Every so often, we come across a bit of news that helps to teach not one, but two cybersecurity best practices at the same time. With the recent news of a cache of hacked Spotify accounts, we find just such an opportunity. Let’s review the two lessons to be learned.
Here’s the deal—hackers were able to access 350,000 accounts on Spotify’s systems without having to attack the streaming service at all. Instead, these hackers used login credentials that other data breaches had exposed on other sites and services.
Basically, the hackers took the credentials that had been taken from other breached websites and tried them out on Spotify to see what worked. This practice, known as credential stuffing, is a common and simple one for attackers to use.
Of course, while having any password breached isn’t a good thing, it can really become a problem if a user has reused that combination of credentials on multiple platforms. That’s why it is considered an essential best practice to always have a unique password for each account—especially any work-related or financial accounts—you use, saved in an encrypted password management tool if necessary.
In a roundabout way, the people responsible for this breach can teach us another important lesson in data security—namely, the importance of properly securing the data that is collected.
This security issue was discovered when two researchers were scanning the Internet for unsecured data. The hackers had shortsightedly saved their stolen credentials on an unsecured cloud database, where anyone could presumably access them… no password required. As a result, other cybercriminals could have easily found the data as well and copied it for their own purposes.
While we’re happy that this data was found, it does shine a light on how important it is to keep your data secured and private. After all, Spotify has since prompted a password reset for affected users and rendered this data obsolete… at least, obsolete on the streaming platform. If the hackers had stored this data a little more securely, this data would still be that much more accurate.
You should learn from their example and take steps now to ensure that your data is good and properly secured.
KT Connections can help you put both important lessons into practice. Reach out to us today to learn more about your data security and what you can do to help protect your assets without sacrificing productivity. Give us a call at 888-891-4201 today.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.