Social media security just took a major hit, as a hacking breach added onto what has been a turbulent 2013 for cybersecurity across the nation.
Hackers broke into 2 million accounts for various websites, including Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Yahoo (YHOO) and Google (GOOG). Username and password information was transmitted to a server in the Netherlands, according to Trustwave analysts.
As more and more personal information makes its way onto the Internet, the incentive for hackers only grows. And 2013 has seen more than its fair share of security breaches, especially for these companies.
Back in February, for instance, Facebook discovered that hackers had targeted their employees, although the company claimed that no data had been compromised. At nearly the same time, Twitter announced that 250,000 user accounts had been compromised, as a result of an attack on its systems.
Now, here’s a closer look at just a few of the biggest and most high-profile hacks of 2013:
Biggest Hacks: Adobe (ADBE)
In October, Adobe (ADBE) reported that information for nearly 3 million customers had been compromised as a result of hacks.
As it turned out, things were much worse than that. After further investigation, Adobe announced that 38 million people were actually affected by the hacks. This wasn’t just names and passwords, either — hackers gained access to the credit card information associated with user accounts.
According to The Buzz blog on CNNMoney, Adobe still might be underreporting the damage — which could be in the hundreds of millions of users.
Not that it had any effect on the stock. ADBE is up 46% in 2013.
Biggest Hacks: New York Times
Late this summer, The New York Times was the target of multiple hacks after reporting on the events in Syria.
The NYT website was hacked twice in two weeks, and was temporarily taken down as a result of the hacking. A group known as the Syrian Electronic Army was suspected to be behind the attacks, and eventually claimed responsibility.
The NYT used external sites to keep reporting during website outages. Still, these hacks showed that not all hackers are out for personal information — some just want to control the news. But the SEA didn’t stop there …
Biggest Hacks: President Barack Obama’s Twitter Account
The SEA also claimed responsibility for hacks involving President Obama’s Twitter and Facebook accounts in October.
The President’s personal information was not compromised in the attack, but hackers managed to affect the link-shortening service used by the President’s social media account. Hackers redirected links from President Obama’s accounts to videos about the Syrian Electronic Army.
The group took credit for the attacks on Twitter, saying, “Obama doesn’t have any ethical issues with spying on the world, so we took it upon ourselves to return the favor.”
Biggest Hacks: Apple (AAPL)
Tech darling Apple (AAPL) had to shut down its developer site after it was hacked in mid-July.
Hackers attempted to steal personal information about the company’s developers, who manage their accounts through the developer site. Customer information was stored in a different location and wasn’t affected by the hack.
Apple was quick to state that its data was encrypted, which helps deter hacks, but could not guarantee that all developers’ personal information was safe.