Feeds

Hackers breach chocolate recipe on Hershey website

Possible data theft

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Hackers breached the security of a website operated by US confectionery giant Hershey Company and may have made off with customers' names, birthdates, street and email addresses, and site passwords.

In an email sent to customers last week, Hershey said an unauthorized individual accessed the site and changed a baking recipe for one of its products. The company said it found no evidence any other recipes on the website were affected, but it couldn't rule out the possibility that hackers stole personal data taken when customers create accounts on the site.

“We have no indication that any of this consumer information was compromised,” Hershey's email stated. “However, given the nature of this incident, we are acting out of an abundance of caution and informing you that this server was accessed. We are also outlining some steps to help you ensure your security whenever you use the Internet and email.”

Hershey joins a huge roster of other organizations that have suffered website security breaches that jeopardize the privacy of its visitors. Other companies recently compromised include Sony, Groupon India, email marketer Silverpop, gossip website Gawker, and at least a dozen others.

The rash of security lapses underscores the misplaced trust many people place in the websites they visit. More often than not, these sites have no good reason to store a user's birthdate and street address, and yet visitors dutifully surrender such information. The breaches also demonstrate the liability companies face when they later lose their customers' personally identifiable information, often as a result of easily preventable security vulnerabilities, such as SQL-injection holes and cross-site scripting bugs.

The Reg strongly recommends users withhold as many personal details as possible and use secondary email addresses that are reserved specifically for that website. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.