Business leaders have been fighting off hacking attempts and internet intruders who want to steal data and secrets from their servers for a long time now. And now, the focus of attacks has changed for the hackers as they are now targeting the business leaders personal and private information itself to blackmail them and embarrass them.
Such incidents have happened before already, as seen by the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment back in 2014, and now recently there has been a recent surge in personal attacks of some influential people.
Emails and documents belonging to former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and the Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention, who actually resigned as a result of the emails. Business leaders now have to be wary of the hacking attempts on top of the lawsuits they usually did worry about.
The chief executive of Jersey City, David Prokupek, said that he had reduced his work emails by 20 to 30 percent over the past year. Most of the messages he sends usually go a couple of lines. Speaking to reporters, Prokupek noted that being extra cautious was part of life right now.
The act if releasing personal details without the person’s consent is called doxing. In past years the move was done as a revenge tactic by some warring groups of hackers. Eventually the act evolved and security groups such as Anonymous decided to start using the method and after that security researchers noticed that the act has been picked up by hackers who are believed to be from Russia. Internet users were also reminded of the risks out there when Yahoo announced that they had noticed a breach which took about 500 million user account information from their servers.
One anthropologist at the McGill University, Gabriella Coleman, said that doxing was a thing that was going to stay for a long time. The amount of interesting information involved in emails is just too much to not be hacking the emails.
Recent victims of the hacking incidents who eventually went on to lose their jobs include the aforementioned former chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention, Aaron Barr who was once the CEO of the US government contractor firm HBGary Federal LLC, and the Sony Pictures co-chairman at the time, Amy Pascal. In all incidents, state sponsored hackers were believed to have orchestrated the attacks with Russia and North Korea the two countries pointed at. As expected both of them have denied the allegations.