400,000 Swedish accounts hacked

Leaked Adobe passwords include those of Reinfeldt and Löfven

Published lördag 9 november 2013 kl 11:51
Användarnamn och lösenord Foto: Janerik Henriksson/Scanpix
Affected accounts are told to change their passwords immediately. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/Scanpix

Nearly 400,000 Swedes, including Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, must change their passwords after a cyber attack breached accounts with Adobe Systems Inc. in October.

Swedish Television reports that nearly 130 million accounts with the software giant were hacked and that passwords and other user data has been leaked online. The TV station said Saturday that some 400,000 Swedish accounts, including those of politicians, journalists and business leaders, are included.

Looking at the leaked information, IT expert Marcus Murray said he quickly found passwords and email addresses to several well-known Swedes, including Reinfeldt and Löfven. Swedish Television said 166 people had the same Adobe password as the Prime Minister.

Lars Grundström, information security manager at Sweden's Parliament, told Swedish Television he believes there little risk to the government since there are "other types of mechanisms in the IT system" to protect it. He added that owners of the affected accounts were told to change their passwords immediately.

Marcus Murray said the passwords are often so simple that "a middle school student could crack" them.

"There are even people from our own company, so there is a cross-section of Sweden here," he said.

Although the leak only concerns users of Adobe's services, Marcus Murray said those using the same password for other programs, such as their email, social media or banking accounts, should change their password immediately.

"Otherwise, it is likely that they'll have their identity stolen," he told Swedish Television.

Adobe first disclosed the breach on Oct. 3, saying attackers took credit card information and other data from nearly 3 million customers accounts. The company has since revised the total number of hacked accounts.

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