The week in news - October 26
Web hosting server Weebly confirmed a data breach in which more than 43 million accounts have been compromised, with usernames, passwords, IP addresses and email addresses among the vulnerable data. The data may have been stolen as early as February of this year, according to reports. Customers have been notified and Weebly have announced it has begun to help customers reset their passwords. Foursquare, an international searching service app, has also reportedly suffered a breach, with media suggesting 22.5 million users’ data has been stolen, including user ID’s, email addresses and Facebook and Twitter handles. The leaked data allegedly dates back to a hack in 2013, though Foursquare have denied the occurrence of such breach.
The AT&T–Time Warner mega merger continues to garner headline attention, with many speculating regulators will heavily scrutinize the impending deal. While the deal, reportedly worth $85.4 billion has been unanimously approved by both AT&T and Time Warner’s boards, politicians (including both presidential candidates) and corporations alike have expressed anti-competition concerns and a potential monopolistic control. Critics argue that the merger would threaten freedom of information and act in violation of the spirit of net neutrality. The mega merger would create an effective control on television, cable networks and broadband services throughout the country, with many outspoken against the deal citing the negative impact this could create for consumers.
29-year old Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin was indicted by a grand jury in San Francisco. It is speculated that Nikulin’s arrest is in relation to hacking and data theft from LinkedIn’s computers in the area, as well as other companies, including Dropbox. Nikulin, who was arrested in the Czech Republic, and remains in custody in the territory, faces charges including computer intrusion and identity theft. According to reports by the Guardian, LinkedIn suffered a catastrophic data breach in 2012, in which more than 100 million accounts were compromised. Russian government representatives have spoken out against Nikulin’s potential extradition to the United States.
A cyber attack of unprecedented scale occurred on Friday, with officials confirming its end on Tuesday. The victim was Dyn, one of the Internet’s self-proclaimed ‘switchboards’, and a domain name server. The reported distributed denial of service attack through an entangled web of Internet-enabled devices, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things, flooding them with junk data, successfully stalling sites nation-wide. More than 1,200 websites are reported to have suffered as a result of the attack across the United States, including Netflix, Spotify, Twitter, and the New York Times, suffering sporadic denial of access and delays. The news has sparked concern that an attack of similar scale could potentially hinder online voting in the presidential elections next month.