Bitly # matchurl

Bitly # matchurl


The history of Bitly begins in 2008 when Mark Josephson co-founded the service after creating software for clients complaining about having to remember long URLs. 

  Though reliable, reliable is not always secure and on March 2 nd , 2009 Bitly announced they had been hacked causing them to advise users to change their passwords. Passwords were hacked using credentials obtained by making a fake login form using cached information that was saved from any logged in sessions on the site.

About 6 months later on September 8 th , 2009, 35 million accounts had their passwords reset due to user enumeration (a technique used to gain access to accounts by trying one username at a time until success) where it was discovered that an attack was made on the site where automation was being used to get user names and e-mails.


On Febuary, 1 st , 2013 Bitly announced they were hacked again by hackers who compromised their DNS settings which allowed them to redirect people using Google Chrome to a different server. The hackers also had access to all of Bitly's customer data for around 5 months since an employee's password was compromised making it possible for the attackers to impersonate employees.

  The company then decided that it would be best to force every account owner to reset their passwords claiming that there wasn't enough evidence that decrypted user information was actually accessed. However there are no specific details about what exactly happened except for this post over at HackRead .

On April, 4 th , 2014 Bitly announced they were hacked for a third time. Their site was hijacked and if you were logged in, your account was compromised. However, there is no further information on the breach other than this post from Ars . It seems that it could have been due to man-in-the-middle attack but again there is no evidence to confirm that.


Bitly made another announcement on April 14 th , 2015 after discovering suspicious activity where their SSL keys were replaced by hackers which allowed them to decrypt traffic which should normally be secure.   What this means is that while users think they are having a private conversation with Bitly, hackers can actually read what they send over the Internet because their connection isn't secure. This is what is known as a man in the middle attack where two people are talking over an insecure line and someone is eavesdropping on their conversation.

For security reasons, Bitly has reset all SSL keys which means they will have to reissue all HTTPS certificates. This is very bad for Bitly because it will cause users to have trouble accessing the site until new certificates are issued.


To summarize everything that happened, Bitly's servers were breached 6 times resulting in the leak of customer data every time. However there isn't enough evidence to prove if decrypted information was accessed or how exactly users' accounts were compromised each time since there are no details available about most of the attacks. We only know that attackers had access to user information for 5 months in 2009, the 2012 attack used automation to get user names and e-mails, and lastly SSL keys were swapped in 2015.   Even though this company is very popular with big name clients such as Disney, Nike and The New York Times, they have been hacked 6 times resulting in a huge risk of leakage every time.


Please keep in mind that knowledge base articles are not meant to be copied verbatim but rather a basis for you to build off of for your own knowledge. Please feel free to put any extra commentary or thoughts into it if you want to add something from your own research/opinions. Thank You! Want more? Here's another post: Why it's important to keep your data safe . Thanks for reading! -LirpaLