Hackers Compromise Ubuntu Forums Database, Deface Website, And Make Off With The Encrypted Passwords and Email Addresses of Nearly 2 Million Users

Subject: General Tech | July 22, 2013 - 12:16 AM |
Tagged: ubuntu forums, ubuntu, hack, Data Breach, Customer Data, canonical

A group of hackers attacked and defaced the  Canonical-backed Ubuntu Forums website yesterday. The hackers used an exploit to gain unauthorized access to the forum database and made off with data from approximately 1.82 million users. To make matters worse, the attackers then defaced the forum site itself by placing a landing page poking fun at the site administrators and boastfully including two twitter handles: @Sputn1k_ and a mention of @rootinabox.

Canonical has not released details on how the attackers accomplished the data breach, but stated that its security team is working to get the site back up and looking into what exactly happened.

From what has been discovered thus far, the hackers have reportedly made off with the passwords, usernames, and email addresses of all its users.

The company recommends that users change passwords on any other services immediately if they used their Ubuntu Forums password for log-ins on other websites or online services.

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ZDNet managed to snag a screenshot of the defaced web page.

Fortunately, all of the passwords in the database were salted and hashed, and not stored in plain text. The exact hashing method was not detailed, however. Also, other Ubuntu services were not affected and user data in services such as Ubuntu One (Canonical’s cloud storage offering) is still safe.

If you had an account on the Ubuntu Forums and used the same password, you should change your passwords now just to be on the safe side. Users of the forum should keep an eye on this announcement page for more details on the hack and updates on the forum restoration process as it progresses.

July 22, 2013 | 04:28 AM - Posted by Humanitarian


July 22, 2013 | 09:05 AM - Posted by Andrii Muliar (not verified)

This would be impossible with any Microsoft forums. Also, word Sputnik they used obviously tells us about nationality of hackers, because of immoral IT culture of modern ex-USSR countries.

July 25, 2013 | 11:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ignorance really is bliss for some folks. Everything Microsoft is sooo full of holes...

July 22, 2013 | 02:29 PM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

Wow Ubuntu was listening to Steve Gibson(security now on twit)

July 22, 2013 | 09:47 AM - Posted by ddg4005

Doesn't bode well for the future of cloud computing with all these breaches occurring now does it?

July 22, 2013 | 11:00 AM - Posted by razor512

just because encryption is secure now, does not mean that it will be secure forever. we will eventually reach a day when AES 256 becomes trivial to crack.

What if a server handling your cloud crap gets hacked and encrypted data gets stolen. They will likely keep that data for the day when a weakness in the encryption is discovered and they simply go back and decrypt the data and get your secret recipe, proprietary code, info that can be used to steal your identity (eg a server gets hacked and 10 years later the encryption becomes easy to hack and all of a sudden someone has purchased a bunch of cars in your name, then sold them off for cash and left the country).

remember as long as the stolen info is useful, criminals will continue to work on cracking it, and you cannot change everything.

This is why the NSA is collecting all data on the web regardless of encryption, because there will eventually be a
weakness and you cannot retroactively upgrade the encryption on your data. (PS the NSA would have had more success with prism if they made it into a free cloud backup service along the lines of carbonite, but free and unlimited, probably 99% of the people they are targeting would end up using it as most people really don't care, those of us concerned about privacy are an extremely small minority.

July 25, 2013 | 11:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"What if a server handling your cloud crap gets hacked and encrypted data gets stolen."

Good points on all points 'razor512', en-cap; the real issue is the NSAs' freedom to run rough and rowdy over the heads of the very people who 'inadvertently' gave them to power to do so in the first place. Until that issue is resolved, nothing is safe. Go ahead and say it, many of us do not know whether to scream, laugh or cry. Why? Because the very people who have enabled this entire situation, are also the ones who have the power to shut it down. Yet, they have every single sensory orifice plugged and refuse to accept the fact that they are 'The' problem. Drunken with a philosophy that there can be a such thing as a utopian society (Even if it must be forced upon everybody? Sheesh.) where nothing is wrong and everyone always gets along perfectly, it ain't going to happen.

In the meantime, sounds to me like an excellent slogan for a hard-drive manufacturer... Just saying. :D

July 22, 2013 | 02:33 PM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

I taught school were working on a 4 k image encryption (a LA johnny mnemonic?)

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