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Hackers Compromise PR Newswire Customer Database

Hackers have swiped a database full of customer information from PR Newswire in an attack that may be related to the group behind the attacks on Adobe Systems and other companies.

Hackers have swiped a database full of customer information from PR Newswire in an attack that may be related to the group behind the attacks on Adobe Systems and other companies.

The database was found on the same server as the stolen source code for numerous Adobe products, including Adobe Acrobat and ColdFusion, according to security firm Hold Security, which investigated the situation and believes the PR Newswire attack to be far from random.

“There is evidence, dated February 13, 2013, of a large-scale attack targeting PR Newswire’s multiple networks hitting over 2,000 IP addresses using ColdFusion exploits,” according to the Hold Security blog. “The attack was sourced from a different server also used by the same group of hackers. If this attack resulted in a breach, it is possible that the hackers had access to PR Newswire infrastructure longer than previously thought.”

The group behind the Adobe attacks was previously connected to the theft of information from several major data aggregators, including LexisNexis and Dun & Bradstreet. The attacks were uncovered after an investigation by security reporter Brian Krebs and Hold Security.

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In response to the revelations, PR Newswire CEO Ninan Chacko blogged that the database in question primarily houses access credentials and contact information for some of the company’s customers in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East.

“We are conducting an extensive investigation and have notified appropriate law enforcement authorities,” he wrote. “Based on our preliminary review, we believe that customer payment data were not compromised.”

“As a precautionary measure, we have implemented a mandatory password reset for all customers with accounts on this database,” he continued. “As a general practice, we recommend that our customers use strong passwords and regularly update them, not just on PR Newswire but on any website requiring login credentials. From an internal perspective, we continue to implement security improvements and additional protocols to help further protect user portals and customer and proprietary information.”

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Marketing professional with a background in journalism and a focus on IT security.

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