StarNet is an Internet service enterprise that specializes in providing communication services such as web services, multimedia and films, and managing exhibitions and conferences. The company was founded in 2003, and it is based in Moldovan. StarNet Company provides its services via FTTB and ADSL.
StarNet announced in February 2015 that it was a victim of an organized cyber-attack. The hackers had used a virus that enabled them steal information and gain access data to confident data. The data that was compromised by the cyber-attack plan included customer’s surnames, telephones and email addresses, ID, and IPN reports. The attackers conducted the attack in a way that could not allow StarNet access the client’s data that had been kept under strict control. The data was protected in the company’s information system. The hackers ended up putting the business’s database online in a public dump where anybody interested could easily read. A lot of private information that belonged to customers ended up being leaked.
Close to 140,000 records was reported to have been leaked by the hackers. The documents contained private information that belonged to StarNet’s customers. The most worrying information that was leaked to the public was the passport details of the company’s users together with their names and dates of birth.
Vitalie Esanu, the founder of the company, maintained in his statement that the data breach was not caused by a virus or hack. Esau believed that one of the company’s employee could have copied the data and made it publically available. However, IT experts such as Eugen Frimu dismissed Esanu’s story and stated that the data was obtained through a cyber-attack on the company. The hackers exploited the vulnerability in the enterprise’s system which enabled them to gain access to the databases that were not encrypted.
As a result of the cyber-attack, the company had to take precautions to protect further damage that would have arisen later. Passwords belonging to all the company’s IT systems were changed. Competent data and internet security agencies were also hired to investigate the incident. The investigations were meant to identify the individuals behind the planned cyber-attack and hold them accountable for their actions.
All clients were asked to modify their personal passwords on the StarNet Personal Account for the safety of their personal data. Those who used StarNet passwords in other different sites were also asked to change them for the security of their data. The move helped to ensure that the situation was put under control, and necessary measures were put in place to avoid such issues from happening in the future. After the attack had been publicised, Esanu stated that company should have implemented strict security measures including data caching that would have made the leak even more challenging.
It was reported that the hackers who attacked StarNet’s system, had been busy hacking into the systems of more than 760 other organisations. 20 percent of those organizations were Fortune 500 companies that included Amazon-AES, BSKYB-BROADBAND, and BT.
The two individuals believed to have led the attack were identified by investigators from SPIA department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova. The hackers were arrested and the equipment thought to have been used to conduct the attack was seized.