A wave of social media sites were yesterday hit by a cyber-attack as software giant Microsoft also admitted they had been breached in ‘a similar way’ to recent incidents at Facebook and Apple.
Twitter, Tumblr and virtual clipboard site Pinterest all admitted they had been hit yesterday, writing to users to tell them their personal data had been breached.
Microsoft also chose to report a past attack yesterday but would not say on what date the breach took place.
The world’s largest software company said it hit only internal computers and didn’t have any impact on customers details.
They said they wouldn’t report the date for security reasons but admitted it had similarities in style to attack experienced by Facebook and Apple earlier this month.
‘Consistent with our security response practices, we chose not to make a statement during the initial information gathering process. During our investigation, we found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations. We have no evidence of customer data being affected and our investigation is ongoing.’
‘This type of cyber-attack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries.’
The three social media websites were hit by an attack on a customer service program used across them all yesterday.
They were forced to warn users that their details could have been leaked following the breach at Zendesk which operates its email exchange with customers.
Zendesk said it was hacked for users email addresses and subject lines.
‘We believe that the hacker downloaded email addresses of users who contacted those three customers for support, as well as support email subject lines,” Zendesk said.
Affected users of all three sites were contacted and reminded to keep their passwords strong and told to check whether any sensitive information was mentioned in email exchanges with the websites which would have been conducted via Zendesk.
‘We recently learned that the vendor we use to answer support requests and other emails (Zendesk) experienced a security breach,’ a warning email by Pinterest said.
‘We’re sending you this email because we received or answered a message from you using Zendesk. Unfortunately your name, email address and subject line of your message were improperly accessed during their security breach.’
Facebook and Apple both revealed they had been hit earlier this month.
Apple said some of its internal computers were infected by malware but no data was stolen.
Facebook suffered an intrusion they described as a ‘sophisticated attack’ but said they did not believe user data was compromised.
It said in a blog post on February 15: ‘Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well. As one of the first companies to discover this malware, we immediately took steps to start sharing details about the infiltration with the other companies and entities that were affected. We plan to continue collaborating on this incident through an informal working group and other means.’
Earlier in the month Twitter reported a hacking attempt which could have exposed details of up to 250,000 users.