By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated May 28, 2014.
The online world is still reeling from the eBay breach, but Spotify is now pushing the online auctioneer deeper into tech news pages as it reports a hack of its own.
The music streaming service on Tuesday revealed “unauthorized access” to its systems and internal company data. Spotify CTO Oskar Stal said the company has launched an investigation into the breach.
“Our evidence shows that only one Spotify user’s data has been accessed and this did not include any password, financial or payment information,” he wrote in a blog post. “We have contacted this one individual. Based on our findings, we are not aware of any increased risk to users as a result of this incident.”
Downplaying the Breach
Armed with this information, Stal said the company is asking “certain Spotify users” to re-enter their usernames and passwords to log in as a general precaution. Spotify is also planning to push out an Android app upgrade over the next few days.
“Please note that offline playlists will have to be re-downloaded in the new version. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes, but hope you understand that this is a necessary precaution to safeguard the quality of our service and protect our users,” Stal said. "We have taken steps to strengthen our security systems in general and help protect you and your data -- and we will continue to do so. We will be taking further actions in the coming days to increase security for our users.”
Guess What Happened
We caught up with Craig Young, a security researcher at security firm Tripwire, to get his take on the latest in a string of breaches. He shared with us two guesses about what happened at Spotify.
“My guess is that they maybe didn’t validate SSL certificates,” Young said. “My guess would be that someone demonstrated a proof-of-concept attack for the Spotify team and that constitutes the single known affected user.”
We also asked Dwayne Melancon, CTO at Tripwire, for his thoughts on the so-called unauthorized access. He told us the breach would not warrant an all-user notification if it had been as simple as one user oversharing his login credentials.
“Given that Spotify claims that only one user’s data has been compromised, I suspect this was achieved via a re-usable, broadly applicable attack method perhaps affecting older versions of the Spotify app,” Melancon said. “Users, particularly on the Android platform, should follow Spotify’s recommendation and ensure they are running up-to-date software.”
eBay Drama Continues
That doesn’t put an end to the eBay drama. Last week, eBay asked users to change their passwords in the wake of a cyberattack that compromised one of its databases. Unfortunately, it was a database that included eBay customers' names, encrypted passwords, e-mail addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. But before the dust could settle on that drama another issue emerged.
According to Jordan Lee Jones, a college student in the United Kingdom, there’s a second vulnerability that remains open to hackers. Jones said he notified eBay via e-mail on Friday and got no response. He has published what he calls the “eBay cross-site scripting code” on his blog. And eBay is still under investigation by several attorneys general in the U.S. as well as at least one European watchdog.
“The magnitude of the reported eBay data breach could be of historic proportions, and my office is part of a group of other attorneys general in the country investigating the matter,” said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. “We must do everything in our power to protect consumers’ personal information, which is exactly why I worked with the Florida Legislature on the Florida Information Protection Act.”