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Inside job suspected in email database hack

Red Cross leak tied to attack on marketing firm

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Hackers working on the inside of marketing software firm Convio appear to have lifted emails addresses and passwords from a client database.

The breach, which took place between 23 October and 1 November, was carried out using an employee's password, the AP reports. Convio specialises in developing marketing software to nonprofit organisations, such as The American Red Cross, one of 92 corporate victims of the attacks.

The Red Cross said an estimated 278,000 email addresses and a smaller number of passwords held on a Red Cross blood drive Web site, which ran on Convio's code, were exposed via the attack. The charity notified affected individuals on 14 November.

Convio said no Social Security numbers or bank account data were stolen as a result of the attack. The risk from the attack is most acute for punters who use the same passwords on multiple websites.

Over recent months hackers have begun trading passwords and login credentials for less sensitive sites online. This information is used by hackers in brute force attacks on more sensitive websites, a trick that wouldn't work if people applied the sensible precaution of using different passwords for multiple sites.

Only clients of Convio's GetAccess program were affected by the attack. Convio's advisory on the breach can be found here. The firm has applied extra security precautions to guard against a repetition of the attack. ®

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