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Author Topic: All of this has happened before... like in 1997  (Read 862 times)
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June 20, 2011, 11:08:48 PM

Eery similarities in this story with recent events and some perspective for those thinking this is a major blow for BitCoin.

July 11, 1997|By REBECCA SMULLIN The Seattle Times

For as many as 2,400 online consumers, fears about Internet security hit home this week when they received an anonymous e-mail telling them their credit-card numbers had been accessed through Starwave's online NBA and ESPN SportsZone stores.

But the person who recently obtained the credit-card numbers _ and who may have sent the e-mails _ was not a whiz-kid hacker. Instead, someone used a company password to view merchandise orders after they were sent online.

The credit-card numbers have not been used, said Starwave President and Chief Technology Officer Patrick Naughton.

But the Bellevue, Wash., company, which operates the ESPN SportsZone and sites, notified credit-card companies, consumers and federal authorities about the incident this week.

Starwave has also closed its online NBA store until customers understand what happened, Naughton said. He expects the site to be back up next week.

Naughton would not say exactly how many credit-card numbers were obtained or when they were obtained. But he said Starwave is sending e-mail and paper mail to 2,397 customers _ probably more than the total affected _ to tell them about the incident.

To prevent similar security problems, employees of 1-800-PRO-TEAM, the Palm City company that fills Starwave's online orders, must now telephone Starwave for a new password each time they want to access consumers' personal information, Naughton said.

Hackers have tried many times to break past computer encryption and firewalls into the Starwave system but have never been successful, Naughton said. ``What we didn't anticipate was someone telling someone a key password.''

Starwave officials inspected the past year's computer logs and found only one unauthorized entry into the system, Naughton said.

He said the company doesn't know who the culprit is and an investigation is under way.


And yet today how much merchandise is sold on these sites? And how many credit card transactions are conducted online? In 1995 only 8% of internet users had used a credit card online. In 1997 it was still below 30%. This kind of thing happens, grabs headlines and then fades away. 6 months from now, no one will think much about the time one of the exchanges collapsed due to poor security.

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