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Biggest, Worst Personal Data Leaks of 2019

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Last year, hackers didn’t just hack — they also collected billion-account databases from breaches and leaks that had occurred years ago, only to sell them for profit.

Biggest, Worst Personal Data Leaks of 2019

However, eight breaches were really shocking and affected millions of people worldwide, according to https://nordpass.com

“With so many breaches and leaks in 2019, it’s possible that your email address or other details ended up in the wrong hands. You can check whether your email was in one of the databases by going to Have I Been Pwned,” said Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

“You can also check whether your password has leaked and might be used in a credential stuffing attack by visiting NordPass and checking if your password is secure.”

American Medical Collection Agency (11.9 million + 7.7 million). This breach affected not one but two lab testing companies.

First, Quest Diagnostics was notified that someone had unauthorized access to AMCA’s databases for eight months.

The hack affected almost 12 million of their customers. Hackers got access to very personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account information, medical information, and Social Security numbers.

Then there was LabCorp, another company whose customers were affected by this breach. Almost 8 million customers’ personal and financial data was compromised.

Suprema (27.8 million). This security loophole left 27.8 million people’s biometric data exposed. Suprema is a security company responsible for the web-based Biostar 2 biometrics lock system.

The system is used by almost 6,000 organizations in 83 countries, including governments and banks. Biostar uses fingerprints and facial recognition to allow employees into restricted buildings and areas.

Security researchers from VPNmentor found that the Biostar database was left unprotected and largely unencrypted. Worst of all, they got access to tons of sensitive information.

Houzz (48.9 million). Houzz, a home design website, started the year announcing a breach in which hackers got unauthorized access to its customers’ publicly available information, as well as usernames and encrypted passwords.

The company noticed the breach at the end of 2018 and was pretty vague about it in their public statements. However, ITRC reported that the hack affected almost 49 million Houzz customers.

Capital One (106 million). In July, Capital One announced that they suffered a massive data breach affecting 100 million Americans and 6 million Canadians.

The hacker accessed credit card applications made between 2005 and 2019. They contained personal data including names, home addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, etc.

What makes this one of the worst breaches of 2019 is that some bank numbers and social security numbers also ended up in the hands of the hacker.

Zynga (218 million). If you’ve ever played online games such as “Words with Friends” or “Draw Something,” you should be worried because their creator, Zynga, was breached in 2019.

The hack affected a whopping 218 million users. Bad actors accessed log-in credentials, usernames, email addresses, some Facebook IDs, some phone numbers, and Zynga account IDs.

Facebook (419 million). A security researcher at the GDI Foundation found an unprotected server with a database containing approximately 419 million phone numbers belonging to Facebook users.

The database was available to anyone, and it also included Facebook IDs, which makes finding user’s names and personal details even easier.

The owner of the server wasn’t found, but the database was taken down shortly after it was discovered.

Collection by Gnosticplayers (1 billion+). This isn’t a breach per se as much as it is a collection of breaches affecting more than 1 billion internet users.

A hacker who calls himself Gnosticplayers collected databases from 45 companies and put them up for sale on the dark web.

These batches contained data such as users’ full names, email addresses, passwords, location data, and social media account information.

The companies whose data was released includes Dubsmash (162 million), MyFitnessPal (151 million), MyHeritage (92 million), ShareThis (41 million), Animoto (25 million), 500px (15 million), CoffeeMeetsBagel (6 million), and more.

Collections #1-5 (3 billion). Collections #1-5 were probably the biggest leaks of 2019. They contained usernames and passwords collected over many years of breaches.

These batches appeared on hacking forums and were noticed by security researcher Troy Hunt, who identified the link between them all and informed the public.

The first batch was released in January and contained the data of 770 million people. Then, a few weeks later, Collections #2-5 appeared on the internet.

They contained 25 billion unique records and roughly 2.2 billion unique usernames and passwords, making this one of the most significant leaks to date.

For more go to https://nordpass.com.


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TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech

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Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.

According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.

Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.

This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.

On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.

Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.

As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.

Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.

“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.

“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”

“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.

“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”


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Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others

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inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.

Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others

It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.

Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.

Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.

“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.

According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.

“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and  technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.

 

 


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HP Lauds TD Africa, Says Tech Experience Centre will Unlock New Wave in Nigeria

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As Nigeria looks forward to the official launch of the Tech Experience Centre, globally renowned tech giant, Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP) has heaped praises on the management of TD Africa for spearheading the project, noting that the centre will herald a new technological wave in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Ife Afe, managing director – Nigeria and District Manager – Central Africa (CAF).

Equally important, HP is one of the global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that will be represented in the Tech Experience Centre located within Yudala Heights at 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Consequently, Afe has expressed delight with the development, even as she disclosed that the launch of the centre will bridge the gap to complete technology adoption for millions of Nigerians.

She said: ‘‘I do believe Nigerians are early adopters of new and exciting technology. Having a dedicated space where people can view and experience cutting-edge technology across rich and diverse portfolio is an important step towards complete Adoption.

‘‘Technology is about transformation. This tech centre will serve as a bridge, taking people from the imaginative stage to the experiential stage, thereby unlocking a new technological wave.

“I am very glad that TD Africa is taking this bold step and I look forward to the great collaborations that will flow out of this initiative.’’

Furthermore, the HP Senior Management Executive reiterated the strong interest in Nigeria by the tech brand.

‘‘We are strong believers in the Nigerian project and the boundless potential inherent in the population when exposed to cutting-edge technology.

“We also value the foresight and vision of our long-time partner and co-developer – TD Africa. We are proud of this project and are confident of its success and positive impact not just in the sphere of business but also in human capital development,’’ Afe enthused.

On what to expect from HP in the Tech Experience Centre, she revealed that a lot is in store for every visitor.

‘‘HP is in the business of making life better for everyone, everywhere, hence revolutionary innovation in Health care, Security, Gaming and Printing Solutions will be showcased in the Technology Centre.  Cutting- edge, sustainable, diverse and relevant innovation in technology.

‘‘This brings technology closer to home. I believe that the ambience of the Tech Centre will cater to a wide spectrum of users: CEO’s, Government officials, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, students, gamers etc. It will be the crucial meeting point of people and technology.

“Our wide spectrum of products and solutions will cater to all demographics – from first time users to specialists, professionals, gamers to moviemakers, work or play,’’ she affirmed.

The revolutionary Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa, is set for launch on Thursday, October 1st 2020, incidentally the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary by 12noon, with the launch streamed live online for the benefit of tech enthusiasts.

Expected to officially commission the centre is the Minister of Communica99tions and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami.

The Tech Centre is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.

For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.

 

 


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