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With many organisations recently suffering from data breaches of its email lists, and the likes of Sony, ACS:Law and most recently Square Enix losing much more sensitive data, it raises the question as to how this has happened.

Is it a problem with the security common algorithms (eg RC4 with 128 bit keys) compared to modern computers? Should a higher minimum key strength be employed?

Have some hackers (whether criminal or more benign) have the upperhand in finding non-obvious weaknesses in common algorithms?

Or, is it simply a case of lazyness/incompetence on the corporate side, using cheaper, less secure methods?

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closed as not a real question by Daniel Beck, slhck, studiohack May 14 '11 at 14:52

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is really a too broad question to answer. Every company has their own security guidelines and every implementation is different. The problem is probably not security algorithms but very specific exploits depending on the system attacked. – slhck May 14 '11 at 13:25
@slhck Hmm, thought it might be. Was mainly wondering about whether or not it is a problem of encryption strength, but tried to frame in a rounded way. Edit, delete or CW? – James May 14 '11 at 13:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Both poor practices & lack of (rather then weakness of) encryption.

Like storing passwords in plain text, or not salting ...

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