Quora data breach results in 100 million users affected

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"We are in the process of notifying users whose data has been compromised", Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo said in a blog post.

Public content and actions such as questions, answers, comments, and upvotes, and non-public content and actions such as answer requests, downvotes, and direct messages were also acquired by hackers.

The kinds of information that was exposed include account information, like users' names, email addresses, passwords and data imported from linked networks (like Facebook and Google).

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In a post published late Monday afternoon, Quora officials said they discovered the unauthorized access on Friday. Quora has been sending out emails to users explaining what happened and steps being taken, such as the fact that the users have been logged out of their accounts and their passwords invalidated. The company said people should change their passwords if they use the same ones across different services. Quora has already begun emailing affected users. Investigations are still ongoing, and they, along with law enforcement and a third-party digital forensics firm, have yet to find out who was behind the hack. The decision not to tie anonymous content to the identities of the people posting it is a smart one that will protect the identities of many people who discussed sensitive personal matters.

So a lot of users who've tried to read one Quora forum that one time only to be prompted to log in have probably never thought about their accounts again - until an email about a hack turned up in their inbox.

The attack may not cause much direct monetary loss to users, since Quora doesn't store credit card details or other payment-related information. A function such as bcrypt, by contrast, can prevent a large percentage of hashes from ever being converted into plaintext.

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