Uh-Oh, Adobe: What the Software Giant’s Data Breach Can Teach Us


Hacker LaptopCyber attacks are one of the unfortunate realities of doing business today. That’s the frank admission from software giant Adobe, which last week announced it had been the victim of a massive data breach.

In reality, the breach took place about six weeks earlier but the company had only recently noticed the attack. Cyber thieves stole approximately 2.9 million customer IDs and passwords, personal information like encrypted credit/debit card numbers, expiration dates, and copies of the source code for some of the company’s most widely used products.

“At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems,” Brad Arkin, Chief Security Officer at Adobe, wrote in a blog post. “We deeply regret that this incident occurred. We’re working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident.”

As a precaution, Adobe said it has reset relevant customer passwords to help prevent unauthorized access to Adobe ID accounts. If your user ID and password were involved, you will receive an email notification from the company with information on how to change your password. But customers should also be extra careful regarding emails and software from Adobe as they may be compromised as a result of the breach.

If you are an Adobe customer with an online account but have not yet received this email notification, then by all means go ahead and change your password on your own. Computer security experts recommend not using the same password across the digital landscape. In other words, do no use the same complex password for your online banking, Facebook, e-commerce sites, and other favorite sites. In the event one website is hacked, your safety is not necessarily compromised across countless websites.

Finally, be sure to track your credit/debit card activity very closely if you have EVER made a purchase from Adobe. Although Adobe is also offering customers whose credit or debit card information was stolen the option of enrolling in a one-year complimentary credit monitoring membership, the ultimate identity-theft prevention starts with you. Be aware of your credit report and what that activity says about you (or rather, what the activity says about the thief posing as you).


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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.