That red bow on the top of her head. The white ears bobbing out. The whiskers, always six in number.
A ‘Hello Kitty’ merchandise has been an integral and a sweet part of our childhood. But what I am going to reveal now – is as shocking as shocking can be! Recently, researcher Chris Vickery stumbled upon an online database for sanriotown.com, the official online portal for all Sanrio characters.
This discovery has exposed the records including the names, birthdays, gender, email addresses and various other confidential information of a staggering 3.3 million accounts on the portal. Various logging details including password hints have also been exposed. And it wasn’t only restricted to the official portal, the leak encompassed users from mymelody.com, hellokitty.com.sg, hellokitty.com and many more related portals.
The leak was reported by Vickery to Salted Hash and Databreaches.net on Saturday evening. Salted Hash, is now restraining itself from giving out any identifiable markers like screenshots of the data, DNS and IP information. Notifications regarding the leak have been sent to the affected websites.
There has also been a rumour which is doing the rounds, regarding the disclosure of the information from three websites. However, Vickery has confirmed that such a breach has been securely prevented.
The popularity of the ‘Hello Kitty’ brand among children, is nothing new. So it can be said that quite a few children may bear the brunt of this astounding revelation of data. However, substantial data about the exact count hasn’t yet been provided. Sanrio has been asked to confirm the same.
However, basic precautions regarding the matter at hand can always be taken by the parents or the guardians of children registered under Sanrio or its related domains.
Often, we have a habit of using similar passwords for different websites like social media platforms or even on online banking platforms. If any such overlap does exist, and if you happen to be aware of it, then the passwords for the same must be altered immediately. Password hints, which can be similar amongst various platforms, should also be changed. If you think that your child is withholding any information regarding the same, then it would be wise to tactfully prise it out of him. Two-factor authentication, especially on social media platforms, can also be used as a precautionary measure.
This isn’t the first time that Sanrio has borne the wrath of such vicious online leaks. Earlier in 2015, the company had to deal with exposed information of about 6000 shareholders. Regarding the recent leak, the company has issued a statement saying that this present “security breach” is “under investigation” and that the necessary updates regarding the ongoing investigation “will be made available once confirmed”.
With such common intrusions inside the online world, leaks from renowned websites or portals have become the rule of the day. As tempting as the virtual world may seem to be, it doesn’t come without its share of horrific and ugly consequences.