According to a recent study, digital data generated by users of digital services is not really safe once anonymized as the companies claim.
Students at Harvard University have set foot is a computer tool as part of a university project to analyze a large amount of consumer data when they are exposed to security vulnerabilities. Thanks to this test, they were able to demonstrate that even if these elements were made anonymous, it would of course be possible to hack users without over-deploying huge resources.
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The students we talk about are enrolled in engineering and applied sciences studies, including Dasha Métropolitano and Kian Attari. To better explain the process they were referring to, they decry: "The program takes a list of personally identifiable information, such as a list of email addresses or usernames, and then searches among the leaks for all the identification data it can find for each person. »
It should be noted that this tool has already allowed to analyze several information including those emanating from the hacking of Experian. And finally, it has been shown that several elements purported to be anonymous information, have made it possible to access clear identities without any difficulty. Dasha Metropolitansky stated that "an individual leak is like a piece of a puzzle. It alone is not particularly powerful, but when several leaks meet, they can form a very clear picture of our identities. Indeed, while some companies will store basic information about our identity, others will, for example, keep our browsing history in mind. The whole thing together can reveal a lot about a person. ».
Referring to the words of his Harvard students, he is possible to link anomysed data other data that are not really available. And there's no problem with that when you have everything you need. We take the example of Facebook, for example, which tend to compile data that is both anonymized and other data that does not are not. In the event of a data leak it will not be very difficult to establish reports in different information.
For these students, it is very unfortunate to see how users in the larger group tend to underestimate the true impacts of data leaks not only on privacy but also on the security of their activities on and off the web. Unfortunately, the majority of the general public does not listen to the difference in warning in terms of computer security. Using their tools, the two students discovered that it's 96,000 passwords, only 26,000 were unique passwords. We can already imagine the applications of their discovery. Will this really allow them to consider new ways to ensure the safety of internet users?
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