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Dating site eHarmony plays data-breach me-too

‘Security of our users is important’

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Along with the LinkedIn password dump, dating site eHarmony has confirmed that some of its users’ passwords have also been published online, possibly by the same attacker as that obtained the LinkedIn data.

The company has responded with the usual “the security of our users” bromide here. It says all affected user passwords have been reset, along with providing the usual advice of creating strong passwords, using a different password for every site, and changing passwords every few months*.

The LA Times says that the eHarmony list contained only passwords, not the user logins they’re associated with. However, as noted by Reuters, if wrongdoers have access to eHarmony accounts, they also probably have a shot at some decent extortion, since not everybody registered with a dating site is safely single.

Cloudmark’s Mary Landesman told Reuters she considered LinkedIn’s password storage to be “poor practice”, since the social-network-for-professionals didn’t salt the users’ passwords before hashing them. ®

*Bootnote: Personally, I’d rather use a password that’s very memorable and thirty characters long than the usual “eight characters long with mix of upper and lower case and non-alphabetic characters”.

Before any security expert corrects me, my pass-phrases have to pass one other test: that the phrase is unknown to Google. I’m not dumb enough to use “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. I usually look at a painting from my desk, and recite some characteristic of it – “TwoGumnutsFiveBirdsGeorgeFiney”. Of course, I am not a security expert, so I can't seriously call into doubt the wisdom of using 4pOzx_!+4 as a password for something. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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