Hackers’ data about the Parler service is being released online, revealing the extent of the problem. What are the implications of such an effort for AT&T? We have written articles about the Parler Data Archive, the hacker’s intentions, and the impact of this data on the company. Hopefully, this article will help you make sense of this information and decide if this data breach has a wider impact than it may seem at first.
Archive of Parler data:
A recent Archive of Parler data has made headlines. The new social network failed to properly scrub geolocation metadata from videos and images. That means that the archived content probably includes detailed locations of users. One data artist’s visualization of the archived content makes this clear. While the FBI may not be interested in storing Parler data, it does appear that Amazon may have a copy. If so, why is it archiving it?
The team began work on the archive on Jan. 6, collecting 1.1 million Parler video URLs. The goal is to archive as much of the data as possible. To that end, they paid steep server costs and built a tool that would increase the speed of the transfer. They enlisted the help of anonymous Twitter users, who donated bandwidth. The result was an impressive fifty-gigabyte upload speed. Eventually, the Archive Team claimed to have gathered 96% of Parler data.
Terms of service:
Over the past eight months, the online hacking forum Parler has exploded in popularity. Parler was launched by billionaire Republican megadonor Rebekah Mercer, who has funded the likes of Donald Trump, Breitbart News, and Cambridge Analytica. Founded in Henderson, Nev., Parler promised fewer rules and less censorship than other hacker forums. In response, Twitter and Facebook began labeling the accounts of Donald Trump and other political figures with fact-check labels.
Parler has been accused of violating its Terms of Service by allowing users to download their content, thereby compromising the security of other websites. But Parler users aren’t necessarily to blame. In some cases, hackers are simply exploiting loopholes in the Terms of Service to gain access to sensitive data. One such example is the recent snooping incident involving the Facebook data breach. The company was able to download the content from public-facing URLs.
Intent of hacker:
Many people ask: “Why does a hacker hack?” The answer is as varied as the hacker himself, and it depends on his motivations. Early internet hackers, for example, would often hack sites or services to show off or make a point. Modern-day hackers, however, have more sophisticated motives. Understanding the motivations of a hacker may help you prevent an attack on your business or network.
Some hackers may be merely using these skills for their own gain, but the actions they are performing may have detrimental effects on consumers. In some cases, hackers have no intention of causing damage or stealing information, and may have the best intentions. If the attacker is a government official, however, their intentions are less clear. They may be merely trying to get information from government systems, or they may be working to make a political point.
Impact of hack on AT&T:
A recent data breach involving AT&T has put the telecom giant in the spotlight, but what does this hack really mean? The hacker claims to have obtained personal information from as many as 70 million AT&T customers, including their social security numbers. While the hacker did not release his full database, he did release a sample of data, and researchers have compared it to public records to determine if it’s genuine. The data in question includes name, phone number, physical address, and social security number. The hackers, however, didn’t just break into AT&T’s servers for no reason. They only wanted to obtain unlock codes from AT&T for their smartphones.
The number of customers affected by the hack is unknown, and the company has not disclosed which vendors were responsible. Although AT&T has notified the California Attorney General’s Office of any data breaches affecting 500 or more subscribers, it hasn’t publicly disclosed which customers were affected and which vendors were involved. In addition to notifying customers, AT&T has not yet posted an explanation of the hack on its website. It’s too early to determine whether the hack will have a long-term impact on the company.