Hacking occurs when someone accesses a computer system by illegally circumventing its security system. In recent years, hacking has affected a number of government agencies, companies, and private parties (US!). Recently, Burger King felt the impact of hacking at its Twitter account. As the Chicago Tribune reported: “Someone changed the @BurgerKing feed to look like that of McDonald’s, substituting the McDonald’s logo in place of Burger King’s. The hackers sent several vulgar tweets, posted outrageous claims about company employees and practices, and even linked to a video by controversial Chicago rapper Chief Keef.”
In the face of these widespread hacking attacks, most companies have decided not to publicly acknowledge the problem. They are afraid of being embarrassed and consumers being less trustful of giving these companies more data. So, they have sought to address the issue behind the scenes. But, this strategy may be changing.
Consider these observations by Nicole Perlroth, writing for the New York Times:
“Hackers have hit thousands of American corporations in the last few years, but few companies ever publicly admit it. Most treat online attacks as a dirty secret best kept from customers, shareholders, and competitors, lest the disclosure sink their stock price and tarnish them as hapless. Rarely have companies broken that silence, usually when the attack is reported by someone else. But in the last few weeks, more companies have stepped forward. Twitter, Facebook, and Apple have all announced that they were attacked by sophisticated cybercriminals. The New York Times revealed its experience with hackers in a front-page article last month.”
“The admissions reflect the new way some companies are calculating the risks and benefits of going public. While companies once feared shareholder lawsuits and the ire of the Chinese government, some can’t help noticing that those that make the disclosures are lauded, as Google was, for their bravery. Some fear the embarrassment of being unable to fend off hackers who may still be in high school.”
Click the image from Mashable to read more from Perlroth.
8 Replies to “Hacking Hits American Companies Big Time”
Hacking is a major issue for companies worldwide. It is important that all companies, no matter how big or small, have good security so that they can limit the risk of getting hacked. I think instead of companies trying to fix the problem of hacking behind the scenes, they should go public in order to finally put an end to cybercriminals. If I were a boss of a company, I would do background checks on my employees and make sure they are not exploiting any important company information.
I believe that companies should not hide the fact that they have been hacked. I believe everyone should be aware of this serious problem. This way companies and others can work together to make their information more secure. The government has been hacked before too so improved security should be the highest priority.
I can certainly understand why some companies who fall victim to hackers choose not to bring the incidents to public light. It can be embarrassing when the cyber security of a multi-million dollar corporation is compromised by hacker behind a computer screen who could still be living with his mom. These corporations have to make themselves less vulnerable to hackers in order to maintain a level of credibility for their shareholders.
The world is becoming more digital with each passing day. There is a growing trend of online transactions with the expansion of e-commerce and the huge online presence of many companies. We as consumers are thus encouraged to store sensitive information online, to market ourselves online, to conduct business and daily transactions online. With this said, it is imperative for companies to publicly acknowledge the security breaches when they happen but to also invest the necessary capital and resources to prevent any security breaches. To simply brush it off is not the way to go.
To me the technical details are less interesting, as computer hacking is unlikely to dissipate. The hackers follow any advances made in security accordingly, and are generally more advanced than any hired programmers, so to presume that they could be simply stopped is presumptious.
More intriguing is the nature of many of these hacks. They’ve been conducted by groups, similar to Anonymous. They feel they’re doing vigilante justice against large corporations or organizations thar are wronging people. As to whether or not their rationale or actions are correct is something left to personal choice, but it certainly is an interesting type of regulation on corporate behavior.
While the Burger King example, which I remember seeing on the day it happened, is more comical in nature the threat of hacking is a scary one. Not only have major US companies admitted to getting hacked US government agencies have reported hacks as well. And that is what has been announced. Many other hacks may have occurred that we have not even known about. With such a large part of the US infrastructure using the web we face a scary situation where the next terrorist attack could be carried out online.
Ah, hacking. As long as we have technology, hackers will always come and go and stop at nothing to gain a competitive advantage the cheap way. Either that or they just sabotage because they have nothing better to do. Tons and tons of hackers try hacking in databases day by day and there’s just no end to it. Businesses out there should be well aware of this, so hacking scandals shouldn’t be anything new to the public. Everyone needs tighter security, but advanced computer programmers can always find a way, so our legal system needs to be ready to handle them when they go too far. Only then should the public be warned of these hacking scandals because that tells them that hackers have moved up the ladder a few steps and gotten smarter.
Hiding the fact that a company has been hacked, I believe could just make the matter worse in the end. Hacking is a serious problem and needs to be addressed with tighter security and more awareness to the problem. There are times when a company can not hide the fact they have been hacked, like the burger king example shown above. With technology advancing, it is only going to become more common. We need to learn how to address it in a more efficient way rather than just hiding it.