Web hacking was considered an ostracized field just a few years ago. These days it’s a subculture, with more and more average programmers learning the basics of the trade and pulling off impressive “conquests”.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are under constant attack, but commercial websites with the sensitive information are where the hardcore hackers like to ply their trade.
The latest website to enter the victim list is Adobe, a powerful international company with millions of registered customers. A 9.3 gigabyte file containing all the stolen information was posted on the net by the hackers. People’s private emails, passwords, and addresses were stolen in this latest raid. The intruders also exposed source codes of Adobe programs.
“Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We also believe the attackers removed from our systems certain information relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers, including customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers and other information,” Brad Arkin, Adobe’s chief security officer, wrote in an official release.
The severity of the breach was magnified when the user’s password choices and preferences were exposed. Tens of thousands of users chose surprisingly simple and repetitive passwords, illustrated by the top 20 list:
Adobe has refused to comment on the released password lists, but has duly suspended all activity on affected user’s accounts till they change their passwords. Users and members are advised to visit the Help Pages on the Adobe website for more support. Twitter user hilare_belloc has also created the adobe.cynic.al, where all Adobe customers can check if their information has been compromised.
With rumors talking about Adobe hiding the real number of compromised passwords, it’s highly recommended that all internet users use strong passwords and also change them once in a few months. With the clever hacking technology and lack of investment in internet security, the Adobe breach will probably not be the last to be reported this year.