Hackers target Unacademy, the learning platform funded by Facebook and Sequoia India, sell user data

A database of 20 million accounts of Unacademy, said to be India’s largest online learning platform, was sold on the dark web for USD 2,000.

The hackers have claimed that they have access to the complete database of Unacademy and decided to leak only users’ accounts at this point of time, Cyble said.

New Delhi: Facebook-funded education technology firm Unacademy’s data comprising over 20 million accounts has been hacked by cybercriminals and put up for sale in the dark web, according to cybersecurity firm Cyble.

The hackers have claimed that they have access to the complete database of Unacademy and decided to leak only users’ accounts at this point of time, Cyble said.

The cyber intelligence firm added that further leaks are expected in the near future.

“On May 3, 2020, Cyble Inc discovered that a threat actor had begun to sell an Unacademy user database containing 20 million accounts for USD 2,000. Unacademy is India’s largest online learning platform. This data breach apparently took place in January 2020,” Cyble claimed.

When contacted, Unacademy co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Hemesh Singh said the company has been closely monitoring the situation and claimed that no sensitive information such as financial data or location has been breached.

“As per our internal investigations, e-mail data of around 11 million users has been compromised as against 22 million stated in reports. This is on account of only around 11 million e-mail data of users available on the Unacademy platform,” Singh said.

He said the company followed stringent encryption methods that would make it unlikely for anyone to decrypt passwords.

“We also follow an OTP-based login system that provides an additional layer of security to our users,” Singh said, adding that the company is undertaking a complete background check and would address any potential security loophole. “We are in communication with our users to keep them updated on the progress,” Singh said.

Facebook, General Atlantic, Sequoia India, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, and Nexus Venture Partners have invested in the company.

According to Cyble, this breach can have an impact on security of other companies as well.

“Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for such breaches and utilise them for credential stuffing attacks. We have seen accounts/records with domain names from Infosys, TCS, Cognizant, Reliance Industries, HDFC, Accenture, ICICI, SBI, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and several other large organisations,” Cyble said.

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