Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security //

Data Leakage

6/6/2018
09:35 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

MyHeritage Data Breach of 92M Accounts Raises Many Questions

After being contacted by a security researcher, MyHeritage announced that as many as 92 million of its accounts may have been compromised. However, there are more questions that need to be asked about this data breach.

MyHeritage is the latest enterprise facing security repercussions after the company announced this week that as many as 92 million user accounts may have been exposed during a recent data breach.

In an announcement posted on June 4, the genealogy and DNA testing service site revealed that a security researcher approached its security team on Monday to alert them that customer email addresses and hashed passwords were found on a server outside the business' network.

The breach appears to have happened around Oct. 26. Overall, 92,283,889 email address might have been exposed during this time.

"Immediately upon receipt of the file, MyHeritage's Information Security Team analyzed the file and began an investigation to determine how its contents were obtained and to identify any potential exploitation of the MyHeritage system," according to the company's statement.

It does not appear that anyone actually used the compromised data, and MyHeritage has hired a third-party security firm to help investigate.

The saving grace for MyHeritage is that the company did not store the password itself and the passwords were protected using a one-way hash that creates a unique cryptographic key for each customer account.


Now entering its fifth year, the 2020 Vision Executive Summit is an exclusive meeting of global CSP executives focused on navigating the disruptive forces at work in telecom today. Join us in Lisbon on December 4-6 to meet with fellow experts as we define the future of next-gen communications and how to make it profitable.

In addition, payment information, such as credit card data, is handled by a third party and the most sensitive data -- the genealogical information that users send in to have their DNA tested -- is stored a segregated server that is removed from the systems that store the email addresses.

MyHeritage announced the breach shortly after implementation of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect on May 25. (See GDPR: SecurityNow's Need-to-Know Guide.)

However, there are serious security questions that a breach of this sizes raises.

Mukul Kumar, the CISO and vice president of Cyber Practices at security firm Cavirin, wrote in an email to Security Now that this latest breach shows not only how weak current password techniques are, but the danger of uploading data to the cloud without a better plan to protect it.

"A top priority must be to use unique passwords, but even when browsers recommend this, the reality is very different. How many of you reuse the same password across two or more sites?" Kumar asked.

"The second question is, from where was this data obtained?" Kumar added. "Does MyHeritage leverage the public cloud? If so, were they following best practices to ensure their cloud security posture, or does this breach follow so many others were cloud storage resources were left unsecured and unencrypted?"

MyHeritage is taking additional security steps, such as building in two-factor authentication for customer account, but the company also needs to dig deeper into the enterprise-level security practices.

"It appears that good cryptographic practices were in place, such as unique salts. However, the organization fell short in detecting the intrusion and data breach, as evidenced by the seven- month delay, and the fact they were notified by a third party," Rick Moy, the CMO at Acalvio, which provides advanced threat detection and defense tools, wrote in an email.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
New 'Nanodegree' Program Provides Hands-On Cybersecurity Training
Nicole Ferraro, Contributing Writer,  8/3/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15820
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.6881, the markdown parser could disclose hidden file existence.
CVE-2020-15821
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.6881, a user without permission is able to create an article draft.
CVE-2020-15823
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.8873 is vulnerable to SSRF in the Workflow component.
CVE-2020-15824
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains Kotlin before 1.4.0, there is a script-cache privilege escalation vulnerability due to kotlin-main-kts cached scripts in the system temp directory, which is shared by all users by default.
CVE-2020-15825
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains TeamCity before 2020.1, users with the Modify Group permission can elevate other users' privileges.