Leaked employee passwords open up Fortune 500 companies to hackers

Leaked employee passwords

 

It’s one thing when your iCloud account with personal photos gets hacked. It’s another when your Fortune 500 company has a data breach because your office credentials were leaked online.

At 221 of the Fortune 500 companies, Fortune magazine’s list of the the top 500 U.S. public corporations ranked by gross revenue, employees’ credentials are posted publicly online for hackers to steal and reuse in cyberattacks, according to new research from the web intelligence firm Recorded Future.

Corporations, especially highly sensitive targets like Fortune 500 companies, spend a great deal on securing their networks against hackers, but that could be for naught if an employee carelessly uses his office credentials to sign up for, say, a gaming forum.

The sensitive information can be found on forums and text repositories like Pastebin, which are fertile ground for username and password dumps. Researchers at Recorded Future scoured approximately 600,000 websites for credentials posted between Jan. 1 and Oct. 8, 2014. During their analysis, they found at least one username/password combination at 44% of the Fortune 500 companies, leaving those companies vulnerable to hackers who could use the data to break into networks or mount phishing and social engineering attacks, Recorded Future CEO and cofounder Christopher Ahlberg told Mashable.

These credential dumps are outside the companies’ control, Ahlberg said. The data likely come from third party sites — not from breaches of companies’ servers — where an employee used a corporate email to sign up for something. In the past few years, for example, hackers have breached websites and services like Adobe and Forbes.

One caveat is that there is no way to know whether the password used on a third-party site matches the employee’s password used on his corporate account. In other words, Fortune 500 employees’ information may be posted online — but it doesn’t necessarily that information will lead to a successful compromise.

“It’s a coin flip whether or not these credentials taken from third party sites are valid,” Scott Donnelly, the lead researcher on the report, told Mashable. “But when there’s 10 or 20 from a particular company, then odds are you’ve got one that’s valid.”

Below, the breakdown of the 221 companies listed in the report:

Leaked employee passwords open up Fortune 500 companies to hackers

companies

But having an employee’s username and password isn’t necessarily enough — hackers need to know where to use them. In some cases, Recorded Future also found that the webmail login pages of some utility companies are easily searchable on Google, which makes those companies even more vulnerable if an employee’s credentials are compromised.

The report doesn’t name names — either of companies or individuals — and Recorded Future has not notified any of the companies yet, according to Ahlberg and Donnelly. The goal of their research, they said, is to show that big companies are not immune to huge password leaks.

We’ve seen evidence of that lately.

Two weeks ago, a hacker claimed to have dumped 7 million Dropbox usernames and credentials. In a separate instance in early September, 5 million usernames and passwords appeared on a Russian forum (that information likely came from various earlier hacks, though). And in August, a security firm claimed to have found $1.2 billion credentials stolen by Russian hackers, though the firm’s report has been contested.

The issue with these dumps, even when they don’t involve services like Gmail or Dropbox, is the same: the danger of password reuse. If you always reuse the same password, a hacker doesn’t need to breach Google to obtain your Gmail password; instead, he can get it from your Fantasy Football forum. That’s why Facebook announced last week that it has been actively scouring sites that host dumped credentials to notify users if their password had been compromised.

Ahlberg and Donnelly warn that even more companies have probably been compromised, but those employees’ credentials have not been posted publicly.

“We have a pretty good coverage of the underbelly of the web, but these are just the public posts,” Donnelly said. “We’re highlighting how easy it is for somebody to just open the door and exploit a company because the information is sitting out there. But most certainly, there’s information that’s yet to be published.”


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  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

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A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

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Reference: http://mashable.com/

Banking Sector Leads In Global Data Leakage – Infowatch Report

Data Leakage The banking and financial services industry is at high risk for data leakage with over 40 per cent of leaked personal data globally, according to the Infowatch Global Data Leakage Report 2014.

Infowatch Group is the global leader in data leakage protection solutions.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Natalya Kaspersky, said the industry was involved in the leakage of 313 million personal data attributed to 135 cases reported last year.

“Although healthcare segment recorded a higher number of cases, the personal data compromised were much lower in volume compared to the banking and finance sector at 58 million,” she said during her presentation via webinar today.

She said the type of data breached was led by information breach, followed by data fraud and exceeding access rights.

The way data was being leaked was also changing, she said, from the traditional paper or hard copy to a more sophisticated way through browsers and cloud.

Kaspersky said data leakage might soon overtake other threats when it comes to financial and reputation damage to an organisation.

