Feeds

Nature security breach prompts password reset

Hacked in tooth and claw

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The website of science journal Nature has suffered a security breach that resulted in the potential exposure of users' login credentials.

The login credentials were stored in an encrypted form, making them hard to extract. But Nature.com has still opted to reset the passwords of affected users, as a precaution.

Nature.com sent affected subscribers an email (extract below) on Thursday. A spokeswoman confirmed the email was genuine and added that the breach affected more that just registered journalists, but not all subscribers.

I regret to inform you that our Press Site was recently subjected to an attack in which some user data appears to have been accessed by a third party.

Unfortunately, yours was one of them. Although we store users' passwords in an encrypted form, we are taking the precautionary step of changing your password in order to eliminate the possibility of any future abuse of your account. You should receive a second email with your new password over the next day or so.

Needless to say, we have already taken steps to remove the vulnerability that led to this attack, and we are continuing to monitor the site closely for any further attempts to access user data.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused.

It's unclear how many records - stored on the same server accessed by hackers - were affected at the time of writing. Details stored included username, first name and last name, along with associated password hashes. No financially sensitive data was involved.

The potential cracking of Nature.com passwords is only a problem because so many users use the same password for multiple websites. Cracking the login credentials for a relatively unimportant account therefore exposes any higher value account, such as an online banking account, of password-sloppy users to a much greater risk of compromise.

A survey by Sophos, published earlier this week, found a third of users used same password for every website. An additional 48 per cent surveyed by the net security firm use a few different passwords.

More commentary on the issue, along with tips on creating a secure password, can be found here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.