Timehop discloses July four data breach affecting 21 million


Timehop has disclosed a security breach that has compromised the non-public data (names and emails) of 21 million users (in actual fact its total user deplorable). Round a fifth of the affected users — or four.7M — have also had a phone amount that changed into as soon as connected to their fable breached in the assault.

The startup, whose carrier plugs into users’ social media accounts to resurface posts and photos they also can just have forgotten about, says it realized the assault whereas it changed into as soon as in growth, at 2:04 US Jap Time on July four, and changed into as soon as ready to shut it down two hours, 19 minutes later — albeit, no longer sooner than thousands and thousands of of us’s data had been breached.

In step with its preliminary investigation of the incident, the attacker first accessed Timehop’s cloud ambiance in December — the usage of compromised admin credentials, and it appears conducting reconnaissance for about a days that month, and again for one other day in March and one in June, sooner than going on to start the assault on July four, all the plot in which thru a US holiday.

Timehop publicly disclosed the breach in a weblog publish on Saturday, loads of days after discovering the assault.

It says no social media verbalize material, financial data or Timehop data changed into as soon as littered with the breach — and its weblog publish emphasizes that none of the verbalize material its carrier automatically lifts from 1/Three occasion social networks in listing to point again to users as digital “memories” changed into as soon as affected.

However the keys that enable it to read and show conceal users their social media verbalize material had been compromised — so it has all keys deactivated, which methodology Timehop users will wish to re-authenticate to its App to proceed the usage of the carrier.

“Ought to it’s most likely you’ll presumably maybe have seen any verbalize material no longer loading, it’s miles because Timehop deactivated these proactively,” it writes, adding: “We don’t have any evidence that any accounts had been accessed with out authorization.”

It does also admit that the tokens may maybe presumably maybe maybe “theoretically” were old for unauthorized users to access Timehop users’ possess social media posts all the plot in which thru “a short time window” — though again it emphasizes “we don’t have any evidence that this in actual fact came about”.

“We are making an try to be clear that these tokens make no longer give anybody (in conjunction with Timehop) access to Facebook Messenger, or Order Messages on Twitter or Instagram, or things that your mates publish to your Facebook wall. Usually, Timehop most efficient has access to social media posts you publish your self to your profile,” it adds.

“The hurt changed into as soon as small due to our long-standing dedication to most efficient whine the info we fully wish to absorb our carrier. Timehop has by no methodology saved your bank card or any financial data, draw data, or IP addresses; we don’t store copies of your social media profiles, we separate user data from social media verbalize material — and we delete our copies of your “Recollections” after you’ve considered them.”

By manner of how its community changed into as soon as accessed, it appears that evidently the attacker changed into as soon as ready to compromise Timehop’s cloud computing ambiance by targeting an fable that had no longer been get by multifactor authentication.

That’s very clearly a principal security failure — nonetheless one Timehop does no longer explicitly indicate, writing most efficient that: “We have now taken steps that consist of multifactor authentication to get our authorization and access controls on all accounts.”

Section of its formal incident response, which it says began on July 5, changed into as soon as also to add multifactor authentication to “all accounts that didn’t already have them for all cloud-essentially based services (no longer factual in our Cloud Computing Provider)”. So evidently there changed into as soon as bigger than one susceptible fable for attackers to try.

Its exec group will in actual fact have inquiries to acknowledge about why multifactor authentication changed into as soon as no longer universally enforced for all its cloud accounts.

For now, by manner of clarification, it writes: “There is no longer any longer this sort of thing as a such divulge as ultimate in phrases of cyber security nonetheless we are dedicated to conserving user data. As quickly because the incident changed into as soon as identified we began a program of security upgrades.” Which does have a undeniable ‘get door being locked after the horse has bolted’ feel to it.

It also writes that it conducted “the introduction of more pervasive encryption all the plot in which thru our ambiance” — so, again, questions also can just easy be asked why it took an incident response to station off a “more pervasive” security overhaul.

Furthermore no longer fully clear from Timehop’s weblog publish: When/if affected users had been notified their data has been breached.

The corporate posed the weblog publish disclosing the safety breach to its Twitter fable on July eight. But sooner than that its Twitter fable changed into as soon as most efficient noting that some “unscheduled repairs” may maybe presumably maybe maybe be inflicting concerns for users having access to the app…

We are for the time being doing a small bit unscheduled repairs on Timehop. You presumably also can just have some components accesing the app till extra discover about. Please be conscious this fable for updates. Thanks to your persistence!
— Timehop (@timehop) July eight, 2018

UPDATE: repairs is easy in growth. You presumably also can quiz ongoing outages as we total this work. Apologies for any pains
— Timehop (@timehop) July eight, 2018

We’ve reached out to the company with questions and also can just easy change this publish with any response. Update: A Timehop spokesman says particular person users are being notified as they log again in to the app.

“An electronic mail to the full user deplorable is in the works for in the present day,” he tells TechCrunch. “[It] took some time to web our ship grid fable ready for that many emails as we’re no longer a mountainous electronic mail sender in most cases.”

By manner of the explanations in the again of the multifactor fail, the spokesman talked about it’s easy investigating why there changed into as soon as a security lapse “as we make in most cases absorb whine of it”. “But this employee changed into as soon as here for see you later, from again when we had been factual a small bit one company, so it appears to be like something received overpassed,” he adds. 

In its weblog about the incident, Timehop says that at the identical time as it changed into as soon as working to shut down the assault and tighten up security, company executives contacted native and federal law enforcement officials — presumably to document the breach.

Breach reporting requirements are baked into Europe’s nowadays updated data protection framework, the GDPR, which puts the onus firmly on data controllers to instruct breaches to supervisory authorities — and to make so fleet — with the laws atmosphere a popular standard of internal 72 hours of becoming attentive to it (except the non-public data breach is unlikely to prevent in “a possibility to the rights and freedoms of natural individuals”).

Referencing GDPR, Timehop writes: “Despite the indisputable truth that the GDPR guidelines are vague on a breach of this form (a breach also can just easy be “at possibility of stop in a possibility to the rights and freedoms of the individuals”), we are being expert-active and notifying all EU users and have executed so as fleet as ability. We have retained and were working carefully with our European-essentially based GDPR consultants to again us in this effort.”

The corporate also writes that it has engaged the services of an (unnamed) cyber possibility intelligence company to search evidence of whine of the electronic mail addresses, phone numbers, and names of users being posted or old online and on the Darkish Internet — announcing that “whereas none have appeared up to now, it’s miles a high likelihood that they’ll quickly seem”.

Timehop users who are frightened the community intrusion and data breach may maybe presumably maybe maybe need impact their “Skedaddle” — aka the amount Timehop shows to indicate how many consecutive days they’ve opened the app — are being reassured by the company that “we can guarantee all Streaks stay unaffected by this occasion”.

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