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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Adobe data breach much bigger than initially reported

Adobe has revealed that its October data breach was much larger than initially reported. 

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Early in October, Adobe revealed that it had suffered a major data breach, one which was estimated to affect nearly 3 million customers whose sensitive information may have been exposed.

Now, new reports have emerged which reveal that the data breach was far more significant than these initial revelations suggested. Rather than affecting 3 million customers, it is now believed that more than 38 million customers' accounts may have been compromised.

A tremendous breach
These greatly increased figures were revealed by Adobe spokesperson Heather Edell.

"So far, our investigation has confirmed that the attackers obtained access to Adobe IDs and (what were at the time valid), encrypted passwords for approximately 38 million active users," she said.

Edell added that Adobe has notified all affected users via email and reset passwords for all relevant Adobe IDs. A help page for these individuals has also been created.

As Reuters noted, Adobe believes that the stolen passwords were encrypted and consequently may be difficult to access. However, the news source reported that the stolen information may still lead to cybercrime, according to Marcus Carey, a security researcher. For example, he explained that the stolen passwords could potentially be used by hackers to break into users' other accounts.

"This is a treasure trove for future attacks," Carey said, Reuters reported.

Defending data
This revelation offers further evidence of the need for high-grade data security solutions for companies of all kinds. Tech companies must not allow themselves to become unduly complacent and passive, or they may risk suffering the same fate as Adobe.

To this end, secure file transfer solutions are critical. These tools enable employees to send and receive sensitive data without increasing the risk of exposure, lost or theft, thereby greatly reducing the chances that a data breach will occur.