Spotify users warned of password security breach

Over a million users of the Spotify music service are being warned that they may have to change their passwords after it was announced that information about members could have been stolen by hackers.

According to a statement by the firm, which offers online music streaming, information such as email addresses, passwords, dates of birth, genders, postcodes and billing receipt details have been potentially exposed.

Spotify are keen to stress that credit card details are not at risk, and that the information that may have been exposed because of a bug in their systems was the password’s hash value rather than the password itself.

However, hackers who had grabbed the hash values, and reverse-engineered Spotify’s protocol, would be able to feed words from a dictionary database through the hashing algorithm until a match was found.

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Spotify warning

The only silver lining on this cloud is, as The Guardian explains, that the problem should only affect users who signed up before December 19th 2008 and most of Spotify’s growth has actually been since then.

Obviously it would be wise to follow Spotify’s advice and change your password on the system. Furthermore, you should make sure that you are not using the same password on any other website.

That’s the real story here. As I recently explained, too many people use the same password on every website they access. If just one website has a security blunder, all of your online information may be at risk.

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Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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