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Reddit Alerts Users to Possible Account Breaches

User lockouts, combined with requirements for new passwords, indicate an attack on accounts at the popular social media platform.

Dark Reading Staff

January 11, 2019

1 Min Read

Popular social media platform Reddit has notified users that some of them have been locked out of their accounts because of suspicious activity. It was most likely the users' own fault, the company said, but engineers were working to fix the problem.

The blog post, authored by "Sporkicide," read, in part:

"A large group of accounts were locked down due to a security concern. By "security concern," we mean unusual activity that did not correspond to the account's normal behavior that may indicate unauthorized access."

It went on to say that weak passwords used on multiple accounts made account takeover and misuse much easier.

Some security experts noted that the reported activity fit the profile of a specific attack. In an emailed statement to Dark Reading, Jarrod Overson, director of engineering at Shape Security, wrote, "Whenever there is a massive account takeover wave unrelated to a system compromise, it is very likely it is due to a credential stuffing attack." He explained that credential stuffing involves using automated tools to use usernames and passwords stolen from one site to try to gain access to another.

Overson noted, "Accounts that have built up credibility on services like Reddit are extremely valuable for criminals. They can use those accounts to push malicious content, to exploit other users, and coordinate masses of accounts can make content appear to go viral legitimately."

In the blog post notifying users of the issue, Reddit recommended that users use strong passwords unique to each service they frequent, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

For more, read here.

About the Author(s)

Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

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