US Navy hack leaks over 130,000 soldiers’ SSNs

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While the general increase in security incidents is alarming, the rise of incidents at governmental institutions is particularly worrying – you’d expect a robust infrastructure at such a high level. If these networks are so easy to infiltrate, what does this say about national security strategy or lower-profile devices in smart homes?

Over 130,000 sailors’ names and social security numbers were leaked following a breach of a computer used by an HP employee supporting a US Navy contract.

“The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously- this is a matter of trust for our Sailors,” said Robert Burke, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Admiral. “We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach.”

In coming weeks, the Navy will inform the victims by phone, post and email. “At this stage of the investigation, there is no evidence to suggest misuse of the information that was compromised,” the Navy said.

How could have this computer been compromised? A malware infection likely spread through the network due to employee carelessness, among other liabilities. The most common factor is human error. Employees should always pay close attention to any typos in emails, suspicious email addresses and attachments. They should never leave their work devices device unattended, give away their passwords or share company and personal information that would made it easy for a criminal to breach the network.

All companies should have a policy to reduce risk and manage vulnerabilities, and a strategy implemented to protect customer data in case of cyber-attacks.

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