American Social Media Site Reddit Announces Data Breach

  • By Steven
  • Feb 15, 2023

reddit data breach

Social media platforms are often sought-after regarding data breaches. Having unauthorized access to someone’s social media can be massive; the unauthorized party can ruin relationships, job opportunities or current jobs, and even school prospects. People sometimes forget the full effect of having social media because of how fun it can be. Reddit is one of these such places. It may have fewer sensitivities (it most likely won’t be looked at by employers, universities, etc.), but it is still dangerous.

How Did the Attack Occur?

The most common type of hack is a phishing attack, which was this hacker’s method. Reddit called it “sophisticated and highly targeted,” and explained that the hacker used the attack to access the company’s email. They began sending legitimate-looking emails to users with a bogus link that led to a page disguised as Reddit’s intranet portal. The hacker then attempted to access people’s login credentials and gain two-factor verification tokens. More often than not, these tokens expire quickly, so they should be a lesser concern.

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

The only information accessed was a single employee’s email and login credentials and the login information of anyone who logged in to the fake site. The information can be surprisingly lucrative to the hacker, but we’ll talk about that later.

How Did Reddit Admit to the Breach?

Reddit posted to Reddit to explain the breach. The post explained what had happened, what steps were taken, and tips for victims to help identify and stop a phishing scam. “Soon after being phished, the affected employee self-reported, and the Security team responded quickly, removing the infiltrator’s access and commencing an internal investigation,” reads the post. “Similar phishing attacks have been recently reported… Our goal is to fully understand and prevent future incidents of this nature, and we will use this post to provide any additional updates as we learn and can share more.”

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

With Reddit user credentials, the hacker can attempt a credential-stuffing attack. Credential stuffing occurs when an unauthorized party attempts to use login credentials obtained in other breaches to log in to a targeted website or service. It’s usually done en masse, hence the name. Fortunately, credential stuffing attacks are usually easy for companies to find and stop because they are done in bulk more often than not. Companies note an alarming number of failed login attempts in a certain period.

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

First things first, use a password manager. This might sound odd, but think about it: you may not notice the differences between websites, but your device will. As a result, your password won’t allow autofill and will most likely ask you whether or not you want to proceed with the login. Next, invest in device monitoring that will alert you to unsafe sites or attacks on your device. Lastly, pay attention to your surroundings (in real life and online). There are usually signs that you’re going in the wrong direction, so look for them. Stay safe out there!

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