Generally speaking, we love Steam so much that we occasionally drift off and daydream about long walks on the beach with it, but nothing's perfect. No two ways about it: Steam's been breached, and – though it's faring a lot better than a certain console-based gaming network so far – it's not exactly the prettiest sight. The long and short of it? Your credit card info may be out in the wild, but it's wrapped in a nice, warm blanket of encryption. That said, monitor it closely, and change your password right now. So that's our bit. Now then, play us off, Valve's Gabe Newell.
Man, Sony just can’t catch a break. Remember that whole “Hackers shut down the PlayStation Network for an extraordinarily long time” thing from a few months ago? Sure you do. Well, the bad news for PlayStation fans continues. Sony’s temporarily suspended 93,000 Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment accounts after hackers managed to gain access to the log in information for the accounts.
With Anonymous and LulzSec being a bit on the quiet side recently – maybe because the law is breathing down their necks? – you knew it was only a matter of time before some other smart-mouthed organization stepped into the limelight in a quest to annoy us all. Enter the Script Kiddies. This group’s not targeting databases or disfiguring websites; their M.O. is hijacking Twitter accounts and posting dumbass fake stories. Fox News and NBC News have already fallen victim to their idiocy – now add USA Today to the list. This hijacking spread promotional material rather than FUD, however.
After a hot and heavy summer – whew! – things are starting to cool down a bit on the nefarious hacker front. But even though LulzSec and Anonymous have chilled out in the wake of numerous arrests, the lesson remains: almost no website is safe against a skilled and dedicated hacker. Wait! Take off that tinfoil hat! While small business owners will still need to deal with the embarrassment of a successful hack attack, they won’t need to sweat the monetary fallout if they jump on the new SMB data breach insurance being offered by Hartford insurance.
The Maximum PC Podcast keeps BS to a minimum while simultaneously supplying maxed-out levels of hijinks and information, but for you media-addicted types out there, one podcast a week might not fulfill your quota for listening pleasure. We understand if you turn to the excellent lineup of broadcasts put together by Leo Laporte and the awesome TWiT.tv team to catch up on your tech news, too, but you might want to pass on your regular visit to the TWiT.tv site this week; hackers have managed to slip some malicious code onto the site.
Even as Microsoft’s busy pulling the curtain back on its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, somebody’s trying to shove Linux, the open-source OS alternative, into a bag and toss it into a river. A couple of weeks ago, we reported that kernel.org, a Linux source code repository, fell victim to a hack attack that compromised users of the site (but not the Linux source code itself). Now, other Linux websites find themselves under assault, too.
Rapid breathing, sweaty palms, and a tightening of the chest; those physical effects used to be associated with prom night or horror movies, but thanks to all the high-profile hacking antics hitting the headlines these days, you might experience the same jitters whenever a website asks you for some personal information. Even worse, companies don’t always own up to when they’ve been pwned and put your data in danger. It’s getting better, though. California just passed a law that requires companies that have been OMG h@x3d to directly inform their customers of the breach.
While the UK’s busy nabbing alleged Anonymous members who like to pretend that they’re teenage girls, the Department of Homeland Security’s worried about their angry at-large cohorts over on the US side of the pond. In fact, DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center is pretty concerned about the threat of an Anonymous attack against the financial industry. Today, the NCCIC issued a security bulletin warning financial institutions that Anon is trying to "solicit ideologically dissatisfied, sympathetic employees" over to the dark side.
Linux end users may not have to worry about malware too often, but apparently, folks who like to roll their own code still draw the attention of hackers. Kernel.org, the online repository of the Linux kernel, is reporting that it fell victim to a security breach in August. Don’t start screaming and unplugging your Ubuntu PCs just quite yet, though – the administrators believe the attack only compromised users who accessed the kernel.org site, and not the Linux source code itself.
Nokia is cleaning egg off its face after losing developer records to an SQL Injection attack, prompting the mobile phone maker to shutter its developer discussion forum ahead of its Windows Phone 7 launch. Hackers were able to access a database table filled with email addresses and, in some cases, birthdates and other information included in their public profile.