Feeds

Facebook makes Adobe fans change their horrible, horrible passwords

Maybe try '56789' this time?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Facebook has scanned millions of email address and password pairs hackers dumped online from Adobe's user account database – so that it can force its social networkers to change their passwords if they used the same logins details for both websites.

Late last month, Adobe warned of "sophisticated attacks" on its network in which miscreants swiped between 38 and 150 million names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, poorly secured passwords, expiration dates, and information relating to customer orders. In addition, the company said, the cyber-crooks had managed to abscond with source code for "numerous Adobe products."

Knowing full well that people too often use the same password for different website accounts, Facebook has pored over the leaked records, and identified who has matching addresses and passphrases for both Adobe.com and their Facebook accounts.

Engineers at the social network confirmed to investigative journo Brian Krebs that they have alerted users who now at risk of account hijacking because the dumped database is in the wild, and thus anyone can try to login as someone using the leaked data.

Thus, the move allows Facebook to force users off passwords that could otherwise have been guessed by attackers who possess the Adobe lists. Such leaks have in the past been used to hijack accounts on third-party services.

Adobe coughed to its stunning network breach in late October - some months after it acknowledged the presence of serious security flaws in its ColdFusion product, although Adobe denies it was compromised via that vulnerable server software.

While the use of a single password across multiple services is a complete no-no, the practice remains common as folks prefer to stick to one easy-to-remember login credential rather than juggle banks of separate passwords.

Experts have long recommended that users keep a different password for each service and employ memory tricks such as mnemonics, as well as mixed case and alphanumeric combinations. Such methods can typically foil brute-force techniques used by hackers (unless the site screws up its database security or uses Adobe ColdFusion, of course.)

Even better, users can add an additional layer of security beyond their password by enabling Facebook's two-factor authentication system which requires a single-use code to be entered at login. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.