“It is the consumers which are being put at risk when organisations did not put enough precautions to prevent leaks, as the report revealed that 92 per cent of information leaked are personal data,” she added.

Meanwhile, Infowatch Asia Pacific/Malaysia Regional Head, Renga Nathan, said the awareness on the importance of data leakage protection in Malaysia was still very low probably due to the lack of enforcement in terms of Personal Data Protection Act.

“In Malaysia, the penetration of such solutions is only about ten per cent, while in the banking sector only 30 per cent have that kind of protection,” he said.

However, there has been an increasing awareness whereby more organisations are now putting in more budget allocations to extend their data protection to leakage solutions.


SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.bernama.com.my/

5 IT Shortcuts That Put Your Company’s Data at Risk

computers
IT departments looking to save time and money shouldn’t be doing so at the expense of their data protection. A study from the University of Texas revealed that 43% of companies suffering from catastrophic data loss close and never reopen, and 51% close within two years.

Backup solutions provider Unitrends warns IT professionals about five common data protection shortcuts that could put their company’s data — and even their jobs — at risk.

Ignoring Hardware Failures

Hardware failures are the leading cause of data loss. Though most IT professionals don’t completely disregard hardware that is failing to back up company data and systems, many do often ignore the fact that certain backup mediums have high failure rates, such as tape or a SAN or NAS storage device that is used as both the source and target of a backup. To reduce the risk of hardware failures, move data from primary storage to a separate, secondary storage device. Disk-to-disk backup is the best approach, as it’s more reliable than tape and still ensures a physically separate secondary storage set that can survive hardware and system failures.

Trusting Co-workers to Follow Policies

The reality is that employees aren’t always great at following company policies, and even when they do, mistakes still happen. The best defenses against human error are automation and retention. Automation enables automatic execution and strict enforcement of created policies and procedures, and retention enables data recovery, regardless of whether the data loss is noticed right away or weeks later.

Underestimating Cybercriminals

By now, most companies have at least basic security solutions, such as firewalls and anti-virus software, in place to defend against malware. But cybercriminals are becoming very adept at breaking through traditional cyberdefenses. IT professionals should evaluate their infrastructure, identify areas of vulnerability and implement advanced security solutions to overcome them. These solutions include web monitoring software for safe Internet usage, end-point protection for bring-your-own-device management and a sandbox to fight targeted attacks. From a backup perspective, the best approach is to operate backup and disaster-recovery solutions on a non-Windows operating system. Windows has long been one of cybercriminals’ favorite targets, and running protection software on an operating system that is relentlessly under attack just doesn’t make sense.

Playing the Odds

Despite data-loss horror stories, many companies still don’t have disaster-recovery plans in place to protect information from natural and man-made disasters. And many of the companies that do have set plans have just one general set of guidelines that apply to all disaster situations. A strong plan focuses on people, infrastructure and processes, and clearly outlines how each is affected in different disaster scenarios.

Failing to Test Disaster-Recovery Plans

Failure to test disaster-recovery plans, or testing them on an infrequent basis, can greatly increase the risk of data loss in the event of a disaster. Since IT infrastructure evolves daily, thorough testing must be done on a consistent schedule that allows it to be adopted as yet another standard business practice.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://mashable.com/

5 super easy tips for better online security on Safer Internet Day

It’s Safer Internet Day! Every February 10, the occasion is meant to be a reminder — particularly to young people — of the perils of the Internet.

Internet Security

The hope is to encourage more responsibility when we use the Internet and mobile technology. That can mean a lot of things and can be as simple as being more respectful online.

But it’s also a reminder to better protect yourself and your personal information. Google, for example, is using the day to remind people about the importance of online security. Coincidentally, the U.S. government happened to announce a new government agency completely dedicated to combating cyberthreats on Tuesday.

Of course, it’s always a good time to remind people that it’s easier and perhaps more common than ever before to fall victim to online attackers and cybersecurity risks. Every person should be taking measures to stay safer online. Before your eyes glaze, we have some very easy things that anyone can do to protect themselves online.

1. Use two-factor authentication

With two-factor authentication, users have to provide, in addition to a typical password, a one-time code when using a log-in service. In most cases, the code is sent to your phone — in a text message, for example. So after entering your password, you then have to put in what’s basically a one-time second password.

Based on your preferences, two-factor authentication can occur every time you log in to something or only occasionally, like when logging into an account on a new device.

Many major websites offer two-factor confirmations. Google was among the first. But now a bevy of them — including Apple’s iCloud, Dropbox, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook — offer some form of login approval.

