Adobe has confirmed a massive hack that led to the theft of the private information of 2.9 million customers. The hacked data
includes consumer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer
"At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems," Brad Arkin, Chief Security Officer at Adobe, wrote in a blog post. "We deeply regret that this incident occurred. We're working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident."
As a precaution, Adobe said it is resetting relevant customer passwords to help prevent unauthorized access to Adobe ID accounts. The company is also in the process of notifying customers whose credit or debit card information may have been compromised. Adobe contacted the banks that process customer payments for the software firm and has also alerted federal law enforcement agencies. What now?
A Chilling Reminder
We caught up with Chris Petersen, CTO and co-founder of security information and event management firm LogRhythm, to get his take on the high-profile hack. He told us when it comes to the source code breach, the first risk Adobe is concerned with is that malicious code was inserted into product source code and then distributed to customers in a compiled form. The second risk is that its source code is out in the open and vulnerable to would-be attackers.
"Having access to product source code can allow attackers to identify software vulnerabilities that have been undiscovered to date. Both risks could result in a treasure trove of zero-day exploits against Adobe software," Petersen said.
"If indeed the source code stolen pertains to ColdFusion and Acrobat, this could leave thousands of web servers open to at-will compromise and make it easier to compromise end-user systems," he said. "This breach is a chilling reminder that all software companies should be on guard, as they too could be a stepping stone to other targets."
The Biggest Story
Aaron Titus, Chief Privacy Officer at Identity Finder, a security and privacy software firm, told us the biggest story is that 3 million credit card numbers were hacked from Adobe.
"While this is a serious breach by any measure, to Adobe's credit the numbers seem to have been encrypted. The underreported, but far more worrying story is that hackers apparently have obtained 40 GB of Adobe source code, which may include Adobe's most popular products, Adobe Acrobat and ColdFusion," he said.
"Security professionals in organizations around the world should be on high alert for an increase in Acrobat-related attacks as hackers analyze the code for possible zero-day exploits," Titus said.
The Importance of Continuous Monitoring
For his part, Dwayne Menlancon, chief technology officer for IT security software firm Tripwire, said the fact that breach involves source code for creating web content should be concerning for Adobe and its customers, as it may enable the attackers to tamper with others' production web sites.
"Fortunately, Adobe has already published hardening guidelines to help reduce the risk of this happening," he wrote in a blog post. "Adobe has also committed to improving its own products' ability to monitor their own integrity to ensure they haven't been altered."
Menlancon notes that the breach is rumored to have been perpetrated by the same attackers who compromised LexisNexis and a number of other organizations, so they likely used the same techniques. That, he said, means the attackers planted a rogue executable on the targeted systems and used that to create a command and control channel back to the attackers.
"These breaches underscore the importance of continuously monitoring your systems for suspicious changes, verifying any unrecognized programs on your systems, and establishing strong foundational controls so you can tell 'good' from 'bad' in your production environment, and to prepare before something bad happens, rather than after the damage has already been done," he said.