It’s not just individuals who are facing the dangers of data hacks and breaches. This threat is prevalent on all levels – for individuals, businesses, and governments.
These issues are becoming more serious. The occurrences are becoming more frequent, affected number of people are growing exponentially and the type of information being leaked is simply dangerous.
Here’s the list of 2019’s most prominent hacks and breaches – from personal records to mismanagement of data to outright horrific technology rollouts.
Singapore H.I.V. Registry Disclosed (14,200 Patients Affected) – January 28, 2019
A story of love, deception, betrayal, and fraud.
The Singaporean Ministry of Health has released a statement on January 28, 2019, revealing that 14,200 patient records in the nation’s H.I.V. registry were illegally obtained and disclosed online.
This story begins with Mikhy K Farrera Brochez, an American citizen who claimed to be a child prodigy who entered Princeton University at the age of 13. He had forged all the paperwork around his academic background to boot.
Mikhy could not legally work in Singapore due to the country’s policy around banning foreigners with H.I.V. from working.
He then entered a romantic relationship with a local doctor who provided his own blood to provide a false negative for H.I.V. tests. The boyfriend and doctor, by the name of Ler Teck Siang, was the Head of the Ministry of Health’s National Public Health Unit from 2012 to 2013.
This scheme worked for Mikhy for several years until in 2016 when he was arrested for drug possession. He was caught with ketamine and cannabis.
Mikhy obtained the H.I.V. registry through Der’s credentials and disclosed them online.
The information included their name, identification number, contact details (phone number and address), HIV test results and related medical information. The name, identification number, phone number and address of 2,400 individuals identified through contact tracing up to May 2007 were also included.
Over 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners diagnosed with H.I.V. were affected.
Apple FaceTime Bug (Caller Heard Audio Before the Call Was Accepted) – January 29, 2019
2019 started off a little bit scary for Apple customers as a FaceTime bug allowed callers – even random ones – to listen in on any iOS user.
The bug essentially was reproduced by adding your own number to the FaceTime call while the call was ringing. The bug affected all iOS devices running iOS 12.1+.
This story unfolded to an even bigger security issue.
— Benji Mobb™ (@BmManski) January 28, 2019
Another bug came to light – this time, a more serious one than the last. This new bug not only allowed audio eavesdropping but also turned on your camera. Essentially, anyone who wished to use this bug could access any iOS users’ video and audio.
Facebook Stored Hundreds of Millions of Passwords in Plaintext – March 21, 2019
Security consultant and investigator Brian Krebs published a story where he revealed that Facebook had been storing millions of user passwords in plaintext for years.
According to an anonymous source, a senior Facebook employee, an internal investigation indicated between 200 million to 600 million Facebook users’ passwords were stored in plaintext and accessible by more than 20,000 Facebook employees.
Krebs’ source also revealed that over 2,000 Facebook engineers had approximately 9 million queries related to the passwords.
Facebook promptly released a press release statement shedding no new information. The statement went onto say, “passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them.”
Hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users were affected.
Source: Krebs on Security