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Helping public companies and their suppliers deliver better and more cost-effective programs since 1994

Watching the web

Yahoo hackathon

What a way to end a year at Yahoo, which in mid-December announced that a law enforcement agency informed them that over one billion (!!!) user names, telephone numbers, dates of birth, encrypted passwords and unencrypted security questions - that could be used by the hackers to re-set user passwords - had been hacked by persons unknown…way back in 2013. This on top of an October announcement that 500 million accounts had been hacked in 2014…after 450,000 accounts were hacked in 2012. “Security has taken a backseat at Yahoo in recent years, compared to competitors like Google and Facebook” the New York Times understatedly observed in its front page story - and “Yahoo’s security team clashed with top executives, including the chief executive, Marissa Mayer, over the cost and inconvenience of proposed security measures.” What a knock on her business judgment - and what a financial blow - if not a deathblow this may prove to be - to the pending sale of Yahoo to Verizon, Inc. And what a reminder to all of us this should be - to be sure we work only over secure networks - and change our passwords frequently (Ugh!) - and not use our mother’s maiden name, or our father’s middle name, or the name of our high-school as our “challenge questions” - and to scrutinize the source of every incoming e-mail with care, before opening it - and to tape over our computer cameras - and to try to foster a “culture of security” in our offices - and in our homes, where, as mentioned a few issues back, our kids and grand-kids are MAJOR openers of doorways to hackers, cyber-worms and other forms of malware when they log on to our household networks. We wish you all a happy and hack-free New Year!