Online security is taking a very big hit lately. It started with the heartbleed bug and other major companies like eBay got hit too. The latest company that is suffering from a security breach is, ironically enough, the security firm Avast.
The Prague-based security firm, Avast, said that their user support forum was hacked over the past weekend. Attackers have gotten access to user nicknames, user names, email addresses, and hashed (one-way encrypted) passwords. Although the passwords were hashed, there is still a chance that a sophisticated thief can derive many of the passwords. Around 400,000 people who had accounts on the said forum have been affected. The forum was hosted on a third party platform, and has since been put offline for the time being while the service is rebuilt and moved on to a different platform.
With the rebuilding of the forum, it should be faster and more secure when it returns, according to Avast. The attack is quite alarming and how the breach happened is still unknown. Avast is confident though that they caught the attack almost immediately so they were able to make the necessary adjustments right away.
Users who use the same usernames or passwords to other sites should change their credentials immediately.
Credit card data, license numbers, or other financial systems belonging to Avast customers were mainly unaffected. Avast has been apologetic about the concern and inconvenience this causes their users and has reiterated that the case happened on a third party system and that the sensitive data of the users remains secure.
Some users have been ?reactive saying that the forum used an outdated version of the forum software and that is what the hackers used to get into the system. There is still no confirmation about that, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Users of Avast should remain vigilant though, as there is a high chance that highly targeted phishing emails as well as other scams make use of the compromised data. When in doubt, consider the worst case scenario and change passwords right away.
A lot of online attacks have been happening lately. While this gives the spotlight on security, users should still remain cautious in case an attack happens to a site or service that they use.
Photo Source: Avast website