email IT Hack 600,000

Hackers selling 600,000 Email User’s Data on the Dark Web

Friday 17 April, 2020

Everyone’s digital security and privacy is under constant threat from hackers. They are constantly targeting servers and smartphone users searching for their best line of attack to steal data and information. 

The latest report to surface regarding another data hack, is that of the Italian email company Email.it. They had been targeted by an organisation calling themselves NN (which they claim stands for No Name) Hacking Group. 

NN have claimed that they had hacked the Email.it server over 2 years ago and had stolen information from, it is claimed, 46 databases covering 600,000 users, including:

  • Passwords
  • Security Questions
  • The content of the emails
  • Attachments

The motivation for the hack was NN clear. It was purely for financial gain. 

In a statement issued by NN on their website, they claim to have contacted Email.it to inform them of the hack and to give the company a chance to pay what they called “a little bounty”. 

It is understood that Email.it refused to pay NN what was seen as an extortion attempt, so NN placed the data and information on the Dark Web for sale. 

Email.it has not denied the data lose and have confirmed that they didn’t make any payments to NN and have informed the police. They also stated that no business email accounts were affected by this hack, as they are held on a different server. They have also stated that a patch has been released to resolve this particular incident. 

In a noticeable lapse of due process however, is the claim by some that, as a user, they were not notified by Email of the data breach. Something that contravenes the EU GDPR regulations. 

How does this hack affect your Smartphone Security?

It is clear that this type of event opens up some serious questions around the security and privacy of mobile communication. One of the most important lessons to be learned is the need to ensure that all digital communication is encrypted. End to end encryption on mobile devices will prevent any hackers obtaining your information in transit. 

Encrypted Email – PGP Email

For example, PGP encrypted emails will help to resolve this issue. PGP encrypted emails provides a system that encrypts the information on the sender’s device before it is released and only the recipient has the keys to be able to decrypt the file. Even in the unlikely event that a hacker steals the file, they will be completely unable to read it, making the file worthless to them.

In a move to further strengthen smartphone security, the Blackphone Privy has the facility to reverse wipe files. This means that, if the sender decides that the file should no longer be help by the recipient, they have the ability to delete that file. 

Third Party Server Security Issues

The next lesson concerns the storage of a user’s information. Third party servers can and are hacked. The hackers gain personal information from the stolen files and use them to gain financially. 

There have been many occasions recently that have highlighted the weaknesses to files being stored on third party servers. Many of these servers are seriously unprotected, some don’t even have password protection. 

Some examples of this can be read in our previous articles:

Again, the Blackphone Privy overcomes this issue by simply not storing any files, on any server, anywhere, other than on the encrypted, unhackable smartphone itself, of which you have total control. 

What the Email.it hack highlights is the need to be vigilant and ensure that all your communications and data are covered by military level end to end encryption, whist making sure that none of your files or personal information is stored on weakly secure third party servers. 

What else do you need to know about Mobile Security and Privacy?

Earlier in the month we wrote about the different types of mobile security threats and the methods hackers use to attack your data and personal information. We also provided some guidance on how to best protect your smartphone and how we can support your future protection. 

It will be worth reading this article entitled Smartphone Security – How to keep your Smartphone Safe and if you have any queries or question, then please contact us and we will be more than happy to help. 

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