A female hacker named Leah Ayers was recently charged with breaking into the e-mail account of a former Playboy Playmate and stealing multiple images.
The racy pics – which were lifted from Brittany Binger’s Yahoo inbox – included nude images of baseball star Grady Sizemore, who dated Binger at the time.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by the Smoking Gun, a forensic analysis of Ayers’s laptop indicates that the 19-year old gained access to Binger’s e-mail account simply by answering two security questions: one about Binger’s father, and the other, regarding her first car.
Ayers has already admitted to knowing who Binger is, and provided step-by-step directions for changing a Yahoo.com password to a police detective.
So, what can the rest of us learn from this rather embarrassing incident?
Well, Sophos security expert Graham Cluley recommends that users exercise caution about what information is shared on social networks and who can view it.
He also suggests that surfers choose a sensible, unique, hard-to-crack password for different accounts.
“[Of course], don’t make your ‘secret questions’ easy to answer. Those are the questions that some websites ask you in case you forget your password.
“For instance, ‘What’s the name of your pet dog?’ or ‘What’s your mother’s maiden name?’ is something that many people could work out. As Sarah Palin and Paris Hilton have discovered to her cost.
“[And obviously], don’t take nude photographs of yourself and email them to your lover in the hope that they’ll stay private. [Clearly], that never ever works out how you’d hope…”