Twitter hacking 'a wake-up call on privacy issues'
Dubai, February 6, 2013
Last week’s Twitter hack attack has given a wake up call on sophisticated invasion of privacy and more attacks await the uninformed and unprotected, according to an expert.
With the online world still reeling from the revelation that anonymous hackers gained access to around 250,000 accounts on the social networking site – including usernames, email addresses and passwords – AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky has called for greater awareness across the board.
“The attack on Twitter is a gross and sophisticated invasion of privacy and a real wake-up call for even the most casual online user,” he said.
“Twitter’s vulnerability to hackers is particularly disconcerting given its stature and the fact that it is such a rich mine for would-be identity thieves. It just goes to show that no website or institution is immune from cybercriminals.”
"It's time to move online privacy and security outside the realms of IT departments and computer geeks - hackers are targeting everyone from consumers to businesses to governments. If there's any hope of fighting back, the online privacy conversation needs to go mainstream. Until people realise how risky their online actions are, the rate of cybercrime will continue to skyrocket.”
Gorodyanksy believes the UAE will be particularly prone in the coming year, pointing to recent research by Symantec highlighting that 46 per cent of all social networking users in the UAE fall victim to deliberate attacks (above the global average of 39 per cent), and the number of UAE mobile phone users impacted by mobile threats was double the global average.
The research also found that the UAE was one of the most highly spammed countries in the world with 73 per cent of web users receiving spam emails. Over the past 12 months, 1.5 million people in the country fell victim to cybercrime, costing $422 million in direct losses, the report said.
“Most people have antivirus software installed on their computers, but that's just the first step,” added Gorodyansky.
“In addition to securing your computers against attack, you also need to fortify your Web browsing. This is particularly true as personal mobile devices proliferate and more and more activity moves to the cloud and public Wi-Fi. Adding VPN software will help shut the door on hackers and identity thieves. So will being diligent about where, when, and how sensitive information – passwords, financial information, documents – is shared.”
AnchorFree’s VPN service, Hotspot Shield, provides desktop and mobile users with protection from 3.5 million malware, phishing and Spam sites. To date, Hotspot Shield has been downloaded by more than 100 million people from 190 countries worldwide, the statement said.
Available on Apple iOS, and Android devices, in addition to desktop PCs and Macs, Hotspot Shield also compresses data during mobile phone use to speed up the browsing experience and more than double the amount of Web content users can access under their mobile data plans.
In just over a year, Hotspot Shield products have saved mobile users more than 21 million megabytes of data, protected users from more than 630 million pieces of malware and encrypted more than 15 billion page views. Hotspot Shield was an early pioneer in protecting Mac users from the Flashback virus in 2012 and remains one of the most popular Mac security apps worldwide, it said.
AnchorFree experienced explosive growth in 2012 and, according to Quantcast, has the 35th most trafficked service on the Web, placing it among the top 40 online destinations based on total Internet traffic, it said. - TradeArabia News Service