Planet Biometrics: Guest Post: Biometrics and broader implications of shaming hacks

December 5, 2016 — Guest Post: Biometrics and broader implications of shaming hacks

Robert Capps, VP at NuData guest writes this article discussing shaming hacks and their broader implications.


The Adult Friend Finder massive hack of over 400 million records, combined with the Ashley Madison hack of over 37 million user accounts, has brought to light that we really have arrived in the golden age of mass hacking where one of the intents is to embarrass or destroy the credibility of another person, or group of people. This is an incredibly dangerous escalation, that will see even more sensitive data being stolen and opportunistically leaked for political or personal gain.

A new age of shame hacking

We’ve already seen in the recent US election, there is potential for hacks to obtain data with the intention to leak it and use it to sway opinion as in the case of the Clinton Wiki-Leaked emails. We could see how leaks can be used as a kind of weaponized information blast to target certain parties, groups or organizations for retribution or political gain.

It’s always been easy to step out-of-line and find yourself in hot water socially but in our social media-driven society, the consequences are just that much larger and widespread. Many people have found themselves in a firestorm for posting an inappropriate picture or comment online. Hacked data could be released to publically embarrass or shame individuals with accounts on certain sites with impactful, sometimes devastating, consequences to these individuals’ families, careers and other affiliations. Following the Ashley Madison hack, for example, there was concern that military member’s spouses exposed in the attack could be targeted for spear phishing. And, in these cases it’s entirely in the hacker’s control to decide how and when this information is exposed with very few repercussions to them.

For the complete article, go here.