The Fourth of July is characterized by barbeques, fireworks, and patriotism – and now cyberattacks! Just this past Independence Day, the popular social media app Timehop was hacked – as cybercriminals set their sights on the company’s servers, rather than enjoying hot dogs and sparklers. The attack affects a whopping 21 million Timehop users and has put their personal information at risk of being compromised.
The key ingredient for this attack: multi-factor authentication. Or, lack thereof. Hackers were able to access the company’s cloud servers on July 4th because Timehop had not turned on multi-factor authentication. “The breach occurred because an access credential to our cloud computing environment was compromised,” the company said. Once they obtained the credential to access the servers, the crooks managed to remain inside the system for approximately two hours.
In a company blog post, Timehop stated that the security breach compromised the names and emails of these 21 million users, which is essentially its entire user base. And 4.7 million of those affected users had a phone number that was attached to their account breached in the attack as well. Fortunately, Timehop says that no financial data was compromised in the attack, and all access to social media platforms was deactivated immediately by Timehop, which actually logged all users out of their accounts.
This breach joins the Exactis and Adidas breaches that have occurred in the past week, leaving millions of consumers out there concerned for their personal security. So, what next steps should Timehop users take to ensure they secure their personal information? Start by following these tips:
- Change up your passwords. With this personal data already in hand, it’s likely cybercriminals are going to take a guess at your password and attempt to get inside your Timehop account. Therefore, make sure you change up your password to Timehop and any other accounts that use the same one.
- Use two-factor authentication. If this breach has made anything clear, it’s that we cannot rely on passwords that use single-factor authentication to protect our accounts. Learn a lesson from Timehop and always enable two-factor authentication when given the option.
- Invest in an identity theft monitoring and recovery solution. With the increase in data breaches, people everywhere are facing the possibility of identity theft. That’s precisely why they should leverage a solution tool such as McAfee Identity Theft Protection, which allows users to take a proactive approach to protecting their identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep their identities personal and secured.