Last night, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo released a blog post informing users of a hack that affected 100 million Quora users. D’Angelo noted that the hack was just recently discovered. He also stated that the website is trying to be as transparent as possible about how it’s dealing with the loss of data from Quora. Read on for the full story.
Hackers Stole 100 Million Users’ Data from Quora – Full Story
Last night, Adam D’Angelo released a statement on the Quora blog informing users of a recent hack. According to the blog, a malicious third party gained unauthorized access to Quora’s databases. This hack affected “approximately 100 million Quora users”, leaving the following information compromised:
- Account Information: this includes names, email addresses, data imported from linked networks, and hashed passwords.
- Public Content: this icludes questions, answers, comments, and upvotes.
- Non-public Content: this includes answer requests, downvotes, and direct messages.
D’Angelo made it clear that anonymous questions or answers “are not affected by this breach as we do not store the identities of people who post anonymous content.”
Quora’s blog also detailed how the site itself is planning on combating this hack and future attempts. To start, Quora will be notifying all of the users who are affected by this hack. Quora is also logging out all users who may have been affected as a precaution. These users’ saved passwords will also be invalidated for their protection.
As for combating the hack specifically, D’Angelo stated that Quora is working with a “leading digital forensics and security firm”.
“We have notified law enforcement officials [and] affected Quora users. We have already taken steps to ensure the situation is contained, and we are working to prevent this type of event from happening in the future.”
What to Do if You Are Affected
If you are one of the users affected by the Quora hack then you have probably already been notified. That being said, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the drawbacks of a data hack:
- Have a burner email. A lot of websites now ask you to subscribe to their services in order to access some form of content. I suggest having a temporary email at the ready in order to limit how much personal data you share online. This way, your personal email, and information remain safe, even during a hack.
- Never use the same password. I understand that coming up with a long and strong password isn’t easy to do for every single account you have, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. Once you use the same password for all of your accounts, you make it easier for a hacker to gain access to all of your information. You can use trusted sites that help create your password for you. While no one can hack a pen and paper, you can still use password managers to help keep track of the different passwords you have.
- Do not connect your accounts. Always ignore a site’s request to connect through Facebook or your personal email. These kinds of connections make it easier for hackers to access a wider scope of personal data. Instead, always create your account from scratch. Just like what happened with the stolen data from Quora, linked network data can be a very big privacy risk to unsuspecting users.
Hackers Stole 100 Million Users’ Data from Quora – Final Thoughts
There you have it, all you need to know about Quora’s latest hack. Thankfully, Quora is a website that doesn’t really require a lot of data. In other words, no user has to worry about stolen credit cards. However, users who opted to link their accounts with Quora may have a little more to worry about than the rest. Are you an avid Quora user? If so, let us know in the comments if this hack changed how you approach the popular Q&A site.