Tags: Financial | Post | Cyber | Thieves

Financial Post: When Cyber Thieves Compare Notes, Look Out

By    |   Thursday, 22 May 2014 07:15 PM

The massive eBay cyber-assault shows how hackers are collecting a "ton of information" on Americans, and it's only a matter of time before they start putting it all together, according to experts contacted by the Financial Post.

Avivah Litan, vice president and analyst at technology research firm Gartner, said that if the eBay attack, and others like it result in massive takeovers of financial accounts or identities, it could shake consumers’ comfort levels.

EBay said the latest attack compromised databases with customer names, encrypted passwords, email addresses, birth dates and phone numbers – enough to cause havoc if misapplied to the maximum extent.

Editor's Note: Secret Wall Street Calendar Uses Strange ‘Crash Alert System,’ Gets 18.79% Annual Returns

The company urged 145 million customers to change their passwords on an urgent basis.

“The fact is [hackers are] collecting a ton of information on all of us,” Litan said, and while it may take some time, “eventually they’re going to start using all that information,” she predicted.

The eBay intrusion follows the discovery of last month’s Heartbleed security bug, a vulnerability in software commonly used by thousands of websites around the world to encrypt sensitive data belonging to millions of users.

The Voice of America reported this week on the landmark U.S. government charges against five Chinese military officers for stealing information from a handful of prominent technology companies, including SolarWorld, U.S. Steel Corp. and Westinghouse Electric Co.

“While the exact toll of the alleged espionage and theft would be almost impossible to calculate, experts say, the potential costs to America’s economy could be staggering in terms of lost sales, profits and jobs,” the VOA said.

Slade Gorton, a former U.S. senator and member of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Propery, said foreign thievery of U.S. intellectual property costs “$300 billion a year and up, and that’s conservative.”

The federal indictment charges the Chinese with computer hacking, economic espionage and other offenses.

The Telegraph used the eBay cyber attack to compile a roundup of the largest computer hacking attacks to date – a list that is likely to continue to grow, by many accounts.

Not on the Telegraph’s list was the Target data breach, a massive attack last December that ultimately helped cost the retailer's CEO his job. Target is still unable to estimate the cost of that breach, which affected tens of millions of customer's credit cards and harmed the company’s earnings.

Editor's Note: Secret Wall Street Calendar Uses Strange ‘Crash Alert System,’ Gets 18.79% Annual Returns

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The massive eBay cyber-assault shows how hackers are collecting a ton of information on Americans, and it's only a matter of time before they start putting it all together, according to experts contacted by the Financial Post.
Financial, Post, Cyber, Thieves
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2014-15-22
Thursday, 22 May 2014 07:15 PM
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