Evernote hacked – all users have to change passwords

This is how the nightmare of having a bad press starts:

Evernote’s Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service. As a precaution to protect your data, we have decided to implement a password reset.

More infos here.

evernote

The strange thing is that not all users received the notification per email.

If you wonder why you can’t login anymore to Evernote, this is the reason.

The only solution is to try to login on the website and click the link on top of the page (see marked with yellow):

evernote-home

 

 

Comparing the data breach with the ones at LinkedIn, Last.fm and others from last year, we can’t stop to wonder why Evernote didn’t learn from the mistakes of the others.

Simply hashing a password with salt is by far not enough anymore. But,it is definitely better than no salt at all. Even passwords with salt can be rather easily reversed because we are only talking about MD5. Imagine that if the attackers have also accounts at Evernote, they know their passwords. This means, that now they have the plain text password and its computed hash with salt. With enough computation power it is not hard to get the plain text of all passwords. And, because many users re-use passwords for multiple sites, including for the email address itself, imagine the consequences of such a breach.

However, the biggest problem is not the reverse engineering of passwords. It will take a while until someone, if at all, manages to figure out how to decrypt them.

The biggest problem is the fact that the emails and the names of the users were taken by criminals. This will automatically mean spear phishing attacks against these customers. The emails which could be sent would look extremely credible and because of the press coverage of this event, the emails will look even more credible.

I strongly suggest that if you had an account at Evernote you change your password now and use a strong password that you don’t use anywhere else.

And never click on links in emails that ask you to do something.

 

Sorin Mustaca

IT Security Expert