It might seem simple, but just a smidgen of time can almost double password security.

2. Update your browser and devices!

Browsers, operating systems and mobile devices often need updates. Sure, this can be a pain, but it’s important. Many times, updates are intended to patch just-now-discovered security problems.

Researchers are constantly finding new security holes that cyberattackers can exploit. So if an update notice comes through, never hesitate. It could be the difference between losing 15 minutes of your time and a hacker gaining control of your computer.

3. Use unique passwords and a password manager

People are really bad at making strong passwords. In 2014, the most common leaked passwords were “123456” and “password.” It’s also typical for people to include their birth year (especially those born between 1989 and 1992) in their passwords.

Hackers are up to your tricks. For each login, each website, each service, you should be using unique passwords that have nothing to do with a dead pet or your birthday. “But how do I remember all these passwords?” you might be asking. Well, you don’t have to.

There are a number of good password management services, such as LastPass or 1Password, that can generate and store login information in a virtual vault. Some even offer security-checking features that will let you know if you have duplicate or weak passwords.

4. Get a Google security checkup

Google is offering Drive users an extra 2GB of storage space if they take part in its Security Checkup program by Feb. 17. It takes a few minutes to run some quick tests on your Google accounts. To get started, click here.

The feature offers an overview of your recent sign-in activity (to see if any unusual devices are logging into your accounts). With the checkup, users can also grant and revoke account permissions on their devices, as well as add recovery information — such as a phone number — to help Google get in touch if something is up with your accounts.

5. Use HTTPS whenever you can

HTTPS is the secure version of hypertext transfer protocol — the letters that come before the “www.” in a web address. That last “S” can provide a big difference, however. HTTPS works to bidirectionally encrypt information sent between you and a website’s servers.

It isn’t perfect. HTTPS will not protect you from, say, government surveillance, but it can be surprisingly sophisticated in its protections. BMW, for example, failed to use HTTPS when transmitting data via its ConnectedDrive car system. That made the car vulnerable to remote hackers, who could have exploited that oversight to open car doors.

Most major websites are compatible with HTTPS, but it is best to be cognizant of the web addresses you’re using. There are tools, too, such as HTTPS Everywhere browser extension, that works to automatically switch any HTTP address over to HTTPS.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://mashable.com/

Companies did not learn from LuxLeaks

Nearly three months after the first LuxLeaks report was published for Luxembourg, companies are still leaving themselves vulnerable to data breaches, suggest two Allen & Overy Senior Associates.

LuxLeaks

Senior Associate in Employment Law Gilles Dall’Agnol has keenly observed the reactions of companies to the two reports, which revealed tax agreements with international companies made by big four companies in Luxembourg.

“I think that LuxLeaks, for all its negative consequences, has had the effect of increasing awareness about the topic of data security,” he said.

As a result of the scandal, he says he expects to see the role of information security officers strengthened, along with the introduction of specific policies and mechanisms, such as whistleblowing structures. Meanwhile, he says companies will be more reluctant to outsource data security responsibilities.

However, Catherine Di Lorenzo, Allen & Overy Senior Associate in IP/IT and data protection law, said that many companies are failing to address a key question when securing tangible evidence of a data breach: are they authorised to monitor or screen employees’ emails?

“With respect to such screening, probably the most important part you have to know is that screening qualifies as employee monitoring which is only permissible if certain data protection rules have been complied with,” Ms Di Lorenzo explained, adding: “The data protection steps cannot be retroactively applied, which means if you’ve a suspicion to do with an email in which client data might have been sent, as you did not comply with data protection rules, the employer cannot simply go and screen the employee’s account.”

A company carrying out monitoring while having failed to comply with these rules exposes itself and its managers to criminal liability. In addition, evidence collected in this way is likely to be considered inadmissible in court.

This means, in other words, that a dismissal of an employee based solely on evidence collected in this way is likely to be ruled as abusive.

“If a company has not complied with the data protection rules, it should not even be carrying out a screening as this would itself qualify as a criminal offence. If the company does the screening anyway and finds something, it will most likely not be able to use it.

“It’s a disaster if you find yourself in such a situation,” Ms Di Lorenzo said, adding: “Compliance with data protection rules costs just one or two days’ work. But it is simply an element of corporate housekeeping everybody has neglected for a long time.”

Mr Dall’Agnol adds that in many such cases, companies do not have another choice but to make a criminal complaint without carrying out screening or employment law sanctions and leave it to the prosecutor to find the evidence.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.wort.lu/

Employee and customer privacy in an era of ‘Big Data’ monitoring

Exploring the challenges of real-time data monitoring and the role that legal plays in striking the right balance.

