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The biggest security snafus of 2013 (so far)

Ellen Messmer | July 2, 2013
Late last December ended with a hacker leaking data on 300,000 Verizon FIOS customers which was apparently stolen via a marketing partner of Verizon.

- Wisconsin resident, 37-year-old Eric Rosol, was charged with participating in a distributed denial-of-service attack in Feb. 2011 against Koch Industries by hacker group Anonymous. If convicted, Rosol faces up to five years in federal prison and a total fine of $500,000.

- A large and prolonged distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack hit The Spamhaus Project, a European spam-fighting group. A month later, a Dutch man with the initials "SK" was arrested in Spain by Spanish authorities and charged with participating in the attack. Later in May, "SK" -- identified by one official as Sven Kamphuis, a spokesman for the Stophaus movement -- was extradited to the Netherlands as the investigation into the attack proceeds.

- Wells Fargo's banking website suffered disruptions after a group calling itself the al-Qassam Cyber Fighters said it had stepped up efforts to prevent access to it by Wells Fargo customers. American Express also said its website had been hit by a DDoS attack.

APRIL 2013
- Security vendor Sophos said it updated the software for its Web gateway security appliance in order to address three serious vulnerabilities that would allow attackers to gain access to configuration files containing sensitive information like plaintext passwords for other internal network services, and other issues.

- Two of Japan's major Web portals were hacked, with one warning that as many as 100,000 user accounts were compromised. Goo, the portal owned by network operator NTT, said it had no choice but to lock 100,000 accounts to prevent illicit logins. Separately, Yahoo Japan said it discovered a malicious program on company servers that had extracted user data for 1.27 million users, but was stopped before it leaked any of the information outside of the company.

- Online Bitcoin storage service, Instawallet, said it was accepting claims for stolen bitcoins after the company's database was fraudulently accessed.

- The Department of Defense Inspector General issued a report critical of how the U.S. Army was handling security for mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, calling the efforts so far a failure.

- North Korea's official Flickr and Twitter pages were vandalized, with the hacker collective Anonymous taking credit. The group posted an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with pig ears and a Mickey Mouse tattoo on his stomach. The images said Kim is "wanted" for "threatening world peace with ICMBs and nuclear weapons."

- In Florida, food delivery service Gainesville2Go said a fired ex-employee was to blame for an obscene message sent one morning to all customers in the company's e-mail list and subsequent Facebook and Twitter posts. The delivery service manager, apologizing to customers, said the former employee had been fired a few days earlier but had passwords to access the accounts and decided to try and ruin the business. Also in Gainesville, Fla., the University of Florida sent out letters to 14,339 patients of the UF&Shands Family Medicine at Main practice, telling them they might be the victims of identity theft. Two people have been arrested in connection with that, including an employee at the medical clinic.


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