Technology

Imgur confirms data breach affecting 1.7 million users

The photo-sharing site was hit in 2014.

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Photo-sharing site Imgur has confirmed it was the victim of a data breach in 2014, affecting 1.7 million users.

The breach was only recently discovered by security researcher Troy Hunt, who then alerted the company to its presence.

The firm said email addresses and passwords had been affected after hackers used brute force to crack a hashing algorithm used by the site to encrypt passwords – an algorithm that has since been updated, the site added.

“Imgur was notified of a potential security breach that occurred in 2014 that affected the email addresses and passwords of 1.7 million user accounts,” Imgur chief operating officer Roy Sehgal wrote in a blog post.

Imgur logo
(Imgur)

“While we are still actively investigating the intrusion, we wanted to inform you as quickly as possible as to what we know and what we are doing in response.

“On the morning of November 24th, we began notifying impacted users via their registered email address. We are immediately requiring that these users update their password.

“We apologise that this breach occurred and the inconvenience it has caused you.”

Imgur said because it did not ask for further personal information from users, no other data had been compromised.

Mr Seghal said Mr Hunt had contacted Imgur after he was sent data that included information of Imgur users.

Security researcher Mr Hunt also commended the company’s quick response to the incident.

“I want to recognise @imgur’s exemplary handling of this: that’s 25 hours and 10 mins from my initial email to a press address to them mobilising people over Thanksgiving, assessing the data, beginning password resets and making a public disclosure. Kudos!” he tweeted.

Last week, Uber was heavily criticised after it was revealed the firm had concealed a data breach from 2016 that affected 57 million drivers and customers.

The ride-hailing firm also admitted paying hackers £75,000 to delete the stolen data.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over in August, said: “None of this should have happened and I will not make excuses for it”.

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