The outfit which is responsible for making sure that more than half the worlds websites are authentic was hacked several times in 2010 and thieves managed to get some key data.
Christopher Maag in Credit.com said that VeriSign was a great target for hackers because it is the place where users browsers go to see if the site is authentic. If there’s a problem with the Verisign certificate, the browser may present a warning screen advising the user of possible security threats, or it may block access altogether.
If hackers gain access to those certificates however, they can make their own copy that looks exactly like the real thing. That would enable them to run a virtually fool-proof phishing scheme, diverting users to a fake website in order to steal account passwords, Social Security numbers and other valuable private data.
The security breaches were reported in a quarterly filing in October 2011 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing was first discovered by Reuters. However it is not clear if certificate data was taken.