Feeds

Brokerage coughs up $375,000 for website breach

Garden-variety exploit strikes again!

Boost IT visibility and business value

US brokerage D.A. Davidson has agreed to pay $375,000 to settle charges that lax security practices allowed criminal hackers from Latvia to pilfer the confidential information of some 192,000 of its customers.

The charges stem from an attack on December 25 and 25, 2007, in which the hackers downloaded the confidential data by exploiting a SQL-injection vulnerability on Davidson's website. The firm only learned of the theft two weeks later, when one of the attackers sent a blackmail message that attached 20,000 customer records as proof their claims were genuine.

Davidson's security was "deficient in that the database was not encrypted and the firm never activated a password, thereby leaving the default blank password in place," according to a press release issued Monday by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The body is a non-governmental regulator that oversees securities firms doing business in the US.

Regulators went on to say that Davidson also failed to employ an intrusion detection system on its network despite an April 2006 recommendation from outside security auditors that one be put in place.

The settlement comes a little more than two years after US prosecutors filed criminal conspiracy, extortion and fraud charges against four men for attacking Davidson's servers and then demanding money in exchange for keeping the breach quiet.

Defendants Aleksandrs Hoholko, Jevgenijs Kuzmenko, and Vitalijs Drozdovs pleaded guilty two weeks ago and are scheduled to be sentenced in June, according to documents filed in US District Court in Montana. The status of a fourth defendant, Robert Borko, was unclear.

Their hack is the second time in recent memory criminals have obtained highly confidential financial information by exploiting a SQL injection vulnerability. Many web masters regard the bugs as little more than a nuisance that have few practical consequences.

TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez was able to breach the the servers of credit card processor Heartland Payment Systems using the same form of attack. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?