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(Cupid Media has no link to New York-based online-dating service OK Cupid.) Of those 42 million Cupid Media compromised accounts, 1.9 million, or 4.5 percent of the total, used the password "123456"; 1.2 million used "111111." Yet since all the passwords were unencrypted, even users who used strong passwords are now at high risk of identity theft and account hijacking. 20), security blogger Brian Krebs revealed he had found the Cupid Media data buried on the same cybercriminal server that had stored data stolen from Adobe Systems, PR Newswire and the National White Collar Crime Center.(The 150 million stolen Adobe user records had such poor password encryption that Facebook decided to alert its own users who also appeared in the Adobe data set.) MORE: Adobe Data Breach: How to Protect Yourself Andrew Bolton, managing director of Cupid Media, told Krebs that his company had suffered a data breach in January 2013.
"Subsequently to the events of January," Bolton told Krebs, "we hired external consultants and implemented a range of security improvements, which include hashing and salting of our passwords." Hashing and salting are the minimum security precautions to be taken when storing user passwords.
Hashing runs passwords through a complex, irreversible mathematical algorithm that results in "hashes," long numerical strings of uniform character length.
That's why some companies cut corners and don't hash passwords.
It's simply easier not to — until there's a data breach.
Language doesn't even appear to be a problem here as there are translation tools on offer.