Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security //

Data Leakage

12/5/2018
08:05 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

Quora Breach Hits 100M User Accounts Containing Highly Personal Data

The latest mega data breach hit question-and-answer portal Quora, which reported 100 million user accounts were accessed by a malicious third-party. The data also contains highly personal details about customers.

Question-and-answer portal Quora is now the latest company to report that customer records have been compromised in a mega-data breach. In this case, about 100 million user accounts, which contained an unusual amount of personal details, have been accessed by a malicious third party.

In a December 4 post, Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo wrote that the company discovered the breach on Friday, November 30, and that 100 million user accounts were involved. The incident remains under investigation, although details about the security breach remain scarce.

The company is also working to contact users affected by the breach.

(Source: Flickr)
(Source: Flickr)

"It is our responsibility to make sure things like this don't happen, and we failed to meet that responsibility," D'Angelo wrote in his mea culpa.

The type of information compromised in this breach falls into three categories:

  • Account information, including name, email address, encrypted or hashed password and data imported from linked networks when authorized by users
  • Public content and actions, including questions, answers, comments and upvotes published on the site
  • Finally, non-public content and actions, including answer requests, downvotes and direct messages.

Mukul Kumar, CISO and vice president of Cyber Practice at security firm Cavirin, noted in an email that the information the attackers were able to access was unusual in that it could help someone build a more complete profile of a potential identity theft victim.

"The disturbing thing about this hack is that, beyond basic personal data, the Q&A database may be mined for psychographics that can be used to build a more complete profile of the victim," Kumar wrote to Security Now. "This is valuable data for identity theft, or identifying potential password challenge questions. So, beyond maintaining one's personal cyber posture via password hygiene and additional diligence, another area now to consider is just how much to share on forums, such as Quora."

As large as the Quora data breach is, it's not the biggest that's happened within the last week.

That honor goes to Marriott, which disclosed that a database housing information on its Starwood customers was breached several years ago, with the company's security department only recently discovering the incident. This attack appears to have affected about 500 million customers. (See Marriott: 500 Million Guest Records Compromised in Data Breach.)

Additionally, within the last week, Dell disclosed that its Dell.com website was breached, although it's not clear what, if any, data was disclosed. The company did not release a number associated with its data breach, which also remains under investigation. (See Dell: Your Personal Info May, or May Not, Have Been Stolen.)

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Zero Trust doesn't have to break your budget!
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31476
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of Foxit PhantomPDF 10.1.3.37598. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file. The specific flaw exists within the han...
CVE-2021-31477
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of GE Reason RPV311 14A03. Authentication is not required to exploit this vulnerability. The specific flaw exists within the firmware and filesystem of the device. The firmware and filesystem contain hard-...
CVE-2021-32690
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Helm is a tool for managing Charts (packages of pre-configured Kubernetes resources). In versions of helm prior to 3.6.1, a vulnerability exists where the username and password credentials associated with a Helm repository could be passed on to another domain referenced by that Helm repository. This...
CVE-2021-32691
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Apollos Apps is an open source platform for launching church-related apps. In Apollos Apps versions prior to 2.20.0, new user registrations are able to access anyone's account by only knowing their basic profile information (name, birthday, gender, etc). This includes all app functionality within th...
CVE-2021-32243
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
FOGProject v1.5.9 is affected by a File Upload RCE (Authenticated).