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HipChat SlipChat lets hackers RipChat

They're going to get plenty of LipChat

By Shaun Nichols, 25 Apr 2017

IRC-for-biz HipChat says a vulnerability in a software library used by its HipChat.com service allowed hackers to access private conversations and customer account information.

The ytalk-for-suits maker said on Monday an attacker was able to infiltrate a single server powering its cloud-hosted chat service, and, in the process, extracted account records – consisting of names, email addresses, and hashed passwords – and a number of chat logs and message exchanges.

The Atlassian-owned company said it hashed its passwords using bcrypt and a random salt, and has reset all of them just in case. The corp said it will notify all exposed users by email.

"As a precaution, we have invalidated passwords on all HipChat-connected user accounts and sent those users instructions on how to reset their passwords," said HipChat chief security officer Ganesh Krishnan.

"If you are a user of HipChat.com and do not receive an email from our Security Team with these instructions, we have found no evidence that you are affected by this incident."

While HipChat did not say exactly which programming blunder the attackers exploited to get into the HipChat cloud server, it did say "the incident involved a vulnerability in a popular third-party library used by HipChat.com."

"While HipChat Server uses the same third-party library, it is typically deployed in a way that minimizes the risk of this type of attack," said Krishnan. "We are preparing an update for HipChat Server that will be shared with customers directly through the standard update channel."

Last month, there was one third-party library used by Atlassian products in particular that received a major security fix: Struts 2, which was patched to erase a remote-code execution vulernability that was being exploited in the wild. Atlassian rated the flaw as "critical," and the bug was present in HipChat Server, the software you install to run your own HipChat service. Perhaps one of HipChat's cloud boxes running HipChat Server was pwned by miscreants exploiting Struts 2? We think so.

Krishnan reckoned "less than 0.05 per cent" of HipChat.com "messages and content in [chat] rooms may have been accessed," and that his team has found "no evidence of unauthorized access to financial and/or credit card information." ®

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