Security Experts:

Media Streaming Company Plex Hacked, Blackmailed

The creators of Plex, the popular suite of software and services used for organizing and streaming digital media, are advising customers to change their passwords after a hacker breached at least one of the company’s servers.

In a security notice sent out to affected customers, Plex says the compromised server hosts its forums and blog. The attacker gained access to IP addresses, email addresses, hashed and salted passwords, and private messages. Credit card and other payment data is not stored on the company’s servers.

Plex hacked

Elan Feingold, chief technical officer and co-founder of Plex, noted on Reddit that since the company uses single sign-on (SSO) technology, the attacker can use the forum passwords to log in to accounts as well, assuming he/she can crack the hashes.

So far Plex has only confirmed that the server hosting the forum has been compromised, but the investigation is ongoing. The forum machine was likely breached by exploiting a vulnerability in PHP or the Invision Power Board (IPB) forum software, said Feingold. He has also pointed out that the cluster is hosted on a separate machine.

The attacker, using the online moniker “savaka,” posted a message on the hacked Plex forum claiming to have obtained customer data, software and files. The hacker says he wants Plex to send him 9.5 Bitcoin (roughly $2,400) to a specified address until July 3. If his demands are not met, he threatens to leak all of the stolen data.

“This ransom is still active and on the 3rd: if no BTC payment is made, the ransom wll go up by 5 BTC,” the hacker said. “Eventually if no BTC payment is made, the data will be released via multiple torrent networks and there will be no more”

The Plex forum has been shut down while the incident is being investigated.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.