Establishing Digital Trust: Don't Sacrifice Security for Convenience
Recent data breaches exposed significant amounts of data from the mining company Goldcorp, the gaming site Lifeboat, and the Qatar National Bank. The exposed data includes employee tax information, login credentials, and banking details.
Hackers stole 14.8 GB of data from the Canadian mining company Goldcorp, and published the stolen information online. Bloomberg reports that the hackers attempted to extort money from the company before they published the data.
The data exposed includes employee login credentials, employees' tax forms and other payroll information, employee passport scans, progress reports, an international contact list, contract agreements with other companies, budget documents, and bank account and wire transfer information, the Daily Dot reports.
The hackers warned that several more data dumps are being prepared, and that the next dump will include "14 months of company wide emails, emails containing some good old fashion corporate racism, sexism, and greed."https://o1.qnsr.com/log/p.gif?;n=203;c=204650394;s=9477;x=7936;f=201801171506010;u=j;z=TIMESTAMP;a=20392931;e=i
Stephen Gates, chief research analyst and principal engineer at NSFOCUS, told eSecurity Planet by email that the Goldcorp breach is a perfect example of the risks companies face.
"Often companies ask themselves, 'Why would anyone attack us? Who would want our data?' As a result, many of them implement poor and antiquated defenses and employ junior security personnel because they believe the risk to the company is extremely low," Gates said. "Obviously here, that was not the case."
Separately, hackers stole more than 7 million email addresses and passwords from the Minecraft gaming site Lifeboat. The stolen information is being traded online, BBC News reports.
Security expert Troy Hunt told the BBC that the data was stolen in January 2016, but the breach was only recent disclosed. And while the passwords were hashed, Hunt said they were easy to decipher. "A large portion of those passwords would be reverted to plain text in a very short time," he wrote in a blog post on the breach.
"When this happened... we figured the best thing for our players was to quietly force a password reset without letting the hackers know they had limited time to act," a Lifeboat spokesperson told Motherboard. "We did this over a period of some weeks."
Motherboard also notes that Lifeboat doesn't seem particularly concerned about security, stating on its Getting Started page, "[W]e recommend short, but difficult to guess passwords. This is not online banking."
And hackers recently published 1.5 GB of documents, including customers' bank details, birthdates and phone numbers, that they claimed were stolen from the Qatar National Bank (QNB), Reuters reports.
QNB said that while some of the data was accurate, it also "contains a mixture of information from the attack as well as other non-QNB sources, such as personal data from social media channels."
In a statement on its website, the bank said, "QNB would like to take this opportunity to assure all concerned that there is no financial impact on our clients or the Bank."
"Unfortunately, it is not a matter of if but when sensitive or regulated corporate files will be publicly exposed," FinalCode CEO Gord Boyce told eSecurity Planet by email. "The interdependencies between banks, industry, government agencies and private citizens make it imperative to consider the grave consequences of data leakage, inadvertently or subversively, especially as confidential files are often shared between different entities."
A recent eSecurity Planet article offered advice on securing corporate data in a post-perimeter world.