Opera servers hacked, synced passwords possibly compromised

By Arnab Mukherjee | Published on 29 Aug 2016

Company issues warning and resets passwords as a precaution

Opera servers hacked, synced passwords possibly compromised

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Security breaches have become increasingly commonplace recently, from the Sony hack in 2014 to the more recent Ashley Madison debacle. And with each attack, the targeting seems to be getting increasingly specific and unique. This time, it was Opera’s turn when it had to acknowledge on Friday that its Opera Sync servers, which store user synchronized passwords and account information, had been breached by hackers.

While the company claims that the attack was blocked in its early stages, they do have reason to believe that some user data including login information and account details may have been compromised. If you are an Opera user with synced account details, your passwords are likely to be safe because Opera uses encryption for synchronized passwords along with hashed and salted passwords for authentication. But Opera is taking no chances as it has sent emails to all its users informing them of password resets for their sync account and is advising all users to also reset any linked third party account details.

While the total number of active Opera users is around 350 million, only 1.7 million approx active users use Opera Sync- less than 0.5% of its active users. This indicates that the possible damage out of this breach might be less, but the 1.7 million users are still at risk and there might be inactive users who are also storing useful passwords. And this news does come as a shock especially after Opera’s sale to a Chinese security firm.

To reset your Opera Sync password, click here

Interestingly, Opera recently launched its free VPN service for iOS and a native ad blocker for its browser.

Arnab Mukherjee

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