June 28, 2016

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Recent Data Breach Roundup: June 2016

While many people are vacationing this time of year, cyber attackers never seem to take time off. Just as we’ve seen every month, companies of every size are being hit by data breaches that expose customer information. Here’s a look at some of the recent data breaches making headlines in June:


Even a technology company can be breached, and Acer’s recent hack offers a good example. The Taiwanese electronics and computer hardware maker recently revealed that its server was attacked, potentially exposing credit card information for 34,500 customers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

In another disclosure, Acer noted that it found an internal security flaw on its servers that caused information to be stored in an insecure format. The flaw affects customers who bought Acer products through the company’s online store between May 2015 and April 2016.

Democratic National Committee

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced that its servers had been hacked; an investigation revealed that two cyber espionage groups were involved. One of these groups had been in the DNC system for about a year and was monitoring internal communications. The other was mining the system for only a few months and seemed mainly focused on stealing opposition research on Donald Trump.

One of the most interesting aspects of the breach is that it gives us a glimpse into the cyber espionage world. The DNC suspects that Russian hackers were involved because each high-level hacker group uses certain telltale signs about its affiliation. That is, the way they hack in and the software they use can reveal which espionage group is involved.

The University of Greenwich

The United Kingdom’s University of Greenwich reported that it was hit by a second data breach this year and that a disgruntled former student may be to blame. The hacker not only stole personal and confidential data, but also uploaded the information so it could be publicly viewed online.

The recent data breaches included student names, addresses and dates of birth along with their grades, feedback from professors and reasons for missing classes. The incident serves as a good reminder that when an organization is hacked, the damage can be even worse than feared. Secondary hacks are becoming far too common, and it’s likely we’ll see more of them in the future.


Specializing in acquiring and developing websites and online communities, VerticalScope may not be a household name. Its recent breach, however, was as high-profile as it gets.

The company reported that cybercriminals stole more than 45 million records that include usernames, email addresses and encrypted passwords. These records were tied to more than 1,100 websites that were interconnected on VerticalScope’s servers. The recent data breach’s scope serves as yet another warning that no website, however small, is safe from attack.

Check back next month to stay up to date on the most recent data breaches.

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Heidi Daitch

Director, Strategic Programs at IdentityForce
Heidi is a busy working mom who juggles many of the same responsibilities and challenges at home and at work - a long list of things to do and not enough time to do everything. With so little time, Heidi tries hard to find simple, but effective strategies to save time for what’s really important – spending time with her family.
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