RockYou hacked, 32 million account passwords potentially exposed

RockYou has suffered a serious hacker attack that has exposed 32 million of its customer usernames and passwords to possible identity theft. And it has apparently taken RockYou more than 10 days to inform its users of the breach.

The security firm Imperva informed RockYou that its site had a serious SQL injection flaw, according to reports. Imperva said that some users’ passwords had already been compromised as a result of the vulnerability by the time it notified RockYou of its findings. RockYou acted quickly to fix the flaw, but perhaps not fast enough. One hacker claimed to have gotten access to the accounts and posted some data as proof. Apparently, the database included the full list of unencrypted passwords in plain text.

The flaw is a big one because RockYou usernames and passwords are, by default, the same as users’ email names and passwords. Security experts are advising RockYou users to change their emails and passwords. RockYou has some of the most popular apps on Facebook, and it ranks third among Facebook developers with 55 million monthly active users, according to AppData.

SQL injection exploits a vulnerability in an app’s database layer and is a very common attack. It potentially lets hackers steal private information, and Yahoo’s jobs site recently suffered a similar attack. Imperva chief technology officer Amichai Shulman told eWeek Europe that users are particularly vulnerable if they use the same usernames and passwords for all of the sites that they visit.

In a statement to Techcrunch, RockYou said, “On December 4, RockYou’s IT team was alerted that the user database on RockYou.com had been compromised, potentially revealing some personal identification data for approximately 30M registered users on RockYou.com. RockYou immediately brought down the site and kept it down until a security patch was in place. RockYou confirms that no application accounts on Facebook were impacted by this hack and that most of the accounts affected were for earlier applications (including slideshow, glitter text, fun notes) that are no longer formally supported by the company. RockYou has secured the site and is in the process of informing all registered users that the hack took place.”

RockYou said it is planning to notify users. As others have noted, 10 days after it learned of the breach is far too late.


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