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Incident Response

vBulletin Resets Passwords After Server Hack

vBulletin informed users last week that all passwords had been reset after one of the vBulletin Germany servers was accessed by an unauthorized party.

vBulletin informed users last week that all passwords had been reset after one of the vBulletin Germany servers was accessed by an unauthorized party.

vBulletin developer Paul Marsden said all passwords have been reset because the hacker who breached the vBulletin Germany (VBG) server could have gained access to other vBulletin systems as well, such as and

The details of the attack will not be disclosed, but Marsden noted that the incident did not involve any vBulletin exploits. In fact, the VBG website that was hacked (, on which vBulletin-owner Internet Brands runs licensing and support systems, does not use the vBulletin forum software.

The vBulletin Germany forum ( does run vBulletin, but it doesn’t appear to have been targeted in this attack.

“Someone clearly targeted the site, it was obvious they had planned this quite carefully,” said Marsden.

While the latest intrusion didn’t involve any vBulletin vulnerabilities, the forum software’s developer did release a patch last week for a vBulletin 5 flaw that allows attackers to access private vBulletin options.

In early November 2015, vBulletin developers shut down the official forum and website after a hacker using the online moniker “Coldzer0” defaced the forum and claimed to have gained access to user details after exploiting a zero-day vulnerability. vBulletin reset user passwords following the incident.

An exploit, possibly the one leveraged by Coldzer0, was later involved in attacks targeted at thousands of forums powered by vBulletin.

After the latest breach, users should change not only their vBulletin passwords, but also their passwords on any other website where the same credentials had been used.

Related: Zen Cart Patches Multiple XSS Vulnerabilities

Written By

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.

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