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Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter hipsters exposed in Zendesk data raid

Hacker slurps email info from helpdesk biz

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Customer service provider Zendesk has been hacked - potentially blowing the lid on the anonymity of some users of Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Zendesk, which handles helpdesk emails for the aforementioned trendy blog trio, copped to the breach of its network in a blog post last night. It admitted its system was illegally accessed this week and a hacker got into support information for those three clients.

The intruder downloaded email addresses for users who'd got in touch with Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest via Zendesk for support, as well as the message subject lines. Although no sensitive information beyond this was swiped, the hacker can at least associate the email addresses with their owners' profiles and potentially unmask any anonymous tweeters, pinsters or tumblers behind them.

"We’re incredibly disappointed that this happened and are committed to doing everything we can to make certain it never happens again," the firm said. "We’ve already taken steps to improve our procedures and will continue to build even more robust security systems.

"We are also completely committed to working with authorities to bring anyone involved to justice and make certain we fully understand what happened. As this process unfolds, we aim to update our customers in as transparent and timely a manner as possible about new developments."

Twitter's support had this to say about the breach:

Meanwhile Tumblr emailed all of its affected users reminding them not to give out their password by email and warning them to watch out for unexpected emails.

"We're working with law enforcement and Zendesk to better understand this attack," the blogging site said. "Please monitor for email and Tumblr accounts for suspicious behaviour and notify us immediately if you have any concerns."

Zendesk is a customer service that sorts out support emails and queries from clients' users. Tumblr said it had been using the service for the last two and a half years. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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