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Hackers break into Reddit's systems

Hackers break into Reddit's systems

A hacker broke into Reddit's employee computer network in June, gaining access to some of its user data, the company announced Wednesday.

The company's chief technology officer, Christopher Slowe, said: "If your account credentials were affected and there's a chance the credentials relate to the password you're now using on Reddit, we'll make you reset your Reddit account password".

Slowe said Reddit learned on June 19 an attacker compromised a few of its employees' accounts between June 14 and June 18. Reddit also says it is has taken measures to ensure, going forward, that access to Reddit's systems are more secure with features such as additional encryption, enhanced logging, and token-based two-factor authentication. The hacker got read-only access to "some systems that contained backup data, source code, and other logs".

The company is sending a message to affected users and resetting passwords on accounts where the credentials might still be valid.

If you don't have two-factor authentication, it's a good idea to use it on your most important accounts, like Facebook or your bank, which can usually be activated in the settings page.

The fact the attackers also gained access to some Reddit source code nearly feels like a small loss even though that is anything but the case.

The site said it was messaging affected users.

There are two parts to this story - who is affected and the weakness the company says led to the breach itself. If you were a Reddit early adopter, you need to take the usual set of post-compromise security precautions.

All Reddit data from 2007 and before, including account credentials and email addresses.

Reddit has revealed that it was recently hacked.

One Reddit user noted that it's possible the hacker could piece together a Redditor's username from looking at their email address, too.

Otherwise, Reddit advises you to search your email inbox for emails from noreply@redditmail.com between June 3 and June 17, 2018. Reddit said if you don't have an email address associated with your account or your "email digests" user preference was unchecked during June 3-17, 2018 you're not affected. After a key is enrolled for 2FA at a particular site that supports keys, the user no longer needs to enter their password (unless they try to log in from a new device).

Koby Kilimnik, security researcher at Imperva, adds: "If you don't like spam emails, you might also want to start using a different email account since those leaked emails will probably find their way into some spammer's database".

Security and data breaches have pretty much become the norm for tech companies as of late. What's interesting about the incident is that it showcases once again why relying on mobile text messages (SMS) for two-factor authentication (2FA) can lull companies and end users into a false sense of security.

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