back to article Popular UK mobile tech firm 51Degrees hacked

British mobile device detection company 51Degrees used by the likes of Unilever, T-Mobile, IBM, and Microsoft, has been hacked. The Reading-based company sells device detection allowing customers such as Hyundai, Deloitte, and Heineken to identify quickly a web site visitor's device. Founder James Rosewell says in a letter to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    personal information is the aim

    When will these hacked companies start to believe all personal information WAS taken, rather than believing none was taken? Even if they have read-logs if the hacker has full access those can simply be deleted, and if backed up then can also be deleted from the backups, thus all traces of access can be hidden. I think these kind of ignorant statements should add to their fines.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: personal information is the aim

      I'd think you're right but in this case, it might have been a test. The target could be someone who uses their product and what better test than to hack the company that makes it?

    2. chris 17 Silver badge

      Re: personal information is the aim

      just how do you delete an offline backup?

      1. Adze

        Re: personal information is the aim

        How do you make an offline backup in real time?

    3. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: personal information is the aim

      "Even if they have read-logs if the hacker has full access those can simply be deleted,"

      Not if the logs are written to a separate system. The "syslog" service can use a remote log server, which can use a completely different set of credentials and live behind its own firewall; this would prevent a hacker who gains super-user privileges on a given system from deleting the logs (they'd need similar access to the log server).

    4. Martin C

      Re: personal information is the aim

      The traffic information is also a big worry for these companies as it is reported back to 51Degrees by default, something DeviceAtlas does not do. (disclosure: I work for DeviceAtlas).

    5. Aodhhan

      Re: personal information is the aim

      Not all hacks result in total ownership of the web server, nor does it mean you have root/admin access. Since details haven't been provided, it's hard to say exactly what privileges the infiltrator had. Also what sort of front/back end configuration and security was in place and what applications were available along with those credentials. Again, just because you pop a web server, doesn't mean you'll have credentials to go hog wild on an enterprise.

      Logs are likely sent to a syslog server making investigation quite a bit easier to follow tracks, and a lot more difficult for a hacker to make changes to.

  2. Warm Braw

    Is this the ultimate "first world" problem?

    51Degrees ensures your customer's screen size doesn't get in the way of your brand conversations

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cybercrime Action Fraud Unit

    Is an epic name for a Japanese anime or a Hipster Indie band.

  4. Jon.A

    At least these guys are being honest and transparent so people can take necessary precautions. A lot of companies don't bother to tell people until suddenly they have no choice! Hopefully it helps raise more awareness that all sized companies, not just the big ones are at risk of being targeted.

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