In a way, news media reports have been basically the only way to determine the severity and effectiveness of internet hacking – the larger the hack, the more headlines and airtime has been devoted to an incident.
However, now it appears that members of the hacking community have come up with a rating system of their own. Live online for about a month, RankMyHack.com allows cybercriminals of every ilk to submit their best work for approval by their peers.
While hackers may use the site to see how they measure up to their peers, companies should be using it as a warning, as certainly no organization wants to be the subject of a submission. That's why it's imperative for data security to be a top priority in order to keep information safe and company names out of the headlines.
According to the Times, the top-ranked incident on the site is the hacking of the Huffington Post. It is claimed to be the work of site member "Mudkip," who is also RankMyHack.com's top-rated hacker. Second on the list is a breach of Google, for which a member named "Blackfan" has claimed responsibility.
One expert interviewed by the newspaper said the new website could also help law enforcement enhance internet safety.
“The ability to verify that a person compromised a system is a law enforcement person’s dream,” Holt Sorenson, a security specialist who helps run a competition at the annual Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas, said.
Unfortunately, this year has been a boon for hacking groups, as many incidents have garnered plenty of attention. Perhaps none was bigger than the hack suffered by Sony's PlayStation Network this spring. Companies should view the incident as an example of what to avoid, as the personal information of more than 100 million people was breached.