Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Massive data breach at Quora

Quora security update Image Quora has warned users about a data breach
Rhonda Young | 04 December, 2018, 11:58

Other information exposed included public content such as questions, answers and comments, as well as nonpublic content such as downvotes and direct messages.

The social platform's CEO Adam D'Angelo said in a statement that a "leading digital forensics and security firm" was continuing its investigation into the hack.

The affected data includes account details such as names, email addresses and encrypted passwords, as well as any data imported from linked networks when authorised by the user.

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In a blog post titled "Quora Security Update", the site revealed that the data of approximately 100 million users may have been compromised as a result of unauthorised access to its systems on Friday.

The breach does not affect question and answers that are written anonymously because Quora does not store the identities of people who post anonymous content, according to the blog.

"It is our responsibility to make sure things like this don't happen, and we failed to meet that responsibility".

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While passwords were stolen, Quora said these were protected through encryption and a unique salt for each user, it's a good idea to change your password. Potentially affected users have been logged out and their passwords invalidated.

The tech site also said it already took steps to "contain the incident" and prevent future unauthorized access to its servers. But it will do less to shield people who, despite a Quora policy to the contrary, may have used a pseudonym as their account name or who discussed sensitive matters in direct messages.

So a lot of users who've tried to read one Quora forum that one time only to be prompted to log in have probably never thought about their accounts again - until an email about a hack turned up in their inbox. The specific hash function matters greatly.

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