Once inside the web forum, the hackers were able to obtain the names, email addresses, hashed passwords and dates of birth of almost 4,500 of the company’s customers.
Although neither ZoneAlarm nor Checkpoint publicly announced the breach, ZoneAlarm did sent out emails to subscribers who had been affected and urged them to change their forum account passwords immediately, which read:
“The website became inactive in order to fix the problem and will resume as soon as it is fixed. You will be requested to reset your password once joining the forum. ZoneAlarm is conducting a thorough investigation into the whereabouts of this incident and views this as a serious matter.”
According to The Hacker News, which first revealed that ZoneAlarm’s web forum had been breached, the attackers exploited a known critical RCE vulnerability in vBulletin’s forum software to gain unauthorized access to the security firm’s website.
ZoneAlarm had not updated its vBulletin software and its forum was still running version 5.4.4 at the time of the breach. Unfortunately, this version contains a zero-day vulnerability which hackers recently exploited to hack into Comodo’s forum where they were able to access the login information of 245,000 of its users.
Security vulnerabilities in vBulletin’s forum software were also exploited earlier this year when the retro gaming website Emuparadise was breached by hackers who compromised the email addresses, usernames, passwords and IP addresses of 1.2m user accounts.
ZoneAlarm’s breach is yet another reminder to companies that patching their software should be a top priority unless they want to fall victim to a similar data breach.