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Hack attack spills web security firm's confidential data

Barracuda Networks injected with ultimate irony

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Try this for irony: The website of web application security provider Barracuda Networks has sustained an attack that appears to have exposed sensitive data concerning the company's partners and employee login credentials, according to an anonymous post.

Barracuda representatives didn't respond to emails seeking confirmation of the post, which claims the data was exposed as the result of a SQL injection attack. Screenshots showed what was purported to be names, email addresses and phone numbers for Barracuda partners from organizations including Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts and the UK's Hartlepool College of Further Education.

The spilled contents also included what appeared to be the email addresses and hashed passwords of Barracuda employees authorized to log in to the company's content management system. The passwords appeared to be hashed using the MD5 algorithm that is slowly being phased out in favor of algorithms that are considered more secure alternatives. It was unclear if the hashed passwords were salted to prevent them from being cracked using various free tools available on the internet.

SQL injections are the most common form of web-based attack and have been used as the starting point for an untold number of breaches, including the one that exposed data for more than 130 million credit cards when confessed hacker Albert Gonzalez broke into credit card processor Heartland Payment Systems. SQL injection techniques were also the cornerstone in a recent attack on HB Gary, the disgraced security firm that exposed tens of thousands of proprietary emails.

SQL injection attacks exploit poorly written web applications that fail to scrutinize user-supplied data entered into search boxes and other fields included on the targeted website. By passing database commands to the site's backend server, attackers can harness the vulnerabilities to view and even modify the confidential contents.

In all, 22 databases with names including new_barracuda, information_schema and Marketing were exposed, according to the post, which was published on Tuesday. The post indicated that the company's web apps ran on the ASP.net platform. ®

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Late on Monday evening, Barracude issued a response to the hack here.

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