Reddit hack exposes private messages and user identities
Reddit hack exposes private messages and user identities
News Image Source Sharaf Maksumov Shutterstock
03 August, 2018, 11:42
Reddit said the hackeralso accessed more recent logs containing email digests sent between June 3 and June 17, 2018. Given that communities like Reddit rely on anonymity, finding out that your username and password has been matched up by hackers is not what people want to hear.
The hackers in question unearthed not just usernames but corresponding email addresses, meaning it's very possible to link site activity to real identities.
Reddit says the attacker could only access and read some of its systems that contained backup data and source code.
According to the Reddit announcement about the security incident, the attacker was able to gain access to a complete backup copy of a user database dating from 2005 to 2007.
Social media network Reddit said on Wednesday a hacker broke into a few of its systems and accessed some user data, including current email addresses and a 2007 database backup containing old encrypted passwords. Although the breach was described as being "serious", it was mainly limited to data, including emails and scrambled passwords, prior to 2007. The digests connect a username to the associated email address and contain suggested posts from select popular and safe-for-work subreddits you subscribe to.
Additionally, the site said the alleged hacker also compromised a few of its employees' accounts with its cloud and source code hosting providers.
Reddit says "a few" staff members had their accounts compromised, adding: "We learned that SMS-based authentication is not almost as secure as we would hope".
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Reddit employees use something called two-factor authentication on their accounts.
"The most common technique is most likely use of smartphone malware which automates the process of stealing passwords and obtaining verification codes while obfuscating the activity from the end-user but this seems less likely in such a targeted campaign", he added. It is unclear if they have identified the actor behind the attack. The company also included instructions for users to remove their Reddit data. The company said that since the intrusion it has bolstered its monitoring systems and has reported the breach to law enforcement, which is investigating.
"A cybercriminal only needs to get their hands on one password to potentially gain access to private and even financial information across a number of accounts and apps".
For users whose account credentials were compromised, Reddit will force a password reset.
For those thinking that deleting their Reddit account may assist them, Small said the cat is out of the bag. The bad news? It involved a two-factor authentication scam. "We understand it's hard to remember all your passwords but there are tools such as password generators and managers that can help solve this problem and ensure you don't become vulnerable to today's digitally advanced criminals".
'If you signed up for Reddit after 2007, you're clear here, ' he wrote.
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