Adobe has temporarily shut down its Connect User forum in light of a security breach.
A self-proclaimed Egyptian hacker going by the alias "ViruS_HimA" took to Pastebin on Tuesday to announce that he had managed to hack into an Adobe database and access the details of over 150,000 Adobe customers, employees and partners.
To confirm this claim, he also published the information of 644 users, including names, email addresses, usernames and encrypted passwords. However, as ViruS_HimA is "not looking to ruin Adobe business," he chose to leak only email addresses ending in "adobe.com," ".mil" and ".gov".
The reason for the hack is to highlight Adobe's inability to fix security issues quickly. According to ViruS_HimA, "When someone report vulnerability to them [Adobe], It take 5-7 days for the notification that they've received your report!! It even takes 3-4 months to patch the vulnerabilities!"
The passwords published by ViruS_HimA are MD5 hashes of plain-text passwords, which is a security precaution undertaken by Adobe. However, MD5 hashes are known to be weak, since they can be returned to their original state through the use of free password-cracking applications.
In a blog post, the director of Adobe Connect, Guillaume Privat, wrote, "We are in the process of resetting the passwords of impacted Connectusers.com forum members and will reach out to those members with instructions on how to set up new passwords once the forum services are restored."
Adobe also recommends using different login credentials for different accounts, but since many people do not do this, there remains a danger that fast-acting hackers might have already applied the seized data to break into various other accounts.
According to Tal Be'ery, a security researcher at Imperva, some of the leaked names "were people who had worked for Adobe but were no longer employed there," causing him to believe that the database information is fairly old.
"It does not appear that any other Adobe services, including the Adobe Connect conferencing service itself, were impacted, " Privat added.
ViruS_HimA has promised to deliver a "very hot leak" from Yahoo soon.