Data Leaks Bring in the New Year
German politicians are under the spotlight due to recent data leaks. It’s easy to forget that politicians are people too, and as people, data leaks definitely affect them the same way as anyone else. These politicians have had their personal and professional devices cracked wide open for the whole world to see. Some professions rely on technology, and being a politician is certainly one of those tech-reliant professions. Right now, these politicians are in a world of hurt trying to stop a personal data dump of epic proportions.
Twitter user @thegrugq wrote:
“This data leak has so much data squirrelled away to avoid take downs. It must have required many man hours of uploading.
– 70 mirrors of the download links
– 40 d/l links, each with 3-5 mirrors
– 161 mirrors of data files
Plus the tweets, blog posts, mirrors of mirror links.”
Politicians aren’t used to blockbuster revelations of this scale. There have been things like WikiLeaks, and that certainly affected the U.S. elections, but those data leaks seem to have triggered a new wave of political cyberattacks. You may not be a politician, but these data leaks generally start a bad trend. First are politicians, next are celebrities, and when there’s no one else to target, hackers turn their keyboards on the general populace – people like you and I.
According to Mashable, the stolen personal information includes photos, chat logs, cellphone numbers, home addresses, emails, family members’ names, and more. Data dumps are becoming more and more like big game hunting trips. Weeks of preparation and stalking goes into these hack attacks, and once the trigger is pulled, the data is disseminated to the whole wide web to see. The thing is with data leaks, is that it usually starts with a trickle of information that eventually leads to a whole dam bursting. Plugging a small leak is always easier than cleaning up a flood.
Wiperts specializes in online personal data removal. Your personal information should be kept private and off unauthorized websites. Hackers start with publicly available information in order to perform “social engineering.” Social engineering is basically telling enough lies using stolen information to obtain access. The Oxford Dictionary defines social engineering as, “The use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.”
If you have money in your bank account or credit cards that work, then you’re a target. Criminals aim for people that have money and/or are vulnerable to cybercrime. Social engineering aims to access this financial information and fraudulently use it. Quietly and stealthily prying open bank accounts and wallets from a computer is far more sophisticated than cracking a safe or pickpocketing. The rewards are far more enticing as well, because very few traces are left behind in a cyber-attack. By the time you find out something’s been stolen, it might have happened weeks or months ago.
In politically motivated cases, this information is used to shame, harass, or blackmail. Most people don’t have a public political opinion and they keep their thoughts close to their chest, only using methods like private messaging. Social engineers exploit people’s political views in order to sway public opinion in their favor. If you don’t want the whole world to know what you’re thinking, then keeping your personal information away from social engineers will help keep you protected in the long run.
Wiperts stops data leaks from turning into massive data dumps. You don’t want to be caught up in a news headline, whether it’s politically related or not. These cyber-attacks have real consequences for everyone involved. Over the upcoming weeks and months, we will see how Germany’s government and people react to these data dumps. Regardless of how it turns out, you should contact Wiperts today and see what can be done to protect your personal data.