Connected to Internet? How safe is your Data really?

Each day that passes by, more and more business value and personal information (worldwide) are rapidly migrating into digital space on open and globally interconnected technology platforms. As it happens, cyber-attacks and breach in data security don’t look like they’re going to slow down.

Today, computer viruses and other malicious software are no longer written by hobbyist hackers – to seek fame and glory among peers. Most of them are written by professional criminals who are making millions with their attacks. ebay – the ecommerce and world biggest auction site famously fell prey to hackers in year 2014. Hackers are more interested in high-end data breaches, with data, personal records and financial information stolen and sold on the black market in a matter of few seconds. ebay went down in a blaze of embarrassment as it suffered the biggest hack so far. Later, ebay revealed that hackers had managed to steal personal records of over 233 million users. The hack took place between February and March, with usernames, passwords, phone numbers and physical addresses compromised.

Hackers successfully stole eBay credentials and managed to gain access to sensitive data. eBay encouraged users to change their passwords and reassured them that financial information was not stolen, as it was stored separately and encrypted. Although there were further concerns that the stolen personal information could leave eBay users vulnerable to identity theft. Despite eBay not confirming who was behind the attack, the notorious Syrian Electronic Army claimed responsibility.

Analysts, Hold Security’s startling announcement in February, 2014 that it had managed to obtain a list of 360 million account credentials for web services from the black market. That’s just after three weeks of research may come as no surprise.

Cyber criminals are stepping up their game and data breaches are becoming not only common but more devastating. According to research, from Arbor Networks, the number of DDoS events topping 20Gbps in the first half of 2014, are double that of 2013. With more than 100 attacks at over 100Gbps or higher recorded in the first half of the last year.

Akamai Technologies State of the Internet report also showed that hacker attacks on websites went up 75% in the final quarter of 2013, with hackers in China responsible for 43% of all attacks.

The world famous chain of Pizza Brand – Domino’s Pizza is no exception. Hackers held them for ransom for not disclosing the data stolen. A hacking group – Rex Mundi held Domino’s Pizza to ransom over 600,000 Belgian and French customer records. In exchange for the personal data, which included names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and even favorite pizza toppings, Mundi demanded $40,000 from the fast-food chain.

If the ransom wasn’t met, the hackers threatened to publish the information online. The group then taunted Domino’s by saying: “Earlier this week, we hacked our way into the servers of Domino’s Pizza France and Belgium, who happen to share the same vulnerable database. Boy, did we find some juicy stuff in there.”

Domino’s refused to comply with the ransom and reassured customers that financial and banking information was not stolen. The hacking group had its Twitter account suspended and the data was never released, although it’s not clear if Domino’s ever complied with the ransom demands.

This incredible interactive map from Antivirus software firm Kaspersky, depicts various cyber-attacks occurring around the world in real time, shows the growing intensity of hacks as the year progresses. Till today, it’s unclear how Domino’s and ebay dealt with the situation.

Every company which is maintaining data digitally claims that its data is safe, and within its own premises. But with computers connected to the internet and the incidents like above always raises this question –

“Is your digital data really safe?”.

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