An Edmodo data breach has been reported that has impacted tens of millions of users of the education platform, including teachers, students and parents.
Edmodo is a platform used for K-12 school lesson planning, homework assignments and to access grades and school reports. There are currently more than 78 million registered users of the platform. The hacker responsible for the Edmodo data breach claims to have stolen the credentials of 77 million users.
The claim has been partially verified by Motherboard, which was provided with a sample of 2 million records that were used for verification purposes. While the full 77 million-record data set has not been checked, it would appear the claim is genuine.
The hacker, nclay, has listed the data for sale on the darknet marketplace Hansa and has asked to be paid $1,000 for the entire list. The data includes usernames, hashed passwords and email addresses. Email addresses for around 40 million users are believed to have been obtained by the hacker.
The passwords have been salted and encrypted using the bcrypt algorithm. While it is possible that the passwords can be decrypted, it would be a long and difficult process. Edmodo users have therefore been given a little time to reset their passwords and secure their accounts.
The Edmodo data breach is now being investigated and third party cybersecurity experts have been contracted to conduct a full analysis to determine how access to its system was gained. All users of the platform have been emailed and advised to reset their passwords.
Even if access to the accounts cannot be gained, 40 million email addresses would be valuable to spammers. Users of the platform are likely to face an elevated risk of phishing and other spam emails, should nclay find a buyer for the stolen data.
This is not the only large-scale data breach to affect the education sector this year. Schoolzilla, a data warehousing service for K-12 schools, also experienced a major cyberattack this year. The data breach was discovered last month and is believed to have resulted in the theft of 1.3 million students’ data. In the case of Schoolzilla, the hacker took advantage of a backup file configuration error.