Protecting A Brand From The Online World – Not So Easy
Security abroad on the internet is the new wild west these days. Whether you are a major Fortune 500 company like Google or a small garage start-up you really have to be careful because at the end of the day there is no 100% online security. When looking to protect yourself from the online world it truly is more than just difficult. Nearly every government including the US Government is getting hacked all of the time these days, even with the huge budgets they have. The United States defense budget, as an example, is one of the largest budgets in the world for technology and security, and even they can’t fully keep people out.
Especially when talking about an entire electronic army coming against you, that makes it even worse. Jeff Bezos from Amazon had recently just acquired the Washington Post and perhaps that made it part of a target. Being a major news website that is so high profile definitely attracts some negative attention from those looking to control it or defame it in one way or another, perhaps just for fun. The actual story though is that it wasn’t even Washington Post themselves that got directly hacked it was one of their providers of technology known as Outbrain.
Outbrain provides content discovery tools such as recommended news and news from around the web and helps to diversify peoples traffic and also monetize it better. By using a phishing attack against employees at Outbrain they were able to essentially get backdoor access into the Washington Post website which uses some of these related content tools. It is one of those unfortunate things about embedding technology whether it is a Facebook like box, a twitter feed, or anything else… if they get hacked you are essentially hacked. Generally by only integrating the top brands out there you have the most protection because they are highly secure, and even if they do get hacked, they will fix it fast. Let this be a lesson to all of you web developers out there getting started that are embedding everything you can, installing plugins left and right and more… you are only as strong as your weakest addon. Be careful, and be agile have fun!