Feeds

Adobe Connect breach pops lid off 'Letmein' logins of gov, army types

Plus: Did someone forget the salt?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A breach of Adobe's Connectusers.com forum database has once again exposed password security foibles, as well as website security shortcomings on Adobe's part.

Adobe suspended the forum on Tuesday night in response to the hack, as previously reported. The software developer stressed in a statement that its Adobe Connect web conferencing service itself was not affected by the breach.

An Egyptian hacker named "ViruS_HimA" has stepped forward to claim he hacked into "one of Adobe's servers" before extracting a database containing email addresses, password hashes and other information of over 150,000 Adobe customers, partners and employees.

ViruS_HimA published a limited set of records for users with email addresses ending in adobe.com, .mil and .gov as a means to substantiate his claims on Pastebin.

A statement from Adobe spokeswoman Wiebke Lips appears to back up this claim. Lips said: "The forum has a total of about 150,000 registered users. The attacker leaked 644 records."

She added: "We reset the passwords of all Connectusers.com forum members and are reaching out to those members with instructions on how to set up new passwords once the forum services are restored."

In the Pastebin leak post, which has since been pulled, ViruS_HimA said he had targeted Adobe because of shortcomings in its handling of security reports. He promised a leak against Yahoo! would follow.

Analysis of the leak sample by Paul Ducklin, head of technology, Asia Pacific at Sophos, shows that Adobe used MD5, a hashing protocol known to be weak. It also failed to salt password hashes, an extra security precaution that thwarts brute force attacks based on compiling rainbow tables of password hashes from dictionaries of plain text passwords.

Ducklin reports that some of the 644 leaked password hashes corresponded to lame passwords such as "Letmein", "123456" and "welcome" all multiple entrants on the list. Passwords like breeze and connect (Adobe product names) appear four times each, he adds.

Tal Be'ery, a security researcher at Imperva, said an examination of the leak data suggested it came from a valid but old database.

"We compared some names in the leaked files against Linkedin.com and found out that the names in the file were people who had worked for Adobe but no longer employed there. This suggests that this list is valid [but] the hacked database is probably pretty old." Password hashes were not salted to guard against brute force cracking attacks, Be'ery adds.

"Based on an analysis of the leaked data, the password hashes - encrypted versions of the passwords - stored in the compromised Adobe database had been generated with MD5, a cryptographic hash function that's known to be insecure. This means that they can easily be cracked to recover the original passwords," he concludes. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.