This Week in Getting Hacked: Shimmers Edition

02.02.17
Chris L

Welcome back to ‘This Week in Getting Hacked’—the world’s greatest cybersecurity-related link dump! Each week, we bring you the best news stories from the cybersecurity field, letting you know who’s getting hacked, who’s hacking, what data is leaking, and about what you should take with caution. So strap in, change your password, and let’s find out who’s getting hacked this week!

On to the links…


Understanding that almost anyone can access your information if you’re on an unsecure connection goes a long way when accessing public Wi-Fi, so now Google Chrome and Mozilla are going to be letting you know that your sh*t might get stolen if you do.

unsecured sensitive data

Want to buy an item on Amazon while at a coffee shop? Probably not a good idea. And now you’ll be notified of your bad ideas. Public cybersecurity shaming should become a thing.


A few hackers decided that they wanted to hold an entire hotel hostage in Austria, so they hit them with a little bit of ransomware.

The hackers shut off the systems that allowed the Seehotel Jaegerwirt hotel to make new key cards for guests, although guests that already had key cards for their rooms were still allowed access.

The hotel eventually paid up the $1,600 ransom to get access back.


You don’t need to worry about credit card skimmers anymore (just kidding, you should still be aware of the threat), because a new way to steal your credit card info has come: SHIMMERS.

shimmers to steal credit card information

Photo Credit: Linked above

It sounds beautiful and glorious, but only if you like having your credit card data stolen.

The shimmers are inserted into a credit card reader, so when a customer inserts their card, the data is swiped and BAM! your info is stolen.


Gmail is going to begin blocking JavaScript file attachments to reduce the amount of attacks on users who unknowingly click on everything that’s sent to them.


President Trump is still using an unsecured, 2013 Samsung Galaxy S3, which is a tremendous security vulnerability, akin to using an unsecured private server for emails.

hillary clinton private server

Yeah, we’re still doing this… Photo Credit: businessinsider.com


Ransomware took over the St. Louis public library system, locking them out of over 700 computers across 17 library branches. The hackers demanded $35,000 to free the computers, but the St. Louis Public Library System said, “Nah, son,” and wiped their systems, restored them from a backup and reported the attack to the FBI.

YOU HEAR THAT SEEHOTEL JAEGERWIRT? YOU. DON’T. NEGOTIATE. WITH. RANSOMWARE.


And finally…

Eight days before President Trump’s inauguration, hackers infected 70 percent of the storage devices that are used for storing data from Washington D.C. police surveillance cameras.

hackers hit dc

Photo Credit: Linked Above

The ransomware attack affected 123 of 187 video recorders, forcing the city to do a huge reinstallation. Jerks.

See you next week! Don’t negotiate with ransomware!

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