Hacked, Client Information Leaked

Business Hacked Michael FertickOnline Reputation Management firm was hacked late Tuesday night, April 30. The company issued a statement to inform users that the site had suffered a temporary security breach, which exposed data to an anonymous attack group. While the extent of the attacker’s damage is not yet known, the statement has allegedly raised concerns from some of the company’s clients.

Like several other Online Reputation Management firms, specializes in online public relations. ORM firms are tasked with the monstrous goal of cleaning negative listings from major search engines like Google. As such, many of the clients who do business with the firm prefer to keep their information private.

It’s alleged that the attackers who breached the security of the company’s databases may now have access to confidential information. While the attacker’s objectives are not yet known, it’s possible that those responsible for the breach were involved with one of several ‘hacktivist’ movements.

Like SEO firms, Online Reputation Management firms aim to have their listings organically rise to the top pages of search results. But unlike SEO, which mainly concentrates on marketing and advertising, ORM takes a public relations approach.

There are theories that the hack was carried out by individuals who wish to expose the negative search results that the firm’s clients wished to conceal. However, there is little evidence backing these claims. And according to the company, the hack did not compromise any information regarding “the services [they] provided” or “information between [the] client and [the] team.”

The hacking is just one of several major internet security breaches to occur over the past several weeks. On April 19, hackers from the Syrian Electronic Army breached the Twitter account of CBS News to espouse malware-infected links while condemning the U.S. government. On April 23, the Twitter account of the Associated Press was hacked by an unidentified source. Once the feed was hacked, the unidentified attackers posted a tweet that reported two explosions at the Whitehouse. Although the hoax was shutdown moments later, the brief breach caused dramatic results on Wall Street.

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