The Day All My Personal Information Was Leaked On The Internet

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 09.11.2012 (5:00 am) | Write a Comment  (3 Comments)

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A few months ago, I woke up and visited one of the “tech news” websites that I visit every day and saw a headline that got my attention. The fact that Stratfor, a geo-poloticial news and analysis website that I had been using had been hacked. I was intrigued and clicked to read more about it. That is when I was shocked. It read that the website had been hacked and much of the data that had been stolen. What really caught my eye though was that personal data had been compromised as well. Not only that, the hackers went ahead and published the data on the web.

Surely, I would not be part of that right? Yes, I was a paid subscriber, but come on. Right??? So I actually looked for the file that they published (easily found), downloaded it and did a quick search for my name.

And there it was.. My name, address, phone number, credit card number (with the expiry and 3 digit security code). Everything was there!!! Even my password (which thankfully I was not using on other websites). Wow. I had a moment of panic. I did not have ID theft insurance or any other type of protection for that matter. And so did thousands of others that had been compromised. Thankfully, I had moved since then so that information was no longer valid.

This Was Not Just “Bad Luck”

Some might say that it was just bad luck. I beg to differ. Stratfor was hacked. But so was Amazon’s Zappos (although credit card data was not compromised) and even Microsoft India. Many others as well. Can you imagine id a website like Amazon was hacked? Who doesn’t have tons of information stored in Amazon’s servers? The issue is that with our emails, data, banking and so many other types of data gradually being moved online, getting robbed is increasingly difficult to protect against.

A New “Vulnerable” World

Protecting a business or a person used to be about having a good lock, living in a good and safe neighberhood and ideally having a home security alarm system. That is no longer enough. Some time ago I wrote about the impact that cyber-war would end up having and how so many great opportunities exist in that sector. I think great opportunities exist and while it’s not clear what the best investment might turn out to be

There are many stories about how a computer virus was potentially able to blow up in Iranian nuclear plant, you can read the fascinating story about it here . 60 minutes also discussed the issue with some US officials now worried that such a virus will now be copied to be used against Western infrastructures….

Symantec (SYMC)

With McAfee (MFE) being purchased by Intel Corp (INTC) last year, I would say that Symantec (SYMC) is the only big cap play on the sector. That being said, I will continue to keep my eyes open for decent opportunities. This will be a major growth sector. You only need one big company that has a major breach or security isssue to force all others to invest. Also, even a company that targets individuals could do very well as more and more people will be made aware of the risks.

What are your thoughts on the market, on Symantec and on any other names you know in the sector?


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  1. Comment by A.K. — September 11, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

    I would look into cyber-security insurance.

  2. Pingback by Dividend Link Time | The Dividend Guy Blog — September 14, 2012 @ 4:00 am

    […] 2. The Day All My Personal Information Was Leaked On The Internet @ IS. […]

  3. Comment by Bret @ Hope to Prosper — September 17, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    I felt the same way when LinkedIn was hacked and the passwords were compromised. I use a different password in Social Media websites than in financial ones, but it was still a hassle changing all of those passwords.

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