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Innovation in Information Security

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When Hackers Attack WebHosts

It is being reported on a number of sources that is requiring account holders to change their passwords as a result of a recent compromise of the web hosting provider.

While detailed information about the breach has not been made public, except to say that credit card details for the customers were not accessed, there are no such guarantees for the sensitive information stored on the sites and backend databases belonging to the affected customers.

Anybody who tracks and observes web defacement trends will note that major mass breaches occur with disturbing regularity. Mass breaches tend to indicate that a hosting provider has been compromised in some way, and a server with numerous virtual hosts, or multiple servers with individual hosts, has been taken over.

Even if website defacement is not part of a system breach, it can lead to widespread disruption to services, such as was encountered by PlusNet customers when the ISP had its webmail service thoroughly compromised. It can also lead to otherwise trustworthy sites attempting to infect legitimate users, such as was encountered by site visitors to the Miami Dolphins Stadium website earlier this year (prior to the SuperBowl).

It doesn't take much for a little hole or a little breach to lead to major effects on end users / customers.

26 May 2007

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