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Two Million Passwords Stolen by Hackers

Posted by JenThorpe at 6:36 PM on December 4, 2013

Trustwave logoOn November 24, 2013, researchers at Trustwave discovered that hackers have obtained up to 2 million passwords for websites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, Twitter (and others). Researchers learned this after digging into source code from Pony bonnet. It appears that information about this has only been made public very recently.

Here’s some quick stats about some of the domains from which the passwords were stolen:

* Facebook – 318,121 (or 57%)
* Yahoo! – 60,000
* Google Accounts – 54,437
* Twitter – 21,708
* Google.com – 16,095
* LinkedIn – 8,490
* ADP (a payroll provider) – 7,978

In total, Pony botnet stole credentials for: 1.58 million websites, 320,000 email accounts, 41,000 FTB accounts, 3,000 remote desktops, and 3,000 secure shell accounts.

According to Trustwave, around 16,000 accounts used the password “123456”, 2,221 used “password” and 1,991 used “admin”. Now is a good time to go change your passwords into something strong and secure.

Doing so won’t make it entirely impossible for hackers to crack it, but it could make it more difficult. Trustwave noted that only 5% of the 2 million passwords that were stolen had excellent passwords (meaning the passwords had all four character types and were longer than 8 characters).

Excellent Customer Service from LinkedIn

Posted by JenThorpe at 2:37 PM on June 18, 2013

LinkedInGood customer service has become quite rare. That’s why I wanted to point out the excellent customer service I got from LinkedIn. They were incredibly helpful even though I wasn’t actually one of their customers.

I used to have a LinkedIn account. It wasn’t something I used very much, and I had honestly forgotten that I had one. About a year ago, as you may recall, LinkedIn had a security breach and suggested that users change their passwords.

When I went to do that, I realized that I used the service so infrequently that I had no idea what my password was. I managed to sort that out, and then cancelled my LinkedIn account. I just wasn’t using it.

Since then, I’ve gotten email from LinkedIn that tells me that one of their current users wants to connect with me on LinkedIn. For a while, I just ignored them. This week, I got tired of it. Out of frustration, I sent a Tweet to @LinkedIn.

Jen LinkedIn Tweet

I wasn’t expecting a response, but I got one. @LinkedInHelp replied with a link that I could click on to fill out a ticket that would stop the contact invites. Doing so would put me on their Do Not Contact list. I immediately filed a ticket.

A few days later, I got yet another email from LinkedIn letting me know that one of their users wanted to connect with me. So, I sent another Tweet to @LinkedInHelp about it. The response was fast! @LinkedInHelp asked what my ticket number was, and followed me so I could sent them a direct message with the ticket number.

Not long after that, I got an email from LinkedIn that said my email addresses had been placed on their Do Not Contact list. (I’d been getting contact requests at more than one address). This is impressive, especially considering that they knew that I wasn’t actually one of their customers anymore. Kudos to LinkedIn for great customer service!

Tech Bubble? There’s An App For That.

Posted by AndrewH at 4:48 AM on April 24, 2012

Courtesy Facebook

Whether he knows it or not, Mark Zuckerberg fired the starter’s pistol when he reportedly single-handedly spent more than $1 billion on photo-sharing app Instagram earlier this month. The Facebook CEO apparently cut his board of directors out of the picture and decided unilaterally to purchase the relatively small Instagram for a universally huge sum of $1 billion-plus.

Nearly two weeks later, we find out that Facebook dropped another half-billion dollars on a patent buy from Microsoft – who had purchased that chunk of patents and more from AOL for a billion bucks around the same time Facebook bought Instagram.

Courtesy LinkedIn

That might qualify as a spending spree. And when one social media giant whips out its checkbook like that, you can bet a handful of other players start to wriggle a bit in their office chairs. On the other side of things, when one of those checks gets delivered to the owners of an app, you can bet the sea of app developers starts to roil and swell with the “next big thing” hoping to emerge from the churn and become overnight gazillionaires. Read the rest of this entry »