Stack Overflow, a popular question and answer site for programmers, disclosed a digital attack in which bad actors accessed its production systems.
Mary Ferguson, VP of Engineering at the company, publicly revealed the incident on 16 May. In a statement posted to Stack Overflow’s website, she explained that someone had obtained production-level access to the platform on 11 May. She clarified that the company has investigated the extent of access acquired by the unknown parties. Through this effort, the website’s security personnel determined that those individuals had not compromised any customer data.
“Our customers’ and users’ security is of the utmost importance to us,” Ferguson explained. “After we conclude our investigation cycle, we will provide more information.”
This isn’t the first time that bad actors have attacked a question and answer website like Stack Overflow. Back in December 2018, for instance, Quora announced that a malicious party had gained unauthorized access to one of its systems. Adam D’Angelo, Quora’s CEO, said that those behind the security incident might have compromised the account information, public content and non-public content of approximately 100 million users.
Out of an abundance of caution for this possibility, Quora notified all users whose data might have been compromised. It also logged out all affected users and invalidated their passwords if they used one as their source of authentication.
In her statement, Ferguson didn’t provide further details about how the digital attackers infiltrated Stack Overflow’s systems, but she did reveal that the platform was in the process of addressing all known vulnerabilities. This statement highlights the importance of organizations using a vulnerability management program in terms of discovering, reporting on, prioritizing and ultimately responding to known security weaknesses. This program should ideally be a continuous process so that organizations can stay on top of the latest known flaws affecting their hardware and software.
Click here to learn more about what a mature vulnerability program looks like and what it can do.