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Wednesday, 01 June 2016 15:02

Hack from the past comes back to haunt Myspace, Tumblr Featured


A three-year-old hack has turned up to haunt Time Inc, with details from 360 million of its Myspace users being offered for sale on the dark web. Adding to this, the hackers are also offering details from 65 million Tumblr accounts.

Time bought Myspace from Viant — which was earlier known as Interactive Media Holdings and Specific Media before that  in February this year. Prior to that, from 2005 to 2011, Myspace was owned by News Corporation which bought it for US$580 million. It was sold to Specific Media for just US$35 million.

In a posting on Tuesday, Myspace said that shortly before the Memorial Day weekend - the last Monday in May - it became aware that stolen user login data was being made available in an online hacker forum. "The data stolen included user login data from a portion of accounts that were created prior to June 11, 2013, on the old Myspace platform," it said.

The company said it had reason to believe the hack had been carried out by the Russian cyberhacker known as "Peace".

"This same individual is responsible for other recent criminal attacks such as those on LinkedIn and Tumblr, and has claimed on the paid hacker search engine LeakedSource that the data is from a past breach. This is an ongoing investigation, and we will share more information as it becomes available," it said.

Myspace said email addresses, usernames, and passwords for affected accounts created prior to June 11, 2013, on the old platform were at risk.

"As you know, Myspace does not collect, use or store any credit card information or user financial information of any kind. No user financial information was therefore involved in this incident; the only information exposed was users’ email addresses and Myspace usernames and passwords."

The company said in order to protect its users, all user passwords for affected accounts created prior to June 11, 2013 on the old Myspace platform had been invalidated. "These users returning to Myspace will be prompted to authenticate their account and to reset their password by following instructions," the company said.

Tumblr did not provide anything like the information that Myspace did.

On its website, there was a short note: "We recently learned that a third party had obtained access to a set of Tumblr user email addresses with salted and hashed passwords from early 2013, prior to the acquisition of Tumblr by Yahoo!.

"As soon as we became aware of this, our security team thoroughly investigated the matter. Our analysis gives us no reason to believe that this information was used to access Tumblr accounts. As a precaution, however, we will be requiring affected Tumblr users to set a new password."

Users were directed to its account security tips.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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