Getting serious about online security

Apple’s iCloud service suffered a high-profile hack in August last year, pushing online privacy and data security to the forefront of people’s minds. Since then we’ve seen lots of big names hit the headlines, including cheating website Ashley Madison and the holy trinity of press release distribution services – Marketwired, PR Newswire, and Business Wire.

While Ashley Madison’s users are still waiting (nervously, no doubt) to see if their personal data will crop up online, information from the three press release wires was used over a period of several months to help corrupt traders make millions of dollars by acting on information from listed companies before it became public. Hacking is evidently big business.

But it’s not just the big boys being targeted. There’s been a lot of smaller scale hacks in the past 18 months, too. Kickstarter was breached in February 2014 and, somewhat ironically, security software firm BitDefender admitted having user data stolen in July of this year. More recently, the literary community Wattpad was targeted.

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