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Adobe investigating potential data breach of 150,000 accounts

14 Nov 2012
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Adobe is investigating a potential data breach reported to have resulted in the loss of 150,000 employees and partners' contact information.

News of the potential data breach broke on Tuesday after a hacker operating under the pseudonym ViruS_HimA posted a series of data dumps allegedly containing the Adobe employees and partners information on Pastebin.

The posts claimed to contain the employee and partners' first names, last names, titles, phone numbesr, email addresses, company information, usernames and hashed password.

Adobe has since confirmed to V3 that it is aware of the reported leak and is in the process of investigating ViruS_HimA's claims.

The hacker claims to have mounted the attack and posted the data to force Adobe to improve its online security response times.

"I'm not looking to ruin Adobe business so I will leak only emails @ ‘', ‘.mil", ".gov' with screen shot as a proof of concept," wrote ViruS_HimA.

"Adobe is a very big company but they don't really take care of them security issues. When someone reports a vulnerability to them, it take five to seven days for the notification that they've received your report!

"It even takes three to four months to patch the vulnerabilities! Such big companies should really respond very fast and fix the security issues as fast as they can."

Trend Micro security director Rik Ferguson told V3 that discerning whether the data is authentic is close to impossible without official word from Adobe.

"I've not come across the hackers in question before and of course it's tough to tell how genuine the data is, only Adobe really could say for sure," said Ferguson.

While the information is far from official, Ferguson clarified to V3 that if the data is accurate, Adobe has indeed been mishandling its employee and partners' data and will need to update its security.

"The passwords in the .txt documents are simple MD5 hashed passwords though, many of them are pretty basic, one is even "adobe". It looks like the MD5 hashes are unsalted, which is really not best practice for storing sensitive data," Ferguson told V3.

The attack follows on from widespread calls for change within the security industry.

Most recently military contractor Lockheed Martin issued a warning claiming businesses aren't doing enough to protect themselves from advanced persistent threats.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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