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Nearly 17 mn Zomato user details stolen



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New Delhi, May 18: Shockingly, around 17 million Zomato user details were stolen from their database including their email addresses and hashed passwords and now it is learnt that the data is now being sold on a popular Dark Web marketplace.

According to information shared on, a user by the name of “nclay” claimed to have hacked Zomato.

“The database includes emails and password hashes of registered Zomato users while the price set for the whole package is USD 1,001.43 (BTC 0.5587). The vendor also shared a trove of sample data to prove that the data is legit,” the report said.

“The data was stolen this month and this year, May 2017,” hacker told HackRead.

Zomato, that has over 120 million users, however, said that all the payment records were safe.

“No payment information or credit card data has been stolen/leaked. Payment related information on Zomato is stored separately from this (stolen) data in a highly secure PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) compliant vault,” Zomato said in a blog post on Thursday.

However, it is suspected that it is an internal (human) security breach — some employee’s development account got compromised, the post added.

To avoid any trouble, the company has reset the passwords for all affected users and logged them out of the app and website.

The Zomato team is keeping eye on all possible breach vectors and closing any gaps.

The hashed password cannot be converted/decrypted back to plain text — so the sanctity of password is intact in case users’ use the same password for other services.

“But if you are paranoid about security like us, we encourage you to change your password for any other services where you are using the same password,” the post read.

“Over the next coming days and weeks, the company will further enhance security measures for all user information stored in our database and will add a layer of authorisation for internal teams having access to this data to avoid the possibility of any human breach,” Zomato said.

However, it is not the first time that Zomato has been hacked.

In 2015, the company was hacked by a white hat hacker who reported the details back to the company which later addressed the weaknesses.

Speculations are there that the details may be sold online.

 Wefornews Bureau

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Israel opens probe into Facebook after data scandal



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Thursday (Mar 22) they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s activities following a scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of the social network’s users.

Israel’s privacy protection agency “informed Facebook” of the probe after revelations over data transfers from the tech giant to consultant Cambridge Analytica, the agency said.

It said it was also looking into “the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis”, it said in a statement released by the justice ministry.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has reported that Israeli hackers offered material to Cambridge Analytica.

But an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said the probe did not involve hackers, focusing rather on whether Israeli users’ rights were violated.

Under Israel’s privacy law, personal data may only be used with consent and for the purpose for which it was handed over, the privacy protection agency said.


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Middle East

Loud explosion heard outside busy hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu

Explosion hits busy road outside popular hotel in central Mogadishu.



Somalia Car Bombing

MOGADISHU: 16 people killed and 20 injured in a bomb attack at the entrance of  Wehliye hotel in Mogadishu. Most of the casualties are auto rickshaw drivers and passengers, according to witnesses.

The death toll is expected to rise.

The attacked was claimed by al-Shabab, Reuters news agency reported, citing the armed group’s military operation spokesman.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally recognised government, is frequently carrying out attacks in and around the capital.

More to follow.

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Twitter’s chief information security officer quits




San Francisco, March 22: As tech companies reel under mounting pressure to prevent their platforms from data breach and fake news, Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer Michael Coates has decided to quit.

In a tweet on Thursday, Coates who joined Twitter in 2015 announced his departure from the micro-blogging website.

“Twitter has been an amazing ride, but as I mentioned internally a few weeks back, my time is coming to an end. I’m confident to leave the program with an amazing security team,” Coates tweeted.

According to The Verge, Coates’ interim replacement is Joseph Camilleri, a senior manager for information security and risk.

Coates’ departure comes soon after reports surfaced that Facebook’s Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is planning to leave the company by August.

Facebook is facing the heat after Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting company, was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million Facebook users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.

Meanwhile, Michael Zalewski, Director of Information Security Engineering at Google, has also announced his departure from that company after 11 years.


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