The recent cyberattack on Reddit highlights the importance of being proactive about cybersecurity.
In early February 2023, Reddit, a popular social news site, fell victim to a cyberattack using a “sophisticated phishing” technique to target its employees. The company confirmed that the attack took place on February 5th, but they only became aware of it on February 9th. The hackers accessed internal documents, codes, internal dashboards, and business systems. However, the company maintains that there is no evidence of a security breach on the systems that run the platform and store most of their data.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of cyberattack that involves tricking individuals into providing sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card details, and personal data. Hackers use various techniques to make their attacks more convincing, such as creating fake websites, sending phishing emails, and social engineering. “Phishing is one of the most common and effective ways for cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data,” says Ed Anderson, Vice President of Vancouver IT services company Dyrand Systems.
What Happened to Reddit?
The hackers behind the Reddit attack used a targeted phishing campaign. They sent “plausible-sounding prompts” to employees, which redirected them to a website posing as the company’s intranet portal. Their intention was to steal information and two-factor authentication (2FA) tokens. Unfortunately, the attackers were successful in stealing one employee’s credentials, enabling them to access Reddit’s internal systems.
Fortunately, the employee self-reported the incident to Reddit’s security teams, who acted immediately. The teams removed the attackers’ access and initiated an investigation. While the stolen data included details of their advertisers, Reddit insists that passwords and credit card information were not breached. Furthermore, the company maintains that personal user and non-public data were not compromised, and the stolen information has not been published or distributed online.
Reddit’s response to the attack was prompt and transparent. They initiated an investigation and promptly disclosed the incident to their users. “It’s crucial for companies to act quickly in the event of a cyberattack,” says Daniel De Steno, CEO of NOVA Computer Solutions. “A rapid response can help prevent further harm and mitigate the impact of the attack.”
Aaron Kane, founder of MacHero, a Mac repair and consulting firm in Chicago, emphasizes the importance of employee training in preventing such incidents. “This is yet another example of how critical it is to train employees on cybersecurity and phishing attempts,” he says. “Attackers are becoming more and more sophisticated in their approach, and it’s important that organizations are proactive in preventing these kinds of incidents.”
Reddit Recommendations to Users
While Reddit assures its users that personal user and non-public data were not compromised, they recommend that users take steps to protect their data. Firstly, users should change their passwords and set up two-factor authentication (2FA) on their accounts. “Two-factor authentication is a simple but effective way to add an extra layer of protection to your account,” says Aaron Kane. “It’s important for users to take these steps to safeguard their data and prevent unauthorized access to their accounts.”
The recent cyberattack on Reddit highlights the importance of being proactive about cybersecurity. Companies and individuals alike should regularly educate themselves and their employees on the latest phishing techniques and take steps to protect their data. By implementing measures such as two-factor authentication and promptly reporting any suspicious activity, they can help prevent these types of incidents from happening in the first place. As the threat of cyberattacks continues to grow, it’s essential to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect our digital lives.