Shortly after LinkedIn confirmed some 6 million passwords have been compromised, eHarmony made a similar announcement. The dating website said that 1.5 million eHarmony passwords have been hacked.
Wednesday, LinkedIn came forward and confirmed that some 6 million passwords have been exposed in a breach. Hours later, eHarmony was making a similar statement. “After investigating reports of compromised passwords, we have found that a small fraction of our user base has been affected” reads the dating website’s statement.
Although 1.5 million leaked passwords might not be that much when it comes to the huge database eHarmony has, it is quite a significant data leak. The website informed an investigation has been initiated. However, before any results would be delivered, eHarmony announced the affected users their passwords will be reset.
“Please be assured that eHarmony users robust security measures, including password hashing and data encryption, to protect our member’ personal information” reads the eHarmony statement. The company also mentioned its networks are protected with “state-of-the-art firewalls, load balancers, SSL and other sophisticated security approaches”.
Both LinkedIn and eHarmony are big targets for hackers, given the potential data they could gain access to. From websites such as LinkedIn hackers can easily steal professional information and use in phishing scams, while networks such as eHarmony carry a variety of personal data.
Graham Cluley, a Sophos analysts, believes that eHarmony should have immediately asked its more than 20 million registered users to change passwords on other websites too. Cluley explained that “if you get hacked in one place, all of your other online accounts at other sites which use the same password could fall shortly afterwards”.
This is only the most recent password leak to hit the news, but it should definitely give you something to think about. Online data might not be as safe as you’d imagine and could be prone to a hacker attack any day now. There’s no bullet proof way to make sure your data is secure, as the hackers’ creativity and determination can break almost anything. However, what you can do is make sure you’re making them work hard for it.
McAfee Threat Intelligence Service Manager Jim Walter explains that “a secure passphrase may be the only thing standing between your personal data and those that wish to steal it”. From his point of view, “password maintenance is simply an unavoidable best practice in today’s digital world”.