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Web Developer Communities and the Capital One Hack

Web Developer Communities and the Capital One Hack
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By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, In Cyber Defense

To help one another, web developers have created a number of online communities, such as Stack Overflow, Web Developer.com, Hackernoon and GitHub. Participation in these web developer communities is beneficial for several reasons.

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For example, newbies can hone their skills and improve their general knowledge. More experienced programmers can share information and get help in resolving technical problems by reaching out to their peers.

However, there are other communities that exist on the deep Web, according to Cyberscoop. Some of these communities are invitation-only, while others require participants to pay for access. They are commonly accessed through Tor, an open-source browser that permits anonymous Web browsing.

These communities offer hacking information and tutorials. Infosec also notes that some of these communities even provide hacking services for a price. These services could include hacking into a Gmail, Facebook or Netflix account, defacing a website, or creating a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack to disrupt a server’s ability to function.

Capital One Hacker Caught through Her Online Activity

Earlier this year, the FBI arrested Seattle software engineer Paige Thompson for her alleged masterminding of a massive data theft involving banking giant Capital One. Over 100 million Capital One accounts were affected by the hack, which occurred due to a misconfigured firewall.

Under the alias “erratic,” Thompson spoke online about the hack on Slack, a collaboration hub, and posted encrypted files containing the data she allegedly stole on a GitHub profile to get the Capital One files off her server. She also sent messages on Twitter, according to April Glaser of Slate magazine. This activity eventually led to an FBI raid on Thompson’s home for additional evidence.

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Full Cost of Capital One Data Breach Yet to Be Determined

The full cost of the Capital One data breach remains to be determined. Lucinda Shen of Fortune magazine notes that Capital One could pay between $100 to $500 million in fines.

However, the price for insufficient security could be even higher with the loss of customer trust. Although cyber insurance can help to mitigate financial losses, it is not easy for companies to recover from the negative publicity from such a massive hack and any financial settlements that may have to be paid to their customers.

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