Tag Archives: LivingSocial

Data Breaches on the Rise in California

The annual California Data Breach Report has indicated that the number of data breaches that occurred in California in 2013 has increased from 131 cases in 2012 to 167 cases in 2013. What is more staggering is that the actual number of people affected by the data breaches increased by 600% during the same period. As a result, over 18.5 million people were actually affected by the data breaches.

California’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, believes that the current statistics are troubling for the California State as in 2012, 17% of the total number of data breaches to occur in the United States happened in California.

Harris stated, “With the world’s eighth largest economy and more than 38 million consumers, California is uniquely impacted by data breaches. In 2012, 17% of the data breaches recorded in the United States took place in California – more than any other state. Even more troubling, the number of reported breaches in California increased by 28% in 2013.”

The retail sector accounted for the largest number of data breaches (26%) which were followed by the finance and insurance sector (20%) and the healthcare sector at (15%). In 2013, malware and hacking contributed to 53% of total breaches to occur within the Californian state whilst physical loss or theft of storage and computing devices containing unencrypted data made up 26% of the total data breached. Unintentional misuse and deliberate misuse by insiders contributed 18% and 4% respectively.

The retail sector has significantly contributed to the overall statistics, mainly thanks to the two large data breaches that affected Target and LivingSocial customers. These two incidents can also be contributed to the huge increase in the number of people affected.

Such statistics show the importance of ensuring that data is stored in a secure format. Kamala Harris has urged the state’s retailers to utilise chip-enabled point-of-sale (POS) systems and encryption after large amounts of customer data was compromised during a stage where it remained in its raw format.

Data Belonging to 50 Million LivingSocial Customers Compromised

The online deals company, LivingSocial has become the latest company to report a data breach that has compromised data belonging to over 50 million people who have an account with the company. LivingSocial have stated that they believe that data such as customers names, email addresses, dates of births and encrypted passwords have been compromised in the attack. It has also been confirmed that no credit card details has been stolen.

LivingSocial released a statement on their website confirming the data breach. The information accessed includes names, email addresses, date of birth for some users, and encrypted passwords – technically ‘hashed’ and ‘salted’ passwords.”

LivingSocial have started to make contact with all the affected customers notifying them of the data breach and are requesting that they all change their passwords. There is also a banner on the homepage of their website asking everyone to change their password if they havent already done so.

In an email sent out to all those affected, LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy wrote, The security of your information is our priority. We always strive to ensure the security of our customer information, and we are redoubling efforts to prevent any issues in the future.”

It is becoming an ever too familiar story in which a company has to notify thousands of their customers regarding a data breach which has compromised their personal data. The main reasons for the increased number of such cases are because companies are being reactive as to proactive. Security measures arent being continuously tested and updated and therefore increasing the likelihood of a data breach occurring. Hackers are exploiting this and are increasing the frequency of attacks and using more sophisticated methods.

George Tubin who is a senior security strategist at Trusteer stated, In light of recent successful widespread attacks against major social networking sites, it’s obvious that these providers are simply not doing enough to protect their customers’ information.”

As hackers are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated with their attacks, the importance of backing up your data is becoming ever more important. If someone gains unauthorised access to your servers and deletes or modifies critical business data, are you confident that you will be able to recover this data with the minimum amount of downtime?

With such as case such as LivingSocial, it shows that many are still actingre-activelyas to proactively. It is important to test your security measures on a regular basis with the knowledge that your data is being successfully backed up and is recoverable in the event of data loss.

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