This week, a Milwaukee-based security firm discovered Russian criminals stole 1.2 billion Internet user names and passwords from targeted websites. This theft represents one of the largest, if not the largest, collections of stolen digital credentials in history.
According to the security firm, the criminals aren’t expected to use the stolen data to gain access to bank account information. Instead, they’re spamming individuals to buy things like phony weight loss pills.
Numbering over 420,000, the affected websites are not being disclosed so as not to further exploit any security vulnerabilities. The targeted sites include both well-known and smaller sites. No major email providers have yet been breached.
How does someone know if their credentials were hacked? Friends and family might get a message from the affected person through email or social media. The message will endorse a fake product with the hopes of getting a trusted friend to buy it.
For years, the hackers bought credential data on the black market. Recently, they’ve been able to significantly add to their stash by using an automated program that searches the Internet for vulnerable websites. The ability to stockpile millions of passwords shows how security has failed on all kinds of websites.
In addition to spam, Russian and Eastern European hackers have launched sophisticated cyber attacks involving theft of credit card data and corporate espionage. People have made stealing this information easier by using the same password for multiple services. One way to lower the risk of being hacked is to use two passwords, or two-factor authentication, to log on to online services.
On a corporate level, a colocation model can help protect network and data security. A colocation provider can make it easier for IT managers to safeguard information traveling through a network from Point A to Point B.
Network protection involves physical and logical security, and colocation provides the functionality businesses need to handle both. For example, hackers can breach physical networks by gaining unauthorized access. They can then attempt to steal data moving through the network. However, using sophisticated access control systems, many colocation providers make it almost impossible to access data center resources.
In addition, colocation providers offer a network of providers who can implement sophisticated security software to prevent unauthorized access. These security measures provide customers logical network protection through firewalls, encryption applications and other software-based security tools. Incorporating these defensive practices into the colocation model helps provide a level of security and data protection many companies would be unable to configure in-house.
Continue to read the CyrusOne Blog for information about CyrusOne data centers and colocation services.
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