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As Facebook stock flows into the public market, trading on the value of users' personal details, hackers are placing their own price on the vast quantities of data that internet companies hold."I have a bunch of geeks working for me that like to do this kind of thing," says Rachwald, a 42-year-old Californian who got into security when he saw Intel design specifications being sold in the streets of Tai Pei for $300 apiece."Some people like to go to the movies, some people like to read a book, and some people like to hack."Imperva:"Enterprises are in a pre-pubescent phase when it comes to properly protecting passwords."On March 26 this year, hackers under the banner of Lulzsec – an offshoot of the broad-church pseudo-movement known as Anonymous (Rachwald calls it a "global disorganisation") – dumped over 170,000 account details online.
"Imagine a Facebook where you couldn't send photos, or email where you couldn't exchange attachments," he says.Unfortunately for Military Singles, they weren't encrypted well.The site used an outdated encryption method, MD5, that had been broken in 2004.A military dating site attacked by hackers in March had serious security flaws, a report has found.Military Singles.com, whose users' details were dumped online by Lulzsec hacktivists, failed to prevent the upload of malicious user content and did not properly encrypt its password database, according to data security company Imperva.The report concludes that user-generated content is not just the lifeblood of the modern internet but also its Achilles' heel.
But Rob Rachwald, the company's director of security strategy, says the methods and aims of the hackers reflect those of major firms like Google and Facebook.
Central to the hack, Rachwald claims, was a method called Remote File Inclusion.
RFI involves sneaking malicious code onto a file server by disguising it as or attaching it to legitimate content.
Enterprises are in a pre-pubescent phase when it comes to properly protecting passwords."But how much data is really out there to steal?
In 2011, an Austrian law student, Max Schrems, used EU data protection laws to demand Facebook give him a copy of all the data they held about him.
But because such data is controlled from the user's own computer, the hackers were able to tamper with the upload after it left their machine by routing the file through a proxy – and trick the filter into accepting it.