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• About 6.5 million cryptographic hashes of LinkedIn user passwords were stolen and posted online, a breach LinkedIn acknowledged though it didn't discuss specific numbers, which may be much less due to duplicates. LinkedIn invalidated the passwords of impacted users and the company said emails will be sent to users whose passwords were compromised, though it warned about updating passwords via links sent in email.
• Right after the LinkedIn fiasco, dating site eHarmony also confirmed a breach of 1.5 million passwords that were hashed.
• The Federal Trade Commission announced that data broker Spokeo will pay $800,000 to settle FTC charges it sold personal information it gathered from social media and other Internet-based sites to employers and job recruiters without taking steps to protect consumers required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
• The New York Times article asserting that the cyber-weapon Stuxnet is a creation of the U.S. with Israel, and was launched in a covert action authorized directly by President Barack Obama against an Iranian facility suspected of developing a nuclear weapon, has stirred up a firestorm of controversy in Washington about leaked information. Now that another cyber-weapon for espionage, Flame, has been discovered and linked directly with Stuxnet, there's more concern, with the United Nations division International Telecommunication Union warning countries that Flame is dangerous, and some saying the U.S. is losing the moral high ground as its secret cyberwar efforts become known.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.
Read more about security in Network World's Security section.