Zendesk security breach affects Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest users

A breach at Zendesk resulted in hackers obtaining support information sent to a trio of social networks.

Customer service turned into customer disservice on Thursday, when a security breach at Zendesk spilled over to affect Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest users.

Zendesk, which supplies customer service software for the three companies, said on its blog that hackers downloaded the email addresses of users who contacted the three social networks for support help, along with the subject lines of said support emails. The company claims that no other critical data has been accessed.

Zendesk discovered the breach earlier this week, then patched the vulnerability and closed off the hacker's access in short order. The company has more than 25,000 clients, but it said no other Zendesk customers were affected by the breach, which was apparently highly targeted.

Twitter's official support account noted that it emailed a small percentage of users who may have been affected by Zendesk's breach, and that no passwords were involved in the hack. In the email itself--which Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys appropriately posted in a Twitpic--Twitter added it does not believe people need to take any action at this time, though the company also warned that any contact info included in support emails may have been compromised.

In another email to users affected by the breach, Tumblr said much of the information obtained by the hackers is "innocuous", but urged users to be suspicious of unexpected emails asking for their password. Pinterest also advised its users to use a strong password or change it if they have a weak key phrase.

Even though passwords were not hacked as part of this breach, Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos, explained in a blog post this could have unpleasant ramifications: "For instance, the hackers who have stolen the email addresses could now craft malicious emails to the email addresses of Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr users and try to trick them into clicking on dangerous links or attachments."

For users who received a notification emails from one of the three social networks, Cluley's advice is to "be very careful about emails you receive, and be cautious about opening unsolicited email attachments or clicking on embedded links."

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hackersReuterssecurityTumblrZendesktwittersocial networksTwitpicPinterest

More about Reuters AustraliaSophosZendesk

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Daniel Ionescu

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place