Hackers have managed to find the names and addresses of US soldiers by taking down a magazine subscription list.
According to the Guardian, Gannett Government Media had a server containing subscribers to Defense News TV, the Armed Forces Journal, the Federal Times, Military Times, Military Times Edge, Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, Marine Corps Times, the C4ISR Journal, and the Training and Simulation Journal. It contained a lot of information on its readers who are mostly serving US army, navy, air force and marines personnel.
The outfit has found the hack and worked out that the hackers had made off with names, passwords and email addresses had been hacked, and that other details, such as duty status, pay grades and type of service.
While the fear is that the cyber criminals could use the information for phishing attacks, the magazine is warning its readers to "be on the lookout" for emails that look legitimate but are asking people to provide credit card or bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other private information.
However there is a fear that it could be part of a bigger scheme to take control of government defence computer systems. A talented spook could use the database to find military types with computer access and compile a list of likely network passwords.
It is also handy for a would-be terrorist to know where senior military personal live, if they are off base.