thousands of hacked accounts, passwords in the wild

Norton, the company behind the famous antivirus, has been telling its customers that their account has been compromised for the past few weeks. A security flaw that also allowed hackers to access the password manager offered by the brand.

In a message to its customers, Gen Digital, the parent company of Norton LifeLock, said it was the target of a “credential stuffing” attack. Norton accounts and password managers have been compromised.

A simple “ID stuffing”

Rather than attacking the company’s systems, the hackers simply used the method of “credential stuffing”, or “stuffing of identifiers”. A simple technique that involves using previously stolen credentials, on the Dark Web for example, to break into other accounts using the same passwords.

A process that still works insofar as many users have a single password, including those who have a password manager like Norton’s. Unfortunately, hackers can easily find the master password, which is potentially reused everywhere.

We cannot exclude that the unauthorized third party also obtained stored details [dans Norton Password Manager]especially if your Password Manager key is the same or very similar to your Norton account password. – Gen Digital / Norton

That’s when two-factor authentication comes into play. Indeed, it prevents attackers from accessing someone’s accounts with only their password.

On December 12, the company’s systems detected an abnormally high number of failed logins, raising the alarm of attempted break-ins by third parties who have compromised certain accounts since December 1. In its information notice sent to approximately 6,450 customers, Gen Digital specifies:

By accessing your account with your username and password, the unauthorized third party may have seen your first name, last name, phone number and mailing address. »

At the end of 2022, it’s the password manager giant Lastpass which confirmed to have been the victim of a hackleaking the personal data of its users.

Again and again the passwords…

As we have repeatedly reported, the most used passwords are always too weak. Add to that the fact that not all users enable two-factor authentication, and you have accounts that hackers can access with amazing ease. Utilize a good password manager is still recommended by security experts, but only if you set up a strong master password that is not reused on any other account.

Roger Grimes, Data Defense Evangelist at KnowBe4 sums it up perfectly:

Password managers create strong, perfectly random passwords that are nearly impossible to guess and crack. The attack here appears to be that users themselves created and used weak passwords to protect their Norton login account which was also protecting their Norton Password Manager. »

User safety may not come from general awareness, but from the end of passwords that could be replaced by “access keys”.

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