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Online Backup Firm Carbonite Hit by Password Reuse Attack

Boston-based backup services provider Carbonite is the latest company whose users have been targeted by hackers leveraging credentials leaked recently from major websites.

Carbonite told customers on Tuesday that it had detected unauthorized attempts to access a number of accounts. The company said there is no evidence that its own systems have been compromised.

“This activity appears to be the result of a third party attacker using compromised email addresses and passwords obtained from other companies that were previously attacked. The attackers then tried to use the stolen information to access Carbonite accounts,” Carbonite said in a blog post.

The company has determined that the incident involves usernames and passwords, but in some cases attackers might have also gained access to other personal information.

Carbonite has decided to reset the passwords of all accounts. The company has started sending out emails containing instructions on how to reset passwords, but many users complained that the emails look like they are part of a phishing campaign.

The vendor used its social media channels to assure customers that the password reset emails are legitimate and advised them to change their passwords directly on the Carbonite website or call customer support if they have concerns. However, users noted that cybercriminals could take this opportunity to send out phishing emails.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for companies to send out suspicious-looking emails. SANS researchers reported on Tuesday that remote access software provider LogMeIn also sent out password reset emails to customers whose account credentials were included in the recent leaks. The problem was that the emails contained a couple of links that pointed to suspicious domains.

Carbonite says it’s working on rolling out additional security features to protect user accounts, including two-factor authentication and increased security review.

Hackers have recently leaked hundreds of millions of credentials from several major websites, including VerticalScopeLinkedIn, Myspace, Tumblr and VK. While in many cases the breaches took place several years ago, many of the compromised credentials still appear to be valid.

Carbonite is not the only company hit by password reuse attacks. Similar attacks were reported recently GitHub, Netflix, Facebook, GoToMyPC, Reddit, TeamViewer and Twitter.

In an effort to protect its customers against such attacks, Microsoft announced last month that it has started dynamically banning commonly used passwords.

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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.