Scribd resets passwords of part of its userbase after hack

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 4, 2013
Updated • Jun 20, 2019

Scribd is a document hosting and sharing service that can be used to publish documents on the service's platform; it is a bit like YouTube, but for books and documents. The documents uploaded to Scribd can be read right on site or downloaded to a local system.

Publishers furthermore can join the Scribd Store to sell their works instead. The service on top of that earns money from premium accounts that provide members with advantages that include an ad-free website, the copying of documents without DRM restrictions or the ability to print any document found on the document hosting platform.

About 1% of Scribd members should have received an email by now informing them that their account passwords have been reset as a precautionary measure to protect accounts against unauthorized access.

The email explains that the Scribd team noticed suspicious activity on the network resulting in the copying of "less than 1%" of the company's registered user base.

Resetting the user account password ensures that the attacker can't use the passwords to access user accounts on the site.  Scribd users who have used the same account password on other sites though should head over to those websites and services right away to change it on those sites too as it is likely that the attackers will try to use the account name and password on popular websites if they manage to decrypt the password.

According to Scribd the attackers managed to grab usernames, emails and passwords but no data that was published or uploaded to the site nor any payment information associated with the account. While that is reassuring, it is important to keep an eye on things for the foreseeable future just to be on the safe site.

Scribd users who have not received the email can reset their account password using a form on the official website. Note that Scribd has not made the announcement yet on the company blog.

According to the email sent out to affected users, Scribd has implemented additional safeguards and addressed the specific issue that led to the incident.  Scribd users with questions or concerns are asked to contact the staff using the help and support section of the site.

Scribd resets passwords of part of its userbase after hack
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Scribd resets passwords of part of its userbase after hack
About 1% of Scribd members received an email in 2013 that informedg them that their account passwords were reset by the service.
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