Emerging Threats

13 million MacKeeper user accounts exposed


Authored by a Symantec employee

 

Earlier this week, white hat hacker Chris Vickery announced that he was able to gain access to over 13 million MacKeeper user accounts. A vulnerability was exploited in the company’s servers, which exposed the usernames, email addresses and other personal information of 13 million customers. Since the company processes credit card payments through a third party, no financial information was exposed. Vickery notified the company of the security hole, and did not release any of the data found to the public. The company said in a statement that it fixed the bug within hours of its discovery.

Data breaches are becoming all too commonplace these days.

The data that companies store about their users can be a virtual payday for cybercriminals, as this type of information makes it easier to commit acts of fraud such as identity theft, tax fraud, and even open new lines of credit in your name. While the protection of your data ultimately lies in the hands of the company holding it, nothing is infallible.

It's often said, "The best defense is a good offense." There are some steps you can take to be proactive in the event that you are exposed in a data breach:

  • Do not reuse passwords for the same websites. If you are a MacKeeper user, and use the same password for other accounts, _change it immediately_. Often, once a hacker gets a hold of user log in credentials, they will then try to use it on other websites. They depend on people using the same password for many different accounts.
  • Monitor your credit report on a regular basis, and consider signing up for a credit monitoring service in order to alert you to new accounts being opened up under your name.
  • Keep a close eye on your bank accounts and any other financial accounts you have for suspicious activity. If the companies you do business with offer activity alerts in the form of text messages or emails, sign up for them.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Norton LifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

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