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Evernote Resets Passwords After Malicious Attack Detected

Online note-taking service Evernote has reset passwords for millions of its users after detecting a malicious attack.

Online note-taking service Evernote has reset passwords for millions of its users after detecting a malicious attack.

In a note to its user base, the company said it has found no evidence that any of the content users store in Evernote was accessed or lost, and that no payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was compromised.

 “The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts and encrypted passwords,” according to the company’s security team. “Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.)”

“Once you have reset your password on evernote.com, you will need to enter this new password in other Evernote apps that you use,” according to the company. “We are also releasing updates to several of our apps to make the password change process easier, so please check for updates over the next several hours.”

The attack on Evernote follows reports of recent attacks on Twitter and Facebook. There was no indication from Evernote as to whether the attack on the company was in any way connected to the other attacks.

“As recent events with other large services have demonstrated, this type of activity is becoming more common,” the company blogged, advising users not to use simple passwords based on dictionary words or reuse the same password on multiple sites.

The company also warned users not to click on ‘reset password’ requests in emails – and then included a link for users to click on in their own reset request. In addition, what might give recipients pause is that the links do not go directly to evernote.com, but instead link to a site called mkt5371, blogged Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

“Now, before you panic that someone is attempting to phish your Evernote credentials with a craftily-designed email, just relax,” he blogged. “This was just carelessness on Evernote’s part. mkt5371 is a domain owned by Silverpop, an email communications firm who Evernote has clearly employed to send emails to its 50 million or so affected users.”

“The fundamental problem here is not that Evernote was breached, but rather the broader ramifications for the Internet as a whole,” Brendon Wilson, Director, Product Management, Nok Nok Labs told SecurityWeek.

“How many users re-use that same password at other services?” Wilson questioned. “While Evernote detected their breach, the same may not be true if extracted passwords are used to breach other, less robust services. Many focus on the need for Evernote to add two-factor authentication – while a step in the right direction, it’s not really enough. Strong authentication needs to be default if we’re to avoid these problems and strengthen the Internet as a whole.”

Evernote apologized to users for the situation.

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