News aggregator app Flipboard hacked; user data stolen

News aggregator app Flipboard hacked; emails & passwords stolen

Hackers managed to breach Flipboard’s security for sensitive database multiple times putting millions of users at risk.

Just yesterday, it was reported that the online graphic-design tool website Canva had suffered a massive data breach in which a hacker stole over 139 million accounts of registered users. Now, the highly popular social sharing and news aggregation app Flipboard has been hacked not once but twice in a limited timeframe, as per the security notice published by the company.

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According to Flipboard, its databases were accessed between 2 June, 2018 and 23 March, 2019 and 21 April 2019 and 22 April, 2019 during which the hacker managed to obtain copies of databases containing Flipboard’s user information.

Flipboard has a huge following with more than 150 million people accessing it every month. The company claims that the hackers downloaded the databases, which contained not only usernames and salted hash (cryptologically protected or encrypted) passwords but real names, email IDs, digital tokens that registered members use to connect to their Flipboard account via a social media platform were also hacked.

Currently, Flipboard hasn’t clarified the number of users affected by this prolonged data breach, which lasted roughly ten months. The company further explained that the passwords that were changed or created prior to 14 March, 2012 were protected by a relatively weak SHA-1 algorithm. The passwords changed/created after this date were cryptologically protected using the reliable bcrypt hashing protocol.

The affected users have been sent breach notification via emails and Flipboard has also reset the passwords for all of its users to be on the safe side. Users are also urged to select stronger passwords to keep their accounts secure.

In its official statement after disclosing the breach, Flipboard notified its users that:

“You can continue to use Flipboard on devices from which you are already logged in. When you access your Flipboard account from a new device or the next time you log into Flipboard after logging out of your account, you will be asked to create a new password.”

Users who connect to Flipboard using their social media accounts such as Google, Facebook, or Twitter, can continue using them without any concern because Flipboard doesn’t store the passwords for third-party platforms in its database and instead offers digital tokens.

See: breach: Database with 2 billion records leaked

It is noteworthy that the intrusion was detected a day after the second hack took place, that is, on 23 April, 2019 when “suspicious activity” was identified at the location where the database was stored. Law enforcement agencies have also been notified about the hack attack.

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