This is a guest blog entry from Karin Gerber.

With the overabundance of companies utilizing the Internet and websites to conduct their business, customers would hope to feel their personal data is safe behind company firewalls.  Unfortunately, there have been a number of cyberattacks that have compromised many people’s information, personal and professional, as a result of these attacks.

Over the past several months, hackers have broken into numerous supposedly secure organizations, such as security vendor RSA, Lockheed Martin, Oak Ridge National Laboratories and the International Monetary Fund.  (via Computerworld)

Other companies that have reportedly been hacked are Citigroup, EA, Bethesda, Acxiom Corp., and even the U.S. Senate.  One group of hackers who calls itself Lulz Security has claimed responsibility for some of the recent hack jobs.

Lulz Security has also recently claimed responsibility for breaking into the websites of PBS, Sony Pictures, Nintendo and others.  Meanwhile, it’s unclear who was responsible for a recent cyberattack on the International Monetary Fund’s computer system or the one on Citibank that stole about 200,000 credit card account numbers, customer names and email addresses.  (via Huffington Post)

This is actually very worrisome considering how much personal and professional data is out there and how easily it can be hacked into.  Makes me wonder if these companies are really putting their efforts into higher security efforts.

Josh Shaul, chief technology officer at database security software maker Application Security Inc., said the data Lulz posted is “verifiable proof” that it was able to gain access to and take control of the Senate’s website.  Shaul said the recent string of attacks take advantage of insecure systems. While companies are protecting the perimeter of their computer systems, once hackers get in, “everything is there to own,” he said. It’s the equivalent of a bank putting a guard at the door and leaving all the money in a pile instead of in safes and vaults, he added.  (via Huffington Post)

What I hope is that these and many other companies tighten their internet security.  If anything, Lulz Security is showing us how inadequate many of these company and government websites really are.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for our future cyber security by showing us our weaknesses.  We can learn a few things from these hackers, not to mention possibly hiring them to tighten up the cyber security loopholes.  I would say the best way to block a hacker is with a hacker.