Recently the Washington Post newspaper was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers who support embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The hackers gained access to the Washington Post’s website such that people who went to the Washington Post’s website were automatically redirected to the website of the Syrian Electronic Army, the hackers. Hackers always look for the weakest points to attack a company or agency’s security. In this particular case, a Washington Post employee was targeted through a sophisticated phishing attack to access the employee’s password information. Hacks such as this are increasing dramatically and while in this case, the attack was only for political purposes, in other instances, the hacking is done to obtain access to data of the targeted company that can be used for harmful identity theft.
Far too many companies are still not taking the necessary security steps to protect their data and access to their computers. Why is this of interest to you and me? The answer is that even if you are doing the best you can to protect the privacy and security of your personal data, you are only as safe as the company or agency with the weakest security that holds your personal data. Consequently, you should limit the companies that hold your personal data as much as possible and inquire of those that do hold your personal data as to what they do to keep that information secure.