Hacking of Adobe source code raises fears of cyber attacks

Publicado: octubre 9, 2013 en General

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The hacking of source code used by Adobe has raised fears of a wave of global attacks targeting personal and financial data held on devices from PCs to smartphones.

In what could be the worst infiltration of its kind in almost 10 years, the software maker revealed last week that cybercriminals had snatched the code behind some of its most popular programs.

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The hackers infiltrated computers behind the Acrobat document reader, stealing the encrypted credit card details of 2.9m customers and the source code behind programs including one that opens PDFs.

Armed with the code, criminals could spot vulnerabilities in the software and manipulate them to hack users’ machines, harvesting personal information and intellectual property that can be sold on the black market.

Alex Holden, of Hold Security, who alongside security journalist Brian Krebs helped uncover the crime, warned it could unleash a new generation of attacks.

“This is big news. If their source code is compromised, everyone is affected,” he said.

Hackers work “in the dark”, painstakingly trying hundreds of possibilities to find vulnerabilities, but they will now be able to “discover countless ways to exploit the source code”.

The attack was the worst breach of source code security since Microsoft had program code stolen in 2004, he added.

Adobe and US federal authorities are investigating the hack, which was traced to two US-based servers but could have originated outside the country. The California-based group started investigating the breach on September 17 and now believe the code was likely taken around August 14.

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