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article imageAffair site AshleyMadison hacked; worse online threats loom

By Caroline Leopold     Jul 21, 2015 in Internet
AshleyMadison confirmed hackers accessed the company's adulterer database, but has managed to remove leaked information. Government and business leaders are unprepared for even greater cybersecurity threats in the future, security experts say.
Canadian owners Avid Life Media said in a written statement that they have managed to remove all leaked information on the 37 million affected users and have brought in a top IT company to strengthen the website.
Also, the company says it will no longer charge users for the "paid-delete" option. Users may opt to have their personal information wiped from the system, free of charge.
Giving credit card information to a retailer reveals a great deal of personal information, Bloomberg says. Methods to preserve anonymity — private browsing, encrypted email and prepaid debit cards — are not tactics the usual web user knows.
Future breaches of name-brand companies will continue. What's more concerning is that a crippling cyberattack may be ahead, security experts say.
A devastating cyberattack is likely to occur in the next five years, said a top HP executive during a recent security roundtable, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The tone of the discussion among top Silicon Valley security executives was pessimistic. Neither the federal government nor companies are prepared for a massive attack.
The executives compared a looming cybersecurity breach with natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.
“A slow-moving train wreck,” one executive said.
Attacks on Target, Sony and the U.S. government show that hackers are adept at finding security holes among big companies and governments. These hacks resulted in the collection and sharing of sensitive information. The "big one" attack may take money as well.
Americans are still eager to see innovative new technologies such as wearables, electronic health records and the Internet of Things. As more citizens plug themselves and their personal information into external databases, the greater the potential for criminals and terrorists to grab that data.
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