From Sean Goldsmith in the S&A Digest:
If you're a user of the social-media website Twitter, you may want to check your account status… Wired magazine reports that the service just discovered a "live hack." Twitter shut down the hack "moments later." But the attacker had already made off with the private data of 250,000 users. This includes usernames, e-mail addresses, and passwords.
Twitter believes other companies are victims of the same attack. It's a situation similar to the Subway restaurants' credit-card hacking we noted only last week.
In recent days, the Washington Post and the New York Times newspapers have been hacked, too. Thieves stole the passwords of every single Times employee, then accessed 53 employees' personal computers. The Times believes China-based hackers used a sophisticated "spear-phishing" attack to breach their safeguards.
Spear-phishing attacks target individuals through their e-mail accounts. One click on an innocuous-looking e-mail downloads remote access tools (RATs) onto the victim's computer. The attacker uses the RATs to steal passwords, documents, screenshots… and even eavesdrop through the computer's microphone and webcam. It all goes on without the victim's knowledge.
The Times believes the hack went on for four months. It employed antivirus software company Symantec for online security… but the hackers still installed 45 pieces of malware (malicious software) on their computer systems. Of that number, the Symantec systems identified and quarantined only one.
If you believe hackers find your personal data less appealing than the New York Times', you are mistaken… and vulnerable.
The Wall Street Journal reports the number of "traditional" bank robberies – where a masked gunman demands cash and then bolts out the door – has fallen by more than 50% over the past 11 years. In 2001, there were more than 10,000 bank heists. In 2012, the number dropped to 3,870. The problem is, the bank robbers haven't gone away… they've just moved online.
According to the FBI, traditional bank robbers stole $29.5 million in 2012. In 2010, their online counterparts raked in $1.8 billion in checking and debit-card fraud. Online-banking crime is a hypergrowth industry. Since 2001, Internet crime has risen 500%. The crooks have learned that your online data is much more lucrative than a bag full of cash…
Dr. David "Doc" Eifrig, editor of Retirement Millionaire, has made it a personal mission to help others recognize the threats they face online. He just completed a special report that highlights your privacy vulnerabilities – and shows you how to fix them.
One of the simple techniques Doc describes provides 100% security from a hacker making unauthorized charges to your account… even if he gets complete control over your credit card number. Another shows you how to achieve the highest possible password security. You'll soon understand why readers have praised Doc's privacy work as "worth the cost of many years' subscriptions."
Crux Note: To learn more about Doc's special report - and a risk-free subscription to Retirement Millionaire - click here.
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