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Report: Russian criminals obtain over one billion passwords

BY Dan Berthiaume

Milwaukee – An organized crime syndicate based in Russia has reportedly obtained 1.2 billion passwords and 500 million email addresses from consumers across the globe. According to a report from security research firm Hold Security, the user information has been stolen from 420,000 Internet sites.

Sites range in all sizes and include sites for small businesses and individuals as well as major global companies. Hold Security would not identify any specific companies or industries that were targeted.

“Hackers did not just target U.S. companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to very small websites,” Alex Holden, the founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security, said in a New York Times report. “And most of these sites are still vulnerable.”

The hacker ring, based in south central Russia and consisting of roughly a dozen men in their 20s, used botnets to infect computers with a virus that allowed them to extract login information. In total, the thieves obtained about 4.5 billion individual records, although overlap of information meant they obtained 1.2 billion passwords and 542 million email addresses.

So far, the hackers mainly seem to be using the stolen information to send targeted spam on social media sites. However, the data could also be sold on the black market and/or used for identity theft.

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Tiffany releases corporate responsibility report

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Tiffany & Co. has set a goal to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15% from 2013 to 2020, according to its annual corporate responsibility report. The report details that the retailer had installed energy efficient LED lighting in retail displays at more than 39 U.S. retail locations by the end of 2013. An additional 16 North American locations are planned for 2014.

The report also includes progress in the following areas:

Responsible Mining: Tiffany is involved in the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), which recently released its draft standard for public comment with the plan to pilot the standard in 2015. Tiffany also invests in diamond-producing countries, actively advocates for preservation efforts and encourages more progressive and effective government oversight. The company purchases rough diamonds only from those countries that are participants in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

In addition, the Tiffany board of directors also adopted a Conflict Minerals Policy, which articulates principles for responsible gold mining to its vendors.

Paper and Packaging: Tiffany is committed to responsibly sourcing jewelry and the boxes and bags in which it is presented. One hundred percent of paper suppliers of Tiffany boxes and bags in 2013 were Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified. In addition boxes and bags are produced with recycled paper, ensuring the paper for our iconic packaging is responsible sourced.

Charitable Giving: In 2013, Tiffany made charitable contributions totaling over 2% of pre-tax earnings. Further, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation continues to play a key role in the company’s sustainability efforts, supporting leading organizations working in areas like responsible mining and coral conservation.

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The Amazing Body Store launches e-commerce/advisory site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Denver – The Amazing Body Store is launching an e-commerce site that includes the free services of trained wellness advisors who work directly with customers to determine the right supplements to accomplish their individual fitness goals. Advisors are specially trained to help customers develop a customized fitness routine, lose weight or gain muscle mass.

The Amazing Body Store backs all of their products up with a 100-day/100% satisfaction guarantee and offers free domestic shipping on all orders.

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