Admirably fast response to notification by Imgur:
On November 23, Imgur was notified of a potential security breach that occurred in 2014 that affected the email addresses and passwords of 1.7 million user accounts. While we are still actively investigating the intrusion, we wanted to inform you as quickly as possible as to what we know and what we are doing in response.
On the afternoon of November 23rd, an email was sent to Imgur by a security researcher who frequently deals with data breaches. He believed he was sent data that included information of Imgur users. Our Chief Operating Officer received the email late night on November 23rd and immediately corresponded with the researcher to learn more about the potential breach. He simultaneously notified Imgur’s Founder/CEO and Vice President of Engineering. Our Vice President of Engineering then arranged to securely receive the data from the researcher and began working to validate that the data belonged to Imgur users.
What Information Was Involved?
Early morning on November 24th, we confirmed that approximately 1.7 million Imgur user accounts were compromised in 2014. The compromised account information included only email addresses and passwords. Imgur has never asked for real names, addresses, phone numbers, or other personally-identifying information (“PII”), so the information that was compromised did NOT include such PII.
How Did This Happen?
We are still investigating how the account information was compromised. We have always encrypted your password in our database, but it may have been cracked with brute force due to an older hashing algorithm (SHA-256) that was used at the time. We updated our algorithm to the new bcrypt algorithm last year.
What Steps Are We Taking?
On the morning of November 24th, we began notifying impacted users via their registered email address. We are immediately requiring that these users update their password. We also published this public disclosure at 4PM PST.
What Can You Do?
We recommend that you use a different combination of email and password for every site and application. Please always use strong passwords and update them frequently.
We take protection of your information very seriously and will be conducting an internal security review of our system and processes. We apologize that this breach occurred and the inconvenience it has caused you. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us at [email protected]
Chief Operating Officer