Your social media memories may have been compromised

A Timehop security breach has resulted in 21 million users data being compromised.                  Jason Cipriani  CNET

However, no financial data or private messages were affected.

"On July 4, 2018, the attacker (s) conducted activities including an attack against the production database, and transfer of data".

The breach also led to the loss of access tokens Timehop uses to access other social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and the posts you've made there. Users must login and re-authenticate each social media account they have connected to Timehop, in order to receive a new and secure key. TimeHop recommends adding a PIN to your phone account because if abused, this could be used for identity theft - starting with, but not limited to, porting the number without permission.

"We have deactivated these keys so they can no longer be used by anyone", the company said.

Around 4.7 million people - or one in five affected users - may have also had their phone number compromised.

In terms of how its network was accessed, it appears that the attacker was able to compromise Timehop's cloud computing environment by targeting an account that had not been protected by multifactor authentication. We did this in an abundance of caution, to reset all the keys.

There was a "short time window during which it was theoretically possible for unauthorised users to access those posts" but there is "no evidence that this actually happened", according to the blog post. Installing anti-malware can also be beneficial.

Subscribe to alerts. A number of institutions that provide financial services, credit card issuers included, offer customers the chance to be notified when they detect suspicious activity. Timehop system administrators have added the necessary protections for the accounts that didn't have them and are confident such an attack can't be repeated.

TimeHop has now invalidated all API tokens and produced one of the most comprehensive security bulletins we've ever seen with a wealth of information including what the implications are under GDPR - or more specifically, that it's not entirely clear.

According to its preliminary investigation of the incident, the attacker first accessed Timehop's cloud environment in December - using compromised admin credentials, and apparently conducting reconnaissance for a few days that month, and again for another day in March and one in June, before going on to launch the attack on July 4, during a United States holiday. "We have no evidence that any accounts were accessed without authorization".

With the "access tokens", hackers could view some of the users' social media posts without their permission.

"It is recommended that you take additional security precautions with your cellular provider to ensure that your number can not be ported", the company adds.

The New York-based startup discovered the attack at 2:04am US Eastern Time (7:04am BST) on July 4.

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