In the second article of this three-part series, we outlined how data analytics is an emerging tool that organizations are employing to detect hidden and emerging compliance and legal risks in their data. Now, we will explore the challenges of real-time data monitoring in an era of Big Data, and the role that legal plays in striking the right balance for the organization.

Prudent risk management or Big Brother?

It’s no surprise that the National Security Agency’s surveillance of social media sites and telecommunications, and several recent high-profile data breaches, are fueling an environment of mistrust regarding how companies collect and use the personal information of their customers and employees.

At the same time, organizations are looking to accelerate their monitoring, collection and analysis of data not only to gather business intelligence but also to improve risk management and data security practices. That means great scrutiny of both the organization’s networks and its employees. And as organizations move toward true real-time monitoring of their employees’ every electronic move, legal has a role to play in managing the risks associated with these monitoring activities.

The right to privacy

Does a right to privacy exist in the age of Big Data? Legally, the answer depends in large part on your geographic location. In many foreign jurisdictions, most notably the EU, privacy has been elevated to a human right. However, there are no comparable U.S. laws. And although the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution protects individuals against government intrusion, in the U.S. employees do not have a general right to privacy from employers’ monitoring of data on its own networks and devices.

The focus in the U.S. thus far has been on consumer privacy rights, not employee rights. On the federal level, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Gramm-Leach Bliley Act and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act are just a few of the laws that regulate data collection and management practices; in some cases, those laws may impact employee’s data. Enforcement agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and state attorneys general have brought enforcement actions against companies that fail to protect consumers’ personal information. Organizations can expect increased regulation and enforcement to continue on both the federal and state fronts.

Privacy in the workplace

In contrast to the increased attention on consumer privacy, employees currently are entitled to little privacy when it comes to their activities at work. Employers already have a right to, and in fact do, monitor employee behavior on an organization’s network and devices. But much of this monitoring is theoretical — employers generally do so only when they are alerted to potential problematic conduct. That dynamic is rapidly fading into obscurity.

With the proliferation of mobile devices and social media, the line between business and personal is increasingly blurred. Employees use personal devices and social media accounts for work — and use those devices and accounts for personal activities. As organizations increase real-time monitoring of employee activity to manage risk and to meet the challenges of data security, they are on a potential collision course with as-yet unchartered territory of employee privacy. We have seen this increased risk of data monitoring already with National Labor Relations Board rulings restricting the monitoring of employee activity on social media sites not sponsored or controlled by the organization. We can expect additional potential restrictions where the line between personal and business information are blurred (such as BYOD).

Effective privacy and usage policies

At present, the best way to minimize the risks of real-time data monitoring is for legal to establish clear data-related policies and procedures that provide guidance to employees about the organization’s rights to collect, use, retain and monitor data on its networks, devices and websites. They should have senior-management buy-in and reflect the organization’s corporate values and principles. Policies should reflect the following:

  1. Ownership: Confirm to all employees that the organization owns any and all business data in any form — and has the right to access and protect that data — even if stored on personal devices.
  2. No expectation of privacy: Employees should be notified that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to any systems or devices used to store business data or to access the organization’s systems.
  3. Monitoring: Inform employees that they are being monitored, specify the type of monitoring that you are using and explain the business purpose for that monitoring.
  4. Acceptable use: Define the acceptable use of company networks, email and devices, including whether and when employees may use company systems for personal reasons and the consequences of such use.
  5. Personal devices: If employees are permitted to use personal devices for work, have clear polices on the applications authorized for business activity, and provide technologies that, to the extent possible, separate business from personal information. Also, require employees to turn over those mobile devices for examination when the employee leaves her employment or if the organization has reason to believe the employee is storing business data on that device outside of what is permitted by policy.
  6. Prohibited technologies: Instruct employees regarding the forms of communication, applications and websites that may not be used for business purposes.
  7. Enforce policies: Inform employees of the consequences of failing to abide by company policy and enforce those consequences for policy violations. Consider periodic attestations from employees that they understand and are abiding by these policies.

Know your organization and its data

As a result of changes in technology, communication channels, and the legal and regulatory environment, the landscape of data risk management is in a tremendous state of flux. It is incumbent upon legal to lead the development of data management practices, ensuring that it properly analyzes and weighs the legal and regulatory risks and that their policies are consistent with the corporate culture and business needs.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.insidecounsel.com/