It was August 6 when authorities announced that a Russian Cyber ring had pulled off the largest online theft of private Internet information in history. The giant web haul includes 1.7 billion user names and password combinations and more than half a billion email addresses. Some of you may wish to pause reading this blog to update you passwords right now. Go ahead. We’ll wait.
How did they get the purloined information? The Russians injected malware into at least 420,000 websites. “It’s absolutely the largest breach we’ve ever encountered,” said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer at Hold Security.
Holden, by the way found his own user name and password were nabbed by the cyber thieves. While the gang has been identified, they’re located in Russia, so don’t expect arrests anytime soon.
Today, overseas cyber thieves have large operations and many times they have better funding and more knowledge when it comes to Internet security then even the largest companies.
So how do you combat cyber thieves if you’re a small website design & development company with smaller clients? This is one case where being small has advantages. The big well-funded thieves normally don’t consider pillaging small website design & development companies or their clients.
Still, there is much website design & development companies can do to shield their clients from pillage. Many clients ask want to use templates for their websites. We counsel against this, because it means the template coding is replicated hundreds or even thousands of times across the Internet at sites using that same template. Once a cyber hacker injects malware into one of these sites it’s simply a matter of doing a global search for the others sites with the same code and they’re all breached.
We’re also one website design & development company that checks for malicious code additions in all our clients on a regular basis. It has to be done or cyber theft can be the result.
Finally, as big a pain as it can be, you should always use a long password with letters, characters and numbers, they should also be different for everything you use on the web and you should change them often.