Hackers claim to have stolen 73.2 million user records from 10 businesses, including 1 million from the Star Tribune, and are now attempting to sell the records on the dark web.
The hackers didn’t access subscribers’ credit card or other forms of financial information, and Star Tribune leadership is still working to confirm whether a hack took place, said Steve Yaeger, vice president and chief marketing officer for the newspaper.
“We haven’t been able to verify that it happened, but we’re acting though it has,” Yaeger said. “The information that the hackers alleged to have accessed is simply used by our subscribers to log on to startribune.com and read the news.”
On Monday, the Star Tribune sent an e-mail to subscribers alerting them of the alleged hack.
Yaeger said subscribers should change their passwords and advised them not reply to e-mails from people claiming to have their login information. He said the newspaper is working to make sure its systems are secure and will be reporting the alleged breach to law enforcement.
The hacker collective called ShinyHunters recently sold 91 million stolen records from Tokopedia, Indonesia’s largest online store, for $5,000, according to technology site ZDNet. In addition to the Star Tribune, the hacker group alleges to have stolen user databases from the Chronicle of Higher Education, health magazine Mindful, South Korean magazine GGuMim, dating site Zoosk, Chatbooks, SocialShare, Home Chef food-delivery service, Minted and Indonesian store Bhinneka.
The hackers are selling the databases individually, asking for $18,000 total.
Subscribers are encouraged to take the following steps:
1. Go to Startribune.com/updatepassword and update your password. This is the password that gives you access to StarTribune.com content and allows you to manage your subscription account online.
2. If you use this same e-mail address and password combination in other places online beyond Star Tribune, you should change your password on those sites as well. Best-security practices recommend you do not use a specific password for more than one site.
3. Do not respond to any e-mails you receive from anyone who claims to have your information. The Star Tribune will never ask for sensitive information by e-mail.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the Star Tribune if you need assistance or have additional questions. Call at 612-673-4343 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.