Two Million Passwords Stolen by Hackers

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

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.

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 more...]

Klout or Kred? Find Your True Influential Online Score

Kred Score

Kred Score

If you’re like me, you might have been frustrated with how Klout is scoring your online presence. It seems like score nose-dives for no reason. However, there is a new program on the block in Kred.

What is Kred / Klout?

Just like Klout, Kred is an influence scoring system. It measures how much reach you get on Twitter. If you post, it notes it; if you get re-tweeted, it notes that.

Your Kred can be broken down. On the graphic to this post, you see my global Kred. However, I can choose the drop-down and find out what my Kred is for Social Media, tech, podcasters, and other keywords.

Kred is in beta and only connects to Twitter at this time. It looks like they will be adding LinkedIn and Facebook soon. Klout, on the other hand measures to those three plus Google +, Foursquare, YouTube, and a host of other sites (if you participate on them).

How Kred Measures Score

From the Kred Blog:

Kred gives Influence Points every time there is an exchange that indicates someone inspired another person to take action: replying to them, mentioning them in a post, retweeting their content, or following them or their list.

Kred assigns 10 points for the most common actions like being @replied, retweeted or mentioned in a conversation. More points are given for events that have bigger impact, like having a message retweeted by someone with more than 10,000 followers.

Klout Perks

From time to time, Klout offers perks like gift certificates, gifts, and invitations to closed betas (like when Google Plus was in beta). You can check the Klout perks to find out what you can participate in.

Why Should We Measure Kred / Klout Score?

You might think it’s vein to check your score, but it’s no different than a marketing company checking production on their sales or work. Once you know what your reach is, you can work on improving it. For instance, I have high marks in podcasting, but lower marks in Social Media. I can now focus on building that area.

Kred states it’s the “Nielsons of online”. If people can find your influential in an area, they may just call you up to give you work. For those of us who work for ourselves, getting jobs handed to us sounds like a very delightful thought.

It’s a good idea to see what people recognize you as. If you want to break into a specific field, you want to follow those who are leading. You might even become a leader yourself. Just like a good marketing department follows sales through a third-party company, you can do the same with these two programs.

 

CardMunch for the iPhone

http://www.cardmunch.com/images/logo.pngIf you travel a lot for business or go to a lot of conferences the one thing that you are sure to collect are business cards. Everyone you meet will hand you one. The question is what to do with it. You stick it in the back of a wallet or maybe a coat pocket and then forget about it. At home you may have a draw or box that you throw them in. Telling yourself that you will add them your address book as soon as you have time, however that time never seems to come. The problem is how to get the information easily and accurately into your address book. If you have an iPhone 3s or above then the app CardMunch maybe the answer you looking for.

The way CardMunch works is you open up the app on your iPhone line the card up between the four corners on the screen and tap on the screen to take a picture. That picture is then sent to actual humans working through the mechanical turk system who read the information and sends it back to you. At that point you have the option to accept or reject it. If you accept it, it will be added to your CardMunch data base. You can keep it in your CardMunch data base or transfer it to your Apple address book. If you choose to keep it within your data base it will sync with an online account. If you loose your phone you will still have access to the information, which you can then sync it back to your new phone.

CardMunch was $2.99 in the App store and then 25¢ per card after the first ten cards. Then in January 2011 CardMunch was purchased by Linkedin. Now both the app and the service are now free. You can also send request to connect through Linkedin directly from a card on the application. CardMunch is only available for the iPhone The better the picture you take the more accurate the information you get back, which is why the app only works with iPhone 3s and above. If you have a lot of business card and use Linkedin then I recommend trying CardMunch.

Applying for a Job? LinkedIn, Monster Update Job Options.

Last week, we learned that Monster.com updated their website with new power search features for recruiters. Today, LinkedIn updated their site for website owners to create a button to apply through their service. With these new options, will finding and applying for jobs be easier?

Monster’s See More Option

Monster See More

Monster See More

Monster.com last week revamped their website. They added a great new feature for recruiters to find more qualified applicants . After all, a new resume is added every 2.3 seconds. Their platform, called “SeeMore” lets recruiters search by skills and experience. Therefore, the more you have your resume filled with exact detail, the more you will move to the top of a list.

