Advertisement

AOL looks into data breach, says user data compromised

AOL says the cyber attack could have compromised email addresses, encrypted passwords and security questions.

By Ananth Baliga

NEW YORK, April 28 (UPI) -- AOL has asked millions of users to change their passwords and security questions after confirming a cyber attack affecting a small portion of its users.

AOL released a statement Monday that said the breach "involved unauthorized access to AOL's network and systems," giving the hackers access to mail addresses, postal addresses, address book contact information, encrypted passwords, and encrypted answers.

Advertisement

The company said roughly 2 percent of its users were affected, and that it wasn't sure if its password encryption was broken or whether the company lost any financial data, including debit and credit cards. But as a precautionary measure users were asked to change their passwords immediately.

"We nevertheless strongly encourage our users and employees to reset their passwords used for any AOL service and, when doing so, also to change their security question and answer," AOL said.

RELATED Pfizer confirms $100 billion bid for AstraZeneca

"We believe that spammers have used this contact information to send spoofed emails that appeared to come from roughly 2 percent of our email accounts," the statement read.

The attack was detected after a flurry of complaints regarding spoof and spam emails coming form AOL users. According to AOL, "spoofing is when a spammer sends out emails using your email address in the From: field. The idea is to make it seem like the message is from you – in order to trick people into opening it."

Advertisement

AOL said its working with law enforcement to investigate the breach and has also contacted the SEC as protocol. The company has yet to detect the exact time and nature of the attack.

RELATED Math error halts Bank of America's stock buy back and dividend increase

RELATED Alibaba and UCWeb partner to launch new mobile search service

RELATED Microsoft reveals new zero-day vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer

RELATED Facebook purchases fitness tracking app Moves

Latest Headlines

Advertisement

Trending Stories

Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement