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Avast anti-virus community forums hacked; 400,000 user accounts stolen

updated 01:21 pm EDT, Tue May 27, 2014

Forums shut down, migrating to new more secure platform

PC security and anti-virus vendor Avast experienced a data theft over the weekend, with the losses estimated at 400,000 accounts potentially at risk. Stolen were user's nicknames, user names, email addresses, and hashed passwords. The company has issued a blog post informing users of the breach, and the forums have been temporarily shut down in the wake of the attack.

Avast is an computer security vendor specializing in anti-virus measures. Its software is available for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux users, with a user interface available in 41 languages. In June 2012, Avast had 17.4 percent of the worldwide antivirus vendor market share.

CEO of Avast Software Vince Steckler said in a blog post that the issue "only affects our community-support forum. Less than 0.2 percent of our 200 million users were affected. No payment, license, or financial systems or other data was compromised."

Steckler also notes that "even though the passwords were hashed, it could be possible for a sophisticated thief to derive many of the passwords," putting logins both at Avast and logins at other sites with shared credentials at risk.

Avast believes that despite the forums being hosted with a third party, the company detected the breach nearly immediately and took steps to mitigate the theft. The forums are now being rebuilt and moved to a different platform, presumably one with more control by Avast itself.

by MacNN Staff




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