News Security

100 million of Quora users hit by a cyber data breach

Hackers have gained personal data of an many as 100 million users of the world famous question and answer website: Quora. CEO Adam D’Angelo said in a blog post that on Friday, one of their systems had been “hacked by a malicious third party”.

The information that was compromised includes user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords as well as data from Facebook and Twitter integrations on their website if people chose them to login to Quora.

A lot of analytical data like user activity, questions, answers, upvotes and downvotes was also obtained by the third party hackers.

“The overwhelming majority of the content accessed was already public on Quora, but the compromise of account and other private information is serious,” D’Angelo said.

The site is now notifying affected users and logging them out.

“We believe we’ve identified the root cause and taken steps to address the issue, although our investigation is ongoing and we’ll continue to make security improvements,” D’Angelo said.

The site’s data breach is the latest in a series of high-profile hacks.

Hotel chain Marriott (MAR) said last week that its guest reservation system was hacked, potentially exposing user information from 500 million guests.

The biggest data breach of all time was suffered by Yahoo in 2013, affecting 3 billion customer accounts.

Comments from Prabesh Choudhary, Director at Cryptus Cyber Security Pvt Ltd, an organisation that provides Cyber SecurityServices, Corporate Trainings to the govt. & Private organisations:

Quora pointed, that they have identified the root cause and taken steps to address the issue, although their investigation is ongoing and they will continue to make security improvement.

Quora users can now reset their password to further protect data. Quora mentioned that this breach is unable to result in identify theft as it does not collect sensitive information of users.

For further protecting your data, you can also delete your Quora account, if you want. If you have created the account using Google or Facebook, you can generate the account password.

According to policies of Quora, the process of account deletion takes time of 14 days and if during this time period you login again, the account gets reactivated.

So, once this time of 14 days get passed, all your account information and personal data will be deleted permanently.

Comments from Ankush Johar, Director at Infosec Ventures – an organisation that provides complete infrastructure security solutions for commercial and government clients of all sizes:

It is imperative for any firm that is operating at a Global or even National level to take necessary steps that ensure security. 93% of attacks in 2017 started with as simple as an email and the Human layer was compromised. To alter the psychology of its users to be suspicious by nature will help them drastically to detect any malicious activity and hence not lead to data breaches like this. Often, only the technology layer is what firm’s are concerned about, unlike what the hackers think though.

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