Hackers tap vBulletin vulnerability to break into 27 million more accounts

The hackers recently targeted 11 sites, many of them from Russia

A vulnerability in a widely-used internet forum software is becoming a go-to method for hackers to steal data.

Hackers recently targeted 11 different sites, many of them from Russia, and stole information from more 27 million Internet accounts, according to LeakedSource, a repository for data breaches.  

About 25 million accounts of those accounts were from cfire.mail.ru, parapa.mail.ru, and tanks.mail.ru, all of them Russian language games. Another 1 million were tied to gaming titles from Funcom, including The Secret World and Age of Conan. The stolen data includes email addresses and hashed passwords that can be easily cracked.

LeakedSource said four or five hackers were responsible, but all of them targeted the same SQL injection vulnerability found in the forum software vBulletin.

Vendor vBulletin patched that vulnerability in June. Even so, customers of the software appear to be slow to install the update.

On Wednesday, affected Internet sites were contacted, and a few of them said they were investigating the issue.

LeakedSource, however, has been receiving the stolen data from the hackers. It provides a searchable database for users to see if any of their Internet accounts were part of past breaches.

Many hackers are feeding data to LeakedSource because they “like what we do,” Leaked Source said in an email.

“Some want to draw publicity to themselves, and others don't want their ‘enemies’ to be able to profit off selling data,” it added.

Not a single website used proper password storage, in these cases, LeakedSource said. So far, it's been able to crack more than 13 million of the passwords stolen.

Nearly all the hacks occurred this month, LeakedSource added. Other sites affected include freeadvice.com, expertlaw.com, and ppcgeeks.com.

News of the recent breaches comes as hackers also targeted forums from Epic Games with the same attack and stole data from more than 800,000 accounts.

On Monday, Epic Games encouraged affected users to change their passwords.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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