Linux distro openSUSE’s public forums have been compromised and defaced and tens of thousands of user email addresses exposed after a hacker exploited a zero day flaw in the underlying vBulletin software.
OpenSUSE responded quickly to media reports about the breach on Tuesday by admitting the successful exploit had allowed the hacker to upload files and access the forum database.
However, contrary to reports, user credentials have apparently not been compromised in the attack.
The blog post explained with the following:
Credentials for your openSUSE login are not saved in our application databases as we use a single-sign-on system (Access Manager from NetIQ) for all our services. This is a completely separate system and it has not been compromised by this crack. What the cracker reported as compromised passwords where indeed random, automatically set strings that are in no way connected to your real password.
However, openSUSE did admit that user email addresses are stored in the local database “for convenience” and have been compromised.
There are over 70,000 registered users of the openSUSE forum, according to The Hacker News.
Pakistani hacker ‘H4x0r HuSsY' claimed responsibility for the attack, telling the site that the zero day employed not only affects vBulletin 4.2.1, used by openSUSE, but the latest version, 5.0.5.
Given that vBulletin is one of the most popular flavours of forumware out there, the firm will be scrabbling to produce a fix as soon as possible.
In November, vBulletin admitted customer user IDs and encrypted passwords had been stolen after it suffered a series of “sophisticated attacks”.
In a possibly related attack, vBulletin customer MacRumours claimed the credentials of its 850,000 users had been exposed.
OpenSUSE said it has taken the forums offline until a fix or workaround is available. ®