Notification of Plutonium Forum Databreach - September 2021

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  • Hello community,

    It is with deep regret that the Plutonium Staff Team need to give notice that in September 2021, data was stolen from our forum. This affected all 1.3 million registered users at the time at the date of the breach. We became aware of this breach on September 20th, 2022, after being alerted that the data is being sold on cybercrime forums.

    The stolen data DOES NOT include:

    • Passwords
    • Server keys
    • Hardware information used for Anti-Cheat ban evasion detection
    • Information on any of the 2 million registered users who signed up after September 23rd, 2021

    The stolen data does include:

    • Usernames
    • User IDs
    • Email address history
    • IP addresses used to access the forum
    • Registration dates
    • Last login dates

    As such, no server keys or passwords have been reset.

    Our investigation:
    Upon being alerted, Plutonium Staff Administrators confirmed the legitimacy of the data in the breach and began investigating the root cause of the breach. This root cause is that a staff members' iCloud account was compromised, this iCloud account had an iPhone backup stored on it and the attacker restored this backup to a phone they controlled. This also restored the staff members' 2-Factor Authentication Secrets which allowed the attacker to generate authentic 2FA codes and thus allowed them to login to our forum as the compromised staff account.

    From here the attacker used our forum's API to scrape all registered users' profile data, and due to having access to a staff account, this data included IP address and Email Address history. Hence the stolen data includes more than the public facing profile information.

    During the attack in 2021 the Plutonium Staff team did detect the exfiltration of the data, however we mistakenly believed this to be somebody scraping the public information from profiles as we did not realise a staff account was being used. We put mitigations in place to stop the scraping of this information and assumed we had fixed the issue. We did not report this scraping to the community due to our belief that the scraped information was public profile information, such as usernames, registration date and last login dates.

    The staff member that was compromised did not report the issue to Plutonium Staff Administrators due to the attacker attempting to access their bank accounts and other sensitive accounts and as such the idea that they may have targeted the staff members' Plutonium account did not occur to them, however they did reset their passwords and re-generate their 2 Factor Authentication secrets.

    Passwords and server keys were confirmed to not have been stolen. Server keys are stored in a different database and passwords are stored in a hashed fashion that even Plutonium Forum Administrators cannot access.

    What happens next:
    The only thing we can do is to notify you all as soon as possible and offer our most sincere apologies for this situation. We deeply regret that it has happened and hope our community can forgive us. Our entire Staff Team take responsibility for this lapse in what is usually a very robust Security Posture.

    We are unable to contact all affected users as we do not have the email abilities to send over 1 million emails, but by posting this message publicly we are hoping that the news will travel to most of them.

    We will also be in touch with the appropriate authorities.

    All our staff are required to have 2 Factor Authentication enabled on all Plutonium accounts, this has been in place since we started our forums in 2020, however we will now be doing periodic re-generation of 2FA secrets to avoid backed up Authenticator apps from being useful if they fall into the wrong hands.

    Timeline of events:
    September 2021: Data is stolen using a compromised staff account and compromised iCloud iPhone backup.
    September 2021: Exfiltration of data is spotted by Plutonium Staff and is mistakenly identified as public data, protections to stop the scraping is put in place.
    September 20th 2022: Plutonium Staff are notified of a potential breach.
    September 21st 2022: Plutonium Staff confirm breach is legit and begin investigation.
    September 22nd 2022: Investigation is completed, notification of breach is sent to the community.

    Context of Breach:
    As of September 2022, Plutonium has 3 million registered users, this breach affects 1.3 million users who registered before September 24th, 2021. From our understanding there has been 1 year from when the data was originally stolen to when it started to be publicly sold online.

    Once again, we would like to apologize for this isolated incident.

  • Embarrassing to say the least. It took you over a YEAR to acknowledge 1.3 million users data was stolen and most likely sold to the highest bidder.

  • A whole year to address this? Absolutely unacceptable.

  • @rawssh Over a MILLION IPs, and emails were stolen and sold. The fact that it was stolen because of iCloud makes this even more embarrassing. It's almost hilarious how awful the security of Plutonium is.

  • big f

  • Absolute embarassment, a year to realise this. Why did that staff member have access to so much personal data?

    "During the attack in 2021 the Plutonium Staff team did detect the exfiltration of the data, however we mistakenly believed this to be somebody scraping the public information from profiles as we did not realise a staff account was being used. We put mitigations in place to stop the scraping of this information and ASSUMED we had fixed the issue." - Utter negligence.

    And the gall to mute every channel in the discord server...

  • @Cigar said in Notification of Plutonium Forum Databreach - September 2021:

    Embarrassing to say the least. It took you over a YEAR to acknowledge 1.3 million users data was stolen and most likely sold to the highest bidder.

    We became aware 2 days ago and have worked to investigate and notify as soon as possible. Although we do accept that this is unfortunate.

  • Unluko

  • 1 Year is a little long for this stuff to be going noticed. Gonna delete my account you should to

  • YouTube bouta be popping with this lmao

  • So you guys aren't even gonna give us instructions on how to negate the effects of the attackers having ONE AND A HALF MILLION IP ADDRESSES??
    They can just sell where I live whenever they want and you guys aren't gonna post even like an option that we can do to help ourselves.

  • @Mr-Android said in Notification of Plutonium Forum Databreach - September 2021:

    From here the attacker used our forum's API to scrape all registered users' profile data, and due to having access to a staff account, this data included IP address and Email Address history. Hence the stolen data includes more than the public facing profile information.
    During the attack in 2021 the Plutonium Staff team did detect the exfiltration of the data, however we mistakenly believed this to be somebody sc

    The real question here is why did a STAFF MEMBER even have access to that information, what happens if they were to go rogue. Completely unacceptable. Not to mention you muted everyone in the discord server to try and circumvent backlash. I think it might be time for everyone to switch to a different client.

  • @zombiepepega If you have a dynamic IP, you should be fine. However, anyone who doesn't I suggest deleting your account and or changing your information.

  • Everyone is giving the staff hell for not realizing the data breach when in reality. Everyone who owns a server and has access to the forums has most if not all scrapped data already available. None of the information is compromised. I appreciate the staff's transparency.

  • @zombiepepega if you don't have a static IP, there isn't much to really worry about. If you have a static IP, every other service you use also knows your city etc. :)))

  • Embarrassment. You guys should be ashamed of this delay in notification and oversight.

  • @Mr-Android

    @Mr-Android said in Notification of Plutonium Forum Databreach - September 2021:

    What happens next:
    The only thing we can do is to notify you all as soon as possible and offer our most sincere apologies for this situation. We deeply regret that it has happened and hope our community can forgive us. Our entire Staff Team take responsibility for this lapse in what is usually a very robust Security Posture.

    This didn't happen though... you were probably hoping nothing would have happened but I imagine as soon as it was noticed online you had to make an announcement.

    You said you were aware of the data being exfiltrated, a more thorough investigation should have happened especially as a staff account was compromised?

    Poor handling on multiple levels.

  • @Mr-Android said in Notification of Plutonium Forum Databreach - September 2021:

    September 23rd, 2021

    Glad you have realized it, what has happend to the information of the accounts made before September 23rd, 2021?

  • They got lucky the hacker only stole trivial data. No one really cares about IP addresses anymore. HOW it happened is more than concerning though.

  • @xFD said in Notification of Plutonium Forum Databreach - September 2021:

    HOW it happened is more than concerning though.

    True, this is what actually matters

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