The year 2009 saw leaps in technology. It was also a year that saw a lot of tech fumbles, data breaches, and outright missteps by tech providers when it came to user safety. Passwords were given away, applications were hacked, and even the video feeds of U.S. Drones were swiped in mid air.
In their efforts to make us more social, the social networks were among the largest offenders, compromising user security then revising online security measures, promising our data would be safe. The problem was, the more we sought interaction, the less safe we became. At least that's the way it seemed. I would bet that right now you're less protected on Facebook than you've ever been if you didn't take the steps that Facebook outlined to secure your profile.
Applications cause much of the online woes due to their data-sharing usage statements, and the latest offender is application-creator RockYou. Earlier in December, they allowed 32 million passwords to be compromised by a hacker known as "igigi." As a side note, these 32 million passwords comprised half of RockYou's current users. Worse, the passwords were stolen from an encrypted text document. This begs the question: Why were all the passwords unsecured and in one place?
As if RockYou didn't have enough problems, they're being sued, according to Wired, in what could become a class-action ordeal, for failure to "secure and safeguard its users' sensitive personally identifiable information, including e-mail addresses and passwords."
The lawsuit can be viewed on Scribd. It compares computer security to that of a bank composed of varying layers and makes the analogy that if RockYou were a bank, they'd leave the front door and the safety-deposit boxes open.
RockYou's applications are used on both Facebook and MySpace and include Super Pets!, Birthday Cards, Hug Me, SuperWall, Speed Racing, and Pieces of Flair.