In a slight change from last week, things are looking decidedly more grim this week. Let's start with the most unfortunate headline that the internet chefs have prepared for us.
Security researchers have discovered a database comprised of stolen user credentials and personal information, containing no less than 26 billion records.
The database itself is over 12 TB large, and includes data from popular websites like Twitter, Linkedin, and Weibo. The data has been gradually gathered from various previous leaks, and is thought to be the largest of its kind ever discovered.
You may recall that we've spoken about 23andMe before. In case you're unaware, popular genetics testing firm 23andMe had their systems compromised, and the hackers were able to steal a LOT of sensitive data. They then proceeded to say that it was the users fault for not using 2FA....Right. As it turns out, this past week the company admitted that hackers were also able to access "uninterrupted raw genotype data, and may have accessed other sensitive information in your account, such as certain health reports derived from the processing of your genetic information, including health-predisposition reports, wellness reports, and carrier status reports." Not sure if flaming the users was the right call there guys.
Well, well, well....color me shocked. You mean to tell me the worlds largest and most well funded spying agency was exploiting a glaringly obvious loophole in the American legal system?! (/s)
In all seriousness, it's actually very refreshing to hear this discourse taking place outside of locked rooms. As the NSA is trying to appoint a new director, their efforts are being handcuffed by senators demanding answers about their data purchasing practices. In their own words: "NSA acquires various types of [commercially available information] for foreign intelligence, cybersecurity, and other authorized mission purposes, to include enhancing its signals intelligence (SIGINT) and cybersecurity missions...This may include information associated with electronic devices being used outside and, in certain cases, inside the United States."
This is why you hear us sounding like a broken record, week in and week out. If you use any product that needs your location data, you should assume this data is being sold, used, and. or monetized by advertisers, data brokers, and intelligence agencies.
You've probably heard of this company, it's called (checks notes)....Windscribe! That's right, you're looking at the 2023 Best Start-up in Toronto. What does this mean for us as a company? Not a whole lot actually, but it's nice to see that our efforts are being recognized. In the meantime, we'll still be here making sure your connections are uninterrupted and your data remains un-inspected.
- That old Myspace account you forgot to deactivate probably got hacked
- If you used 23andMe recently, you should be looking forward to the class action lawsuit
- The NSA is definitely buying your location data from companies
- Windscribe is pretty alright, or so Hackernoon says.
This week the internet chefs decided to switch things up a bit. Yet, in doing so they were able to maintain that ever so delicate balance of the good, bad, and the dumb.
A comprehensive privacy strategy is the best way to avoid long term headaches cause by the bad and the dumb things in life. That's where Windscribe can be of assistance. Let us do the heavy lifting of protecting your data online while you surf in peace.