Countdown to Ruin: Hacked Data Goes Public in As Little as Nine Minutes

How quickly do you think you can cancel your credit card in the event of a hack? In the time it takes you to reach the automated number and enter the right sequence of numbers and options, it may be too late.

Image: Max Pixel

According to a new alert from US-CERT (the Computer Emergency Readiness Team of the U.S Department of Homeland Security), nine minutes is all it takes for your compromised personal information to be widely accessible and for sale to the hacker universe, and for criminals to start trying to use your stolen information. If that information includes usernames and passwords that you use for multiple sites, are you confident that you could change the passwords to all those sites in under nine minutes? Chances are, you won’t even know your information has been hacked in the first nine minutes following the hack.

Your personal information, once hacked, is typically posted online in hacker forums and paste sites such as Pastebin. There, the data is quickly accessed by other criminals in as little as nine minutes, according to FTC researchers who conducted an experiment to track attempts to use stolen information.

Your account information by itself may be worth as little as $2, but it may be very valuable to criminals who can exploit the stolen information while it is still valid. And your information might be packaged with other compromised information in baskets of stolen data for sale – like an Amazon or eBay for hacked data – but accessible to criminals using specialized browsers such as Tor.

To mitigate the risk of identity theft, the FTC recommends using multi-factor authentication where feasible. Passwords are a typical form of single-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication requires one or more additional pieces of information, such as a PIN or one-time code, to verify your identity. This also makes it more difficult for someone who has stolen your username and password to monetize or use that information effectively – because they do not have all the necessary pieces to be able to get into your account.

Related Content

Latest Content

SEC’s Latest Risk Alert Focuses on Electronic Communications

The SEC’s most recent risk alert, “Observations from Investment Adviser Examinations Relating to Electronic Messaging,” issued on December 14, 2019, focuses on the use and maintenance of electronic communications for business purposes. The purpose of the alert is to remind advisers of their obligations related to personal use of electronic messaging and the requirements for … Continued

SEC OCIE Issues 2019 Examination Priorities

Well ahead of the New Year, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced its 2019 examination priorities. In keeping with OCIE’s four “pillars” of promoting compliance, preventing fraud, identifying and monitoring risk, and informing policy, the Dec. 20 release provides a preview of key areas where OCIE intends to focus its limited … Continued

Highlights of 2018: Predictions for 2019

Our annual year-end review covers investment adviser compliance highlights from 2018, and makes 2019 predictions. We will highlight enforcement actions and SEC risk alerts for retail advisers, private fund managers, and institutional wealth managers. Using these as road markers, our predictions are designed to lead reasonable and effective compliance program development. Evaluate 2018 Compliance and … Continued

A New View of How Technology Will Change the Emerging Crytpo-Economy

From the top of the world, it’s amazing what you can see.  I recently had the opportunity to travel to the United Arab Emirates to speak in Dubai at the 7th Edition of the Alternative Investment Management Summit. While I was there, I took a few moments to ride to the top of the Burj … Continued

SEC Retail Investor Focus Turns Towards Registered Investment Companies

Earlier this year when the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) announced its 2018 examination priorities, OCIE stated that a core priority was to protect retail investors, including seniors and individuals saving for retirement. OCIE is now continuing this effort by focusing on mutual funds and exchanged-traded funds (together, the “Funds”) as the … Continued

Mailing List

Subscribe to the Ascendant Compliance email list for the latest compliance resources, conferences, ComplianceCasts™, and more.

Loading form...

Contact Us

Ascendant works together with clients to identify and assess critical needs through customized plans. If you need assistance with compliance functions, regulatory services, cybersecurity or technology tools, we’d love to speak with you.