Help Wanted: Steal This Database

Monday, 6 January 2003, 2:33 PM EST

Hack-proofing a website is hard enough. But the task becomes gargantuan when you accidentally publish the administrator's password on one of your site's most heavily trafficked pages.

Such a security gaffe may have enabled unauthorized visitors to log in and access files undetected for more than six months on a server operated by Carmichael Lynch, a public relations and advertising firm with several big-name clients. The admin password was inadvertently published on a page that contained online job postings.

Among the files potentially exposed to outsiders: internal documents, including customer databases owned by two of the company's biggest clients, Porsche and American Standard.

Experts said the incident is the latest example of how shoddy security can undermine companies' privacy promises.

[ Read more ]




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