LivingSocial has been hacked – the lesson here is that large organisations are not immune to hackers and cyber attacks. Binary Limited understands that Living Social (a popular daily deals site part owned by Amazon) has a database of 70 million users and it appears that 50 million customers’ personal data was compromised during the attack including the theft of names, email addresses, birth dates and encrypted password information. It appears at this stage that credit card and merchant financial information escaped the attack but the consequences are still astounding – to put this hack in context:
- there are approximately 2.4 billion internet users
- Living Social has been hacked and this has compromised the data of approximately 50 million customers
- this hack represents approximately 0.3 percent of all internet users
- the passwords netted during this attack can be re-used for further hack attacks into Living Social accounts
- the passwords could also, more worryingly, be paired with other stolen customer data and used to hack other accounts (consider the possibility that customers use the same passwords for multiple accounts for convenience)
LivingSocial is only the latest in a string of high-profile Web companies who have been the victim of large-scale customer database security breaches. In the past 18 months, other large organisations (foe example, Telecom, Yahoo! Xtra, EQC and LinkedIn) have all had their customer data compromised.
The key take aways from this latest attack are:
- change your passwords regularly – as a user, if your data is compromised, you need to shrink the window of opportunity for hackers to use this information
- if you suspect that your data has been hacked – change your password and log-in information immediately, don’t wait. Remember – prevention is the best protection
- as painful as it is to remember all those passwords, ensure that you have unique passwords for each account
Replace the headline “LivingSocial Has Been Hacked” with your business name – not a pleasant thought is it. If a large business (with the might of Amazon behind it) is a real target, imagine how attractive a smaller business with less perceived security is to the hacking community. Binary Limited can help put preventative measures in place to help reduce the risk of your business name hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons.