‘Malicious’ Quora data breach may affect 100 million users

‘Malicious’ Quora data breach may affect 100 million users Some 100 million users of anonymous questions-and-answers site Quora might not be anonymous much longer, as the company has announced a massive data breach.

The site, which allows users to ask and answer each other’s questions anonymously was compromised by a “malicious third party” last week, according to a blog from CEO Adam D’Angelo.  

Names, email addresses, passwords, data stored on the site, and data imported from linked networks like Facebook and Twitter were among the trove of information accessed by the third party. 100 million of the site’s 300 million users may have been affected, D’Angelo said.

“It is highly unlikely that this incident will result in identity theft, as we do not collect sensitive personal information like credit card or social security numbers,” D’Angelo’s blog post continued.

Quora was founded by former Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever in 2009. The site grew steadily then, hitting 300 million monthly users this September. Among its most well known users are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former President Barack Obama, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

While users can ask each other questions anonymously, real names are required to register. As these names were accessed in the breach, users’ anonymous questions and behavior on the site could now be made public, a threat D’Angelo described as “serious.”

The breach comes just days after Marriott hotels revealed that had accessed the reservation database of its subsidiary, Starwood. The hackers had access to Starwood’s database for over four years, and stole the names, passport numbers, birthdays, and credit card numbers of as many as 500 million guests.

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