“With the introduction of SeeMore(TM), we are transforming recruitment and talent management by taking our state-of-the-art 6Sense semantic search and applying it to resumes beyond Monster,” said Sal Iannuzzi, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Monster Worldwide. “Employers can now assess their company’s talent databases in one central location so everyone can be found easily, regardless of their point of origin. This, paired with the benefits of semantic search and analytics, enables companies to be more precise about their talent matching needs, reduce the time and cost of acquiring and managing talent, and improve the quality of hires.”

Apply with LinkedIn Button

Apply with LinkedIn

Apply with LinkedIn

This morning, LinkedIn has announced the launch of a new option: Apply with LinkedIn. It’s a new plugin that enables employers to create a button on their sites for job seekers to easily submit their LinkedIn profile for job opportunities.

So let’s say you are on a website that has a job opportunity with the Apply on LinkedIn button. When you select it, you are applying through your LinkedIn profile. That way, you don’t have to sit down and fill out every field again and again for the job.

“In this challenging jobs environment, LinkedIn’s ability to connect talent with opportunity at massive scale is more essential than ever. Apply with LinkedIn is the next phase of our open platform effort and we hope an important catalyst in creating economic opportunity for our members,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

Best part – If I am a small mom and pop shop that needs one employee, I can use this button instead of saying “Email me your resume”, or come in to apply. The button works just like other buttons on your own website, like the twitter button or Facebook like button.

Both of these options are ways we can take job searches to the next level. Will recruiters find viable job applicants? Will the quality of employees become more prevalent? Only time will tell…

New Infographic – The Demographics of Social Media

The website Advertising Age released a cool new infographic comparing various social media – namely Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There are some interesting facts revealed here.  For instance the Social Media space is lead by the 35-54 age group, the leading country for Facebook is the US, but the second is Indonesia, the leading country for LinkedIn is also the US, but it’s followed by India, and females outpace males as Twitter users.

While some of this strikes me as common sense (like Twitter being dominated by the 35-54 age group), some of it amazes me (like there are significantly more female users and visitors to Twitter).  For anyone who runs a web site this is pretty good information to have.  It can provide a lot of aim to your marketing and SEO efforts.  For those who don’t run a site it’s still a bit of pretty interesting information to parse over.

demographics of social media

GNC-2011-01-31 #644 Warm and Sunny Honolulu

I have to admit, I would rather be here in Hawaii for the next couple of days, but when I was a kid there was nothing more fun than a snow storm. Enjoy the time off work, and know that I will be flying out on Thursday nite to head to the windy city for a couple of days and then back to Honolulu. I have a full load of news and commentary for you. Make sure you are subscribed so as not to miss any episodes.

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Show Notes:
A Storm Be coming!
iPhone Explorer.
Effing Meteors.
Run a Private Torrent Site.
Amazon Streaming.
No more IP’s
MacWorld What MacWorld?
IE9 Command Line Installs.
Apollo 14 Anniversary.
Planetary Scale.
Shuttle on the Pad!
Shuttle on a Poster.
Hackers Go Old School.
Where the money is going!
Android #1
Deck.ly?
Egypt 100% Offline.
AT&T Tells all.
Google Exec Missing in Egypt.
Power Hub Organizer!
Google Docs Updated.
Progress at ISS.
Underground Data Centers.
Tunnel Sniffers.
Love Hormone & Jealousy combined!
Mass Infringement Lawsuits in 2010.
Phone and Net Shutdown.
Al Jazeera makes bold move.
China Censors at full capacity.
More Android Developers.
White iPhone makes Appearance.
iPad Newspapers!
Flickr and Yahoo ok for Now?
Clearwire fights back over Netflix.
Netgear CEO gets ugly on Jobs.
Comcast owns NBCU.
FCC say lawsuits filled were two early.
Google Double Standard.
LinkedIn IPO!
MS Browser really sick!
Canada Kills Net Innovation!
Guns and denial service of Attacks.
Intel has a big chip issue.
ISP’s want YouTube and Netflix to pay heavily!

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