Privacy Ninja

Tales from Cyberspace: The Fortytwo Data Breach Incident

The Fortytwo data breach incident is a reminder for every organisation of the importance of keeping your website up-to-date with the latest security patches.

On December 24, 2021, an online furniture retailer known as Fortytwo reported a security incident to the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC). The incident involved malicious code injections on their website, which compromised the email addresses and passwords of 6,241 individuals who had logged into the site. Further, the personal information, including names, credit card numbers, expiry dates, and CVV/CVN numbers of another 98 individuals were also compromised.

An in-depth investigation into the incident revealed the successful exploitation of vulnerabilities in the Magento open-source software Fortytwo had been using for its online store. These vulnerabilities were a direct consequence of the organization’s failure to apply four crucial Magento security patches released by Adobe.

Although Fortytwo had considered and evaluated the patches, they decided to hold back on installing them. These patches were designed to address several high-risk issues and critical bugs, including the potential injection of malicious codes. 

By failing to install the patches, the organization increased the risk of a malicious code injection capable of capturing users’ personal data, thus breaching the Protection Obligation of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

Holding back the installation of security patches could have a devastating result!

The Verdict and Takeaways

The failure to comply with the Protection Obligation under the PDPA resulted in a substantial financial penalty for Fortytwo, amounting to S$8,000. But what can other organizations learn from this incident?

  1. Security is paramount: Keep your website up-to-date with the latest security patches. Regular updates are critical for maintaining overall security and protecting user data.
  2. Regular testing: Regular penetration testing can help identify vulnerabilities in your website. This proactive approach allows organizations to patch vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  3. Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO): This is a mandatory role for every organization. A DPO can be an in-house employee or outsourced from professional PDPA service providers such as Privacy Ninja. The DPO can help ensure PDPA compliance, putting policies in place – such as ensuring security patches for websites are up-to-date – to guarantee the appropriate handling of personal data.

The Fortytwo incident is a stark reminder of the importance of proactive security measures. Regular system updates, penetration testing, and having a dedicated DPO are all critical components of a robust data protection strategy.

By failing to install security patches, any organization may have an increased risk of malicious code injection capable of capturing users’ personal data.

Penetration testing to combat cybersecurity threats

One of the best ways to combat cybersecurity threats in today’s modern time is by conducting regular penetration testing. Remember, if you suffered a data breach under the PDPA, you could be liable for up to a financial penalty of S$1,000,000. Luckily, Privacy Ninja is here to help you check if there are any vulnerabilities in your system. 

Privacy Ninja can assist you in this endeavor by providing penetration testing services, which check if your organisation has vulnerabilities that could be exploited by bad actors, whether in your email environment or your organisation in general. 

Privacy Ninja has years of experience in cybersecurity and offers quality services, as evidenced by the feedback from its clients as the years go by. It is a licensed VAPT provider (Penetration Testing Service License No. CS/PTS/C-2022-0128) and has the best team of professionals who are experts in their field, leaving no stone unturned in checking for any vulnerabilities in your system or organisation as a whole. 

Moreover, we work hand in hand with our clients and deliver results on time, especially when there is a hint of vulnerabilities that need to be checked. Most importantly, Privacy Ninja has a Price Beat Guarantee, which makes the service even more affordable but will not leave the quality of services each client deserves. 

What are you waiting for? Choose Privacy Ninja now as your penetration testing partner and experience the quality of services brought to you by cybersecurity experts at an affordable price, Price Beat Guarantee!



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We have assisted numerous companies to prepare proper and accurate reports to PDPC to minimise financial penalties.


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