Altruistic Hacking Group W0rm Hacks CNet

hackerA Russian hacking group calling itself W0rm has allegedly hacked into the CNET website and stolen a database of user data, and threatened to sell the data.  The hacking group has hacked other big news websites in the past, including BBC, Adobe, and Bank Of America.

The hacking group threatened to sell the database of user information for 1 Bitcoin, however they later claimed they only threatened to sell the data to gain attention.  The group of non-native English speaking Russians claims to be an altruistic group, highlighting security flaws in the internet and websites and helping to make the web a safer place to be.

The reason that CNET was targeted is because of its overall popularity.  The group tends to target very popular sites in order to gain the most attention.

“[W]e are driven to make the Internet a better and safer [place] rather than a desire to protect copyright.  I want to note that the experts responsible for bezopastnost [security] in cnet very good work but not without flaws.”

W0rm drew attention to the hack in the form of a Twitter conversation, where it claimed it had seized the data of usernames, emails, and encrypted passwords.  They did not decrypt the data.  They accessed the data through a hole in CNETs implementation of the Symfony PHP framework, which is a very popular programming tool that allows a developer to construct a framework on which to build a complex website.

A spokesperson for CBS Interactive says that a few servers had been accessed by the intruder but that the hole was patched and they were monitoring for further breaches.

Hacking is becoming more and more widespread in past years, and the trend continues.  The best aversion to hackers is to change your passwords regularly, monitor your credit card statements, and ensure that you’re using an identity protection and monitoring service.  These are the best safeguards against the worst damage that most hackers can do.

About the Author

Roger Feinstein has grown up with computers his entire life and strives to help others understand what goes on behind the scenes in their PCs. He's been writing tech articles for websites for over 5 years.

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