Nvidia investigating breach of hashed passwords

Nvidia said the information released about users, however, was already public in its forum

Nvidia said it is investigating the release of encrypted passwords from its user forums, another significant data breach following recent compromises at Yahoo and LinkedIn.

A group calling itself Team Apollo posted on Pastebin around 800 records, which included user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords plus the profile information of users. Nvidia said the profile information, which may include a person's age, birth date, gender and location was already public on the forums.

Nvidia said it shut down its forums earlier this month when suspicious activity was detected. "We are employing additional security measures to minimize the impact of future attacks," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Nvidia noted that the encrypted passwords included a random value know as "salt" that makes it more difficult to convert the hash back into a plain-text password using specialist software programs.

Users who have the same password for other websites should change it, Nvidia advised. Forum users will receive an email with a temporary password and instructions on how they can reset their account, the company said.

Yahoo confirmed last week that 450,000 unencrypted passwords and user names were stolen from its Contributor Network. The information, obtained by a hacker group called D33Ds Company, claimed the breach was caused by a database vulnerability.

About 5.8 million encrypted passwords from LinkedIn were released last month. The social-networking site said since the breach it would salt passwords as an added security measure.

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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