CNET Breached by Russian Hackers, Reader Data Potentially Compromised

Geoff Blaine

According to the BBC — and CNET itself — the popular tech news and review site CNET was infiltrated by Russian hackers over the weekend. The criminal group claims to have stolen reader data.

CNET, who is owned by CBS Interactive, states that a representative from the hacker group, named W0rm, claimed responsibility for the breach and that the group “stole a database of usernames, emails, and encrypted passwords from CNET’s servers. W0rm is claiming that the database of stolen information includes data on more than 1 million users.”

The 1 million figure, however, comes from the hacker group. CNET hasn’t yet disclosed any details about the breach. The user W0rm also said that the data will be sold for around $624 (as of July 15 at 3:50 p.m. EDT) — or a single Bitcoin. The Russian hackers also stated their true mission was not monetary, but to bring lax security to the world’s attention. Selling the data would provide the visibility they need to spread their message.

Per the CNET story, a CBS Interactive spokeswoman said, “We identified the issue and resolved it a few days ago. We will continue to monitor.”

Questionable enterprise security has come to light in the media in recent years. This same group also claims responsibility for the hack of BBC’s website in December 2013. CNET also reported that the group hacked both Adobe Systems and Bank of America websites.

More than 27.1 million unique U.S. visitors viewed the site in June 2014, according to CNET.

Geoff Blaine
Geoff Blaine
Sr. Writer & Managing Editor

An eight-year veteran of Entrust, Geoff is the Identity On blog's managing editor, and also serves as the company's senior writer and social media manager. He brings a blend of real-world journalism experience, cybersecurity perspective and mainstream tech interest.


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