including their encrypted passwords. The hackers were able to get the credentials of 3 corporate employees which gave them access to the company for 229 days. Luckily the credit card information was stored separately which prevented access to crucial credit card details.

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Did you notice the similarities in all of the above stories? All these companies managed to fall back on their promises to protect consumer data. Note that all these stories begin with software vulnerabilities.

Mehreen Siddiqua

She is a millennial with a sense of humor that she embodies in visuals. A Digital Marketer focusing on Social Media Marketing by profession, exploring diverse avenues and ventures in tech while honing entrepreneurial skills. Currently she is the communications coordinator and strategist for Arpatech looking into e-commerce, consumer behavior and digital business models.