Quora Is Next Site to Have User Data Compromised

It hasn’t even been a week since the hotel chain Marriott announced their site had been hacked, leaving customer data possibly compromised. Yet now the website Quora is saying they were hacked and some user data was compromised.

The website published a blog entry on their site stating they want to be “transparent” without compromising their security systems and how they’re going about investigating and preventing such a thing from happening again.

Quora stated that on Friday they found that some of their user data was “compromised by a third party who gained unauthorized access to one of our systems.”

Their own internal security teams continue to investigate the cause, and a digital forensics and security firm is helping in this mission. Law enforcement officials h ave been contacted as well.

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They have worked quickly to contain what happened and are making it their top priority to “protect our users and prevent this type of incident from happening in the future.”

About 100 million Quora users had their account information compromised. This includes names, email addresses, encrypted passwords, and “data imported from linked networks when authorized by users.”

Public content, that consists of questions, answers, comments, etc., was compromised as well, along with non-public content, which includes “answer requests, downvotes, direct messages.” It’s noted that a low percentage of users sent or received direct messages.

Anonymous questions and answers were not affected by this data breach, as Quora doesn’t store the identities of their anonymous posters.

They note that while most of the content compromised was already public, the account and other information was not public, and they recognize that as “serious.”

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Quora stresses they are continuing to work on the situation both internally and with the outside security experts to understand what happened and take any appropriate action.

Any Quora users who had their information compromised will be receiving further information via email. Therefore, if you don’t hear from the website, you may consider yourself safe.

They stress that they know it is their responsibility to not have such things happen, and they “failed.” To regain the trust of their users, they will work hard to not allow it to happen again.

“There’s little hope of sharing and growing the world’s knowledge if those doing so cannot feel safe and secure and cannot trust that their information will remain private,” states the blog.

We’d like to hear from you if you are a Quora user to learn how you feel about the situation. We’d also like to hear from everyone in a discussion of what can be done to cure this rising problem of user data being compromised. Please leave your thoughts below in the comments.

One comment

  1. “what can be done to cure this rising problem of user data being compromised”
    Short of shooting those responsible, there is nothing that can be done. Although I doubt even that would work. Hacking and compromising of data have become part of daily life. They are two of the unintended consequences of the progress of technology.

    In spite of a spate of laws, we have not “cured” many other problems such as speeding, hate and firearm proliferation. I suppose we’ll just have to get used to hacking just as we got used to all the other things.

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