The online question-and-answer website Quora suffered a malicious data breach that may have affected up to 100 million accounts, the site's CEO, Adam D'Angelo, said in an official company blog posting late Monday (Dec. 3).
Compromised information includes hashed passwords, user names, email addressed, questions and answers, as well as data imported from linked networks.
Moreover, Quora has also hinted at the possibility of the leak of public content like questions, comments, answers, as well as non-public content like downvotes, direct messages, and answer requests.
The hackers were unable to access questions and answers that were written anonymously, because Quora doesn't store the identities of people who post anonymous content.
"We are in the process of notifying users whose data has been compromised", D'Angelo further wrote.
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Quora found the breach on November 30th and said it is still investigating.
The service has logged out all affected users, and in the event they use passwords to authenticate, old passwords have been invalidated.
The company adds that they believe they have tracked down the root cause of the breach and is making security improvements.
Presumably, Quora power users are included in this breach, and there have certainly been a few celebrities who've used the platform over the years, like the 44th president of the United States. Along with this, it is also asking the users to change their account passwords.
"Once the 14-day grace period has expired and your account has been deleted, your content and profile will be permanently deleted, and personal data associated with your account will be removed from Quora's databases", says the company on its website. The company has also notified law enforcement. "We have already taken steps to ensure the situation is contained, and we are working to prevent this type of event from happening in the future".