Worst security snafus of 2012

By , Network World |  Security

" Hactivist group Anonymous disrupted several British government sites in protest against the handling of WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, because Britain indicated Assange would be arrested and deported if he emerged from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, which granted him asylum following Swedish efforts to extradite him for questioning over rape allegations. Also in August, the WikiLeaks site itself was flooded with a DDoS attack, making it temporarily unavailable for about a week, with a group called AntiLeaks taking credit for the attack.

" Some AT&T customers were affected by a failure in the carrier's Domain Name System (DNS) servers, and AT&T later ascribed the problem to a distributed denial-of-service attack that required mitigation.

" Microsoft decided to temporarily stop publishing new apps for Windows Phone on Marketplace due to an issue associated with digital certificates used to sign apps that prevented some phones from installing some apps for a few days.

" A 60-year-old civilian employee for NATO at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, whose name was only given as "Manfred K.," was arrested on suspicion of espionage after he downloaded classified data top his personal computer and copied it. Prosecutors in Germany said they believed he stole "state secrets" intended to be passed to Russia's Federal Security Service for $10 million.

" Blizzard Entertainment, maker of the popular multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, warned that its internal network had been breached, revealing scrambled passwords and email addresses. Blizzard apologized for the data breach.

" Google agreed to pay a $22.5 million fine to settle U.S. government charges that it violated privacy laws when it tracked users of Apple's Safari browser through cookies. In its legal complaint, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Google falsely told Safari users that it wouldn't place tracking cookies on their devices or serve them targeted ads. But instead, Google actively circumvented Safari's cookie-blocking settings in order to track the users, the FTC said.

" Wired journalist Mat Honan suffered a round of torment by hackers after they compromised and took over his iCloud account at Apple. The hackers had simply called Apple and bluffed their way into getting Honan's iCloud account, and Apple admitted "internal policies were not followed completely," promising changes to prevent this from happening again.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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