11

Apr 2013

Kiwi Invention Prevents Password Hacking

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MEDIA RELEASE

Losing your data through password hacking has got a lot harder thanks to a new invention from New Zealand tech company Optimizer HQ.

Media release by Mark Devlin – Kiwi Invention Prevents Password Hacking; having your data hacked may become a thing of the past thanks to an innovative new product from New Zealand firm Optimizer HQ.

LockerKey_big-165x300A New Zealand company has developed a new way of protecting Kiwi consumers from password hackers.

The average Kiwi is a _sitting duck” when it comes to data security and it is only a question of time before hackers exploit security loopholes that will see thousands of logins and passwords stolen according to a prominent IT expert.

The CEO of leading NZ technology firm Optimizer HQ Manas Kumar says most Kiwis need to urgently review their data security practices, as stolen personal information is often used for cybercrime.

_We all have about 10 to 12 logins and passwords that we use for daily activities at work and home, for example, internet banking, email systems, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, the Wi-Fi router at home, the shared drive at work. What happens is that as humans, we have limited capacity for memory, so often these passwords are variations of the same combination of dates and numbers, your birthday, for example, or the name of a favourite pet!”

_It makes sense, of course, to create passwords that are easy to remember, but guess what? If a password is easy to remember, it’s also easy to hack, and you run the risk of losing your entire life if a hacker gets their hands on your most personal information,” he says.

Kumar says there is rising concern globally about the safety of personal information following major breaches of security on websites such as LinkedIn, which was hacked in June resulting in the loss of 6.5m user passwords.

_What happened with the LinkedIn security breach was that within a very short amount of time, people started finding that their Gmail, Facebook and Twitter accounts were also hacked, because they use the same password across all these sites.”

It was with those cautionary tales in mind that Optimizer HQ developed Locker, a cross-platform password management system that can be used across Windows, Mac and Linux. The application uses military-grade encryption to store passwords, and requires a secure key as well as the app, which is free to download upon purchase of the key, to access user passwords.

Kumar says many New Zealanders create passwords and list them all on one spreadsheet on a shared drive. All a hacker has to do is get their hands on that spreadsheet and suddenly there’s a major security breach that can cost thousands to clean up.

With Locker HQ Kumar has created a simple two-step system that he says buys his customers peace of mind.

_People can purchase an encrypted key that plugs into the USB slot, where they can store all their passwords and sensitive information, then plug the key into their computer to access them. You need both the key and the app for the system to work and here’s my favourite part, we’ve created a special ‘enterprise’ version which has the added functionality of allowing you to remotely erase or reset all passwords, and even instruct the app to shut down if your laptop is stolen.”

Kumar says the offering is available at low cost, because he wants to make data security affordable for all Kiwis both at work and home.

He says there is a danger that New Zealanders could become complacent about security attacks as previously we have not been so vulnerable to them.

_But if you take Australia as an example, about three years ago, Australia was not even in the top 20 ‘most phished’ countries in the world. Today, Australia is the no 3 target globally for password hacking and email scams, and that’s all due to a major boom in e-commerce sites that started seeing more people and businesses making transactions online.”

_The exact same thing is happening in NZ, so in a few short years, we are going to be a target for those online scammers, so we need to start taking precautions now to protect our personal safety and private data,” says Kumar.

For more information on Locker HQ visit www.lockerhq.com

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Mark Devlin
With more than 20 years in public relations and marketing Mark Devlin has an impressive portfolio of clients who trust him with their brands. His ability to translate a commercial story into an informative and engaging business piece has seen his clients secure cut-through media coverage, position them as market leaders in their respective fields and grow their businesses substantially.
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