A list of the companies whose (secure) info networks were compromised by hackers in 2011 begins like this: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Bank of America, Cisco, Yahoo, Intel, IBM, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Wells Fargo, Northrop Grumman, Citigroup and Lockheed Martin, which, at least, admitted it, calling the attacks “significant and tenacious.” The list ends about 800 major organizations—can you say IRS?—later, presumably because hackers got caught up with holiday shopping.
A new calendar year, of course, brings new opportunity. Today Zappos, the wildly successful online shoe merchant, informed its eleven million customers that it too had been tripped up. Cyber-intruders gained access to the company’s consumer credit card database and exposed other sensitive data as well. As a result, John G. of Bethesda, Maryland, is not actually a size eleven, as he routinely claims, but a nine-and-a-half. Marisa R., John’s girlfriend, wears an eight, not a six.