Even Dow Jones subscribers are not safe from the threat posed by hackers who are seeking out vulnerabilities to collect user data. It is not the first time a major service or company comes under attack, but the Dow Jones hack is of particular worry to former and current subscribers. Payment information may very well be obtained, and all affected consumers are advised to keep an eye on their credit card statements for the foreseeable future.
One of the main concerns when major platforms come clean about security breaches is the time period during which this attack was occurring. In the case of the Dow Jones subscriber hack, that data remains rather vague, as official reports indicate it could have happened anywhere between August 2012 and July 2015. Whether or not hackers had access to these systems during this entire period, remains unknown for the time being.
Despite the large ramifications this breach could have had, less than 3,500 subscribers have been compromised during the hack. Keeping in mind the Dow Jones subscriber numbers are in the range of a multitude of that number, it looks like the hackers – fortunately – didn’t make the most of their opportunity.
According to Dow Jones CEO William Lewis, there is no clear evidence of subscriber information being stolen or compromised. However, it looks like this breach was an attempt to gather contact information to send out fraudulent messages to Dow Jones subscribers. The exact motives remain unclear, but it looks like this information would be used in so-called “phishing attacks”.
A letter sent out to affected Dow Jones customers states:
“The need to stay ahead of those who seek to do us and our customers harm is an ongoing priority; we will continue to do everything we can to protect our customers and our systems.”
Even though this hack may have only affected a small portion of the Dow Jones subscribers, it is once again a clear example of why traditional database solutions and no longer a viable option. Every year, more and more companies, platforms, and services are hacked and customer data is being gathered. Traditional centralized databases are no longer a secure form of storing data.
Decentralized solutions, based on blockchain technology, are the next logical step in the evolution of protecting customer data. Various Bitcoin companies are working on providing convenient ways to control user data over the blockchain, while no longer relying on central points of failure that are vulnerable to attacks.
Furthermore, using traditional payment methods, such as credit cards, for subscriptions no longer seems viable either. This information can easily be abused, and it will take affected credit card holders weeks, if not months, to get their money back. Bitcoin payments would take care of this problem as well, as there is no way to spend somebody’s money unless a hacker knows their private key. That private key should always be in the hands of the end user, and cannot be retrieved by hacking a database.
What are your thoughts on this Dow Jones breach? Do you think blockchain technology and Bitcoin could have prevented this attack? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Wall Street Journal
Images courtesy of Dow Jones, Shutterstock
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