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Monster.com attack hits federal job search site

Collateral damage as Monster talks of previous assaults

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Cybercrooks who raided Monster.com's database also pilfered the personal information of an estimated 146,000 from USAJobs, the US government's official job search site. Monster Worldwide is the technology provider for the USAJOBS website, so the recent attack on Monster.com's systems also exposed the contact information of USAJobs users, it emerged on Thursday.

Hackers used malware (Infostealer-Monstres) to gain unauthorized access to the Monster.com resume database and steal the contact information of job seekers. Compromised data included the name, address, telephone number, and email address of people who registered with the job seeking service. Neither Social Security nor credit card records are thought to have benn exposed by the recent attacks on Monster.com and USAJobs.

Monster Worldwide shut down a rogue server that was used by hackers to siphon off job seeker contact information, effectively closing the door after the horse had bolted. The compromised data has been used to craft targeted phishing attacks that sought to trick users into downloading malicious software or accepting jobs as "money mules" for phishing gangs.

The personal records of an estimated 1.3 million job seekers with resumes posted on Monster.com were hit by the attack. Users are urged to be wary.

The assault is far from an isolated incident, Monster WorldWide said on Wednesday. "As is the case with many companies that maintain large databases of information, Monster is from time to time subject to illegal attempts to extract information from its database. Despite ongoing analysis, the scope of this illegal activity is impossible to pinpoint," it said.

In a bid to restore confidence in its services, Monster Worldwide is introducing many measures to enhance security controls for its Web site. Site access policies and controls will be tightened up alongside closer monitoring of site traffic and the introduction of controls designed to protect job seeker contact information. ®

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