By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The recent hack of Adobe Inc.’s computer network (see related story) exposed several million credit card numbers and likely many more e-mail addresses and passwords.
While the company is notifying those who could be affected, the attackers are already reaping the benefits.
Hackers bank on selling stolen logins to other bad guys to break into accounts across the web. Easy for them, since too many people use the same e-mail and password for everything.
An iTunes account can get a cyberthief $8, according to computer security expert Brian Krebs of krebsonsecurity.com. Six dollars is the going rate for some airline site credentials, a couple bucks less for an active AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile login, and just $2.50 to remove Facebook or Twitter from the real owner’s control.
And that’s just added value for criminals: think of all the important stuff you might store in e-mail (such as financial information), treating it like a virtual file cabinet.
The Adobe breach is another reminder to use unique passwords throughout your digital life, and to take advantage of two-factor authentication, which companies like Twitter and Google offer, forcing you to enter a text message code before gaining access.