Have you heard of Syniverse? In short, it provides a service that works in the background and enables people to use their smartphones to call or text their friends and families. That’s exactly why it is a very big deal that Syniverse got hacked.
According to Vice, Syniverse is a critical part of the global telecommunication infrastructure used by AT&T-Movile, Verizon, Vodafone, China Mobile and others.
In a Filings Report with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, Syniverse pointed out that it had been hacked in 2016. Here is a small portion of that section of the report:
…For example, in May of 2021, Syniverse became aware of unauthorized access to its operational and information technology servers by an unknown individual or organization… Promptly, upon Syniverse’s detection of the unauthorized access, Syniverse launched an internal investigation, notified law enforcement, commenced remedial actions and engaged the services of specialized legal counsel and other incident response professionals. Syniverse has conducted a thorough investigation of the incident.
The results of the investigation revealed that the unauthorized access began on May 2016. Syniverse’s investigation revealed that the individual or organization gained unauthorized access to databases within its network on several occasions, and that login information allowing access to or from its Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) environment was compromised for approximately 235 of its customers…
Daring Fireball pointed out that 235 customers doesn’t sound like a lot. But then realized that Syniverse’s “customers” are carriers, not people. Another problem pointed out on Daring Fireball was that Syniverse discovered the data breach in May of 2021, but the hack began in May of 2016.
It seems to me that it is possible that a lot of people’s data and information could have been stolen and used for nefarious purposes. This is really bad. I think Syniverse should have publicly mentioned the data breach years ago, instead of attempting to quietly let their investors know about it in 2021.
You may have heard of Epik (the web host – not Epic the gaming company). According to Gizmodo, Epik the web host and domain registrar provides services to Gab, Parler, and Bitchute (which Gizmodo described as “conspiracy-theory-laden YouTube wannabe), and The Donald (a President Trump fansite).
Epik also recently hosted the Texas whistleblower website – which was intended to allow people to “snitch on Texas residents who want abortions.” Gizmodo reported that Epic forcibly removed the Texas site from the platform after determining it had violated Epik’s terms by non-consensually collecting third-party information.
Those sites seem to end up on Epik after breaking the terms of services of whatever mainstream hosting company they started with.
TechCrunch reported that hackers associated with the hacktivist collective Anonymous say they have leaked gigabytes of data from Epik. The hackers did not say how they obtained the breached data or when the hack took place. TechCrunch says that, according to time stamps, the most recent files suggest the hack “most likely” happened in late February.
It appears that the hackers have now released the information that was in the Epik data breach. TechCrunch reported what was in the data breach, based on a statement from the hackers.
What kind of information was in the data breach? TechCrunch reported that a statement was sent to a torrent file of the dumped data this week. It included a “decades worth” of company data, including “all that’s needed to trace actual ownership and management” of the company. The hackers claimed to have customer payment histories, domain purchases and transfers, passwords, credentials and employee mailboxes.
According to TechCrunch, Epik initially told reporters it was unaware of a breach but an email set out by founder and chief executive Robert Monster on Wednesday altered users to an “alleged security incident.” To me, it sounds like the damage had already been done before users were alerted to it by email.
This is a really good example of why you need to be absolutely certain that the web host that is hosting your content is a reliable one.
When Burger King got hacked, we all laughed at the idea McDonalds might have bought it. When the Associated Press got hacked, we noticed. But it took the Onion in getting hacked for Twitter to finally do something…
Twitter rolled out a two-step verification system for users to get extra protection against would-be hackers. The verification method includes a special code that is sent via phone when they try to log in. With this extra step using a cell phone, hackers can become thwarted in trying to access an account.
This is not a new process – Facebook and Google both give this second verification step in your security features. Its better than a password because you don’t need to remember one. Its also better than a “name your pet” verification because in some cases (like Sarah Palin) people know that information.
“Today we’re introducing a new security feature to better protect your Twitter account: login verification,” says Jimio from the Twitter Product Security Team on the Twitter blog. “With login verification enabled, your existing applications will continue to work without disruption. If you need to sign in to your Twitter account on other devices or apps, visit your applications page to generate a temporary password to log in and authorize that application.
If you choose not to opt in you run risk of getting hacked. Of course, you also need to keep your phone numbers up-to-date. If that changes, you might have problems getting into your accounts.
If your Twitter Gets Hacked
First, attempt to change your password. If you still can’t log in, contact Twitter through a Support request. (choosing “Hacked account” from the list of options).
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