Domain name registrar Hover has reset user passwords after discovering that one of its systems might have been breached.
Hover is a subsidiary of Canada-based Internet services and telecommunications company Tucows, one of the world’s largest ICANN-accredited domain registrars.
The company started notifying customers on Tuesday that their passwords have been reset. Users who are unable to sign in to their accounts are advised to use the “forgot password” feature to change their passwords.
“We did this as a precautionary measure because there appears to have been a brief period of time when unauthorized access to one of our systems could have occurred. We have no evidence at all that any Hover accounts have been accessed, but even the possibility that this could have happened moved us to err on the side of extreme caution,” Hover told customers.
Similar emails have been sent out customers of OpenSRS, Tucows’ reseller platform.
“We are writing to let you know that we have reset your Reseller Control Panel (UCP) and Reseller Web Interface (RWI) password. We are asking all users to go to the Reseller Control Panel at manage.opensrs.com to reset their password using the “Forgot password?” option. Your new credentials will give you access to both systems. API credentials have not been affected,” OpenSRS customers were told.
Unfortunately, as it often happens, the emails sent out by Hover have been mistaken for phishing attempts due to the URLs they contain. Hover reassured users that the password reset emails are legitimate and clarified that the links have likely been changed by MailChimp, the email marketing product that was used to send out the notifications.
The company is not providing any additional details on the incident until it completes its investigation, but it has told users on Twitter that passwords are hashed using bcrypt.
Hover users who want to add an extra layer of security to their accounts can enable the two-step verification feature, which the company introduced in February 2014.
Hover is not the only Internet company that reported suffering a data breach this month. Hacktivists defaced several websites hosted on a server of Alabama-based Network Solutions, Inc. (not to be confused with Web.com company Network Solutions, LLC).
The company told SecurityWeek on Monday that it had not been able to determine the exact attack vector used by the hackers. However, it suspected that they may have leveraged a zero-day exploit since the breached server was fully patched.
UPDATE. Tucows representatives told SecurityWeek that its Ops team identified strange behavior on a system, but noted that “it was not a break in.” The attackers apparently used credentials obtained through a third-party service. The attack attempt was quickly shut down and the company has not found evidence that data has been accessed.
“The security risk seems really low now. We are just dealing with the unfortunate hassle to hundreds of thousands of customers with all these new passwords that need to be created,” Tucows said.