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Dating site eHarmony confirms password breach

Password hashes for eHarmony were released on the same Russian forum which published the LinkedIn hashes

The online dating site eHarmony confirmed late Wednesday that passwords for its members were exposed in a breach, a second major compromise following LinkedIn's password exposure.

"After investigating reports of compromised passwords, we have found that a small fraction of our user base has been affected," wrote Becky Teraoka, of eHarmony's corporate communications.

EHarmony didn't say how many of its users may have been affected. The website said it had reset the passwords.

As with LinkedIn, eHarmony's exposed data is cryptographic representations of passwords called hashes, which are generated by an algorithm. But the hashes can be converted into the original password using free decoding software. The shorter the password, the higher the chance it can quickly be cracked.

EHarmony's 1.5 million password hashes were released in a forum of a Russian password-cracking website called InsidePro, reported Ars Technica.

Hackers on InsirePro asked for help cracking the password hashes, Ars reported. But by late Wednesday, those threads on the forum appeared to have been deleted and were not available in Google's cache.

LinkedIn confirmed on Wednesday that some of its passwords were compromised. Security researchers put the figure at 6.5 million, although some of the password hashes were duplicates, bringing the number down to around 5.8 million.

LinkedIn, which has not said how the breach occurred, is notifying people affected and resetting their passwords.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com


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