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ABC hack a lesson for other companies: security experts

Hamish Barwick | March 4, 2013
The data breach of 49,500 audience usernames and hashed versions of passwords from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) website Making Australia Happy should serve as a lesson for other companies that deal with personal information, according to security industry experts.

"They potentially hurt thousands of people in their quest to hurt one organisation. In this instance, stealing of sensitive information and releasing it into the public domain."

Data breaches

According to Biviano, data breaches are "more commonplace" than people would like to admit. "With the commercial pressures to deploy online services quickly and cheaply, functionality often takes precedence to security," he said.

"Security is not seen, therefore it sometimes hard to justify its inclusion to non-technical project stakeholders, especially if it means that a service may take longer to come online or cost more."

Wilson said he was "not surprised" by the ABC data breach as employees of Senetas do not see a high adoption rate of encrypting sensitive data among commercial enterprises.

"However, there are some signs of slow change especially where the use of cloud and data centre services has grown."

"The prevalence of data breaches and business accountability means that businesses are now starting to take the issue more seriously and put better preventative measures in place."

 

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