A Gannett Co database was hacked recently. The database contained information about some of their subscribers who also happen to be U.S. military personnel.
According to Reuters, Gannett told its subscribers in an email that it found a breach of its Gannett Government Media Corp on June 7. They said that they had also notified subscribers of the hacking attack in a notice on its website.
The cyber attackers retrieved subscribers' names, passwords and email addresses, the company said. In addition they were able to snag data on the duty status, paygrade and branch of service of readers who currently serve in the military.
The data included subscribers to Defense News, which is one of the world's most widely read publications covering the defense industry. It was also comprised of information on subscribers of publications aimed at personnel serving in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Cyber criminals like personal data on government officials and members of the military because it allows them to launch focused attacks on computer systems that house classified information.
Hackers may want to gain control of a government computer system by using a "spear phishing" attack where they send an email that looks like it came from a trusted source.
They look to trick receivers into putting down their guard so that they download attachments with evil software or click on links to dangerous sites.
EMC Corp and Google Inc. both had security breaches recently because of spear phishing, proving that even those with tons of resources can fall victim to hack attacks.
Digital crimes are popular right now. Are they also a new red scare?