Website Security and Major 2011 Website Breaches

Top Companies Hacked so far in 2011

In a world that is becoming more focused on the internet, a great website presence, and hard hitting electronics, new websites come online nearly every second of hte day. In proportion to the number of sites which are increasing, the amount of cybercrime is increasing dramatically too… Thousands of people have been the victim of identity theft, email fraud, online scams, and many other types of cybercrime. One of the most common types of crime is the hacking of a website, and the number of websites hacked has risen in the last few years.

In fact, hijacking Adsense and other things has risen so sharply that experts say more than a million websites a month are being hacked in some cases. Not all of these sites are lacking in website security. In fact, some of them are in the business of website security, which makes it that much more unique for us to read about their site being breached.

In the first few months of 2011, already a large number of websites belonging to major companies have been hacked. They were sites that had some of the best security, and the most security hosting. Which just goes to prove that internet visibility isn’t always a good thing and website security has become increasingly more important to every website.

Here is a list of some of the major websites hacked so far in 2011:

* Qriocity and the PlayStation Network

Sony was forced to shut down the Qriocity and PlayStation Network unexpectedly, and days later Sony released a statement saying that an “external intrusion” was the cause of the sudden shut down. On April 26, Sony released an official statement saying that as many as 77 million Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity users had been accessed by the intruders. These intruders had obtained the phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, passwords, and real names of these users, though Sony claimed that the credit card details of users had been encrypted and untouched.


WordPress is one of the largest online blog and website platforms, and on April 13th an announcement was made that 13 hackers had been able to break into Auttomatic, the servers that host all of the blogs running on the WordPress platform. There was no information released on the exact details of what details the hackers had made off with, but they could have potentially taken the passwords and source code for nearly 25 million blogs and websites hosted by WordPress.

* Epsilon

Epsilon is an email communications company that handles the communications for over 2,500 companies around the world. Epsilon was the victim of a serious data breach in March of this year, and no less than 26 major companies have confirmed that the lists of their customers’ emails had been taken. These companies included TiVo, Capitol One Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Walgreens, Citi, and Best Buy. While passwords and other sensitive data has been confirmed to be intact, these companies warned that the number of phishing and spam emails were going to increase thanks to this data breach.


RSA is the company that makes SecurID authentication tokens, and they reported that their networks had been breached and that data had been stolen from them. Rumors have pointed towards Chinese hackers who had been incited by the Chinese government to make the attacks. While the outcome of the breach has been unclear, the insecurity caused for the 40 million users of SecurID and 250 million smartphone owners is certainly a large repercussion.

* Voice of America

Voice of America, the U.S. government’s official news service, was attacked by a pro-Iran group of cybercriminals calling themselves the Iranian Cyber Army. The Voice of America homepage was edited by the ICA in order to denounce the U.S. participation in the revolutions taking place in the Muslim world.

What all of this goes to prove is that there is a great deal more to be concerned about than SEO trends and article marketing when it comes to building your website. From the largest website down to the smallest, website security is an imperative part of the package… realistically though, how do you secure from some of the best hackers in the world?

Good backups, it seems, are the second part of the equation when it comes to your website.


11 Comments to “Website Security and Major 2011 Website Breaches”

  1. Thad says:

    I have mixed emotions about providing personal information when I buy online these days. I do take the concerns seriously because it is obvious that hacking is on the rise. There are a few ways I try to work around the problem.

    The first way is that I use a disposable prepaid credit card for my online purchases. The account number on the debit card is worthless to anyone that compromises it. Secondly, I have a free email exclusive to just internet purchases. I also never give out my telephone number. Taking these steps gives me peace of mind because I am not providing any hackers with information of any value to them.

  2. Rick says:

    Its really a scary world, but there are things you can do to protect yourself. Be vigilant of who you give your personal details too, use prepaid credit cards, frequently change your passwords and check your bank balances for any misuse.

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  6. Catastrophe says:

    Nope. Its not okay to spam my site either, with very obvious angling to get a free link but without the intellect to write a real post to put up here. If you comment fairly on the item that is posted, you get your link. What’s more you get a do follow one. If you post trite crap.. miraculously, your link evaporates.. go figure..

    • […] For information on other companies that suffered breaches of security in 2011 please visit here. […]
  7. Summer says:

    Great list! I find myself remembering events but not always company names, etc. This was a great reference for my blog post, I linked it back here. Thanks!
    Zappos Hacked

  8. Softwyre » It’s Change Your Password Day! says:

    […] was released, it’s possible that they made off with the passwords to over 20 million blogs. (Here’s the article) Hackers aren’t only acquiring our data for their use, in December when Gawker was attacked […]

  9. Jeff says:

    If you’re email has been hacked you should try using ad-hoc email addresses that are tied to an account only you can access, but not directly tied to your email address. Think of it like a post office box. . Look at the email above as an example

    The site Cocoon and its about a new way to access the Internet without directly touching it, thus protecting you and your computer from things like mal-ware, anti-virus, encryption in public spaces and tracking

    It has a free a free product

  10. Deborah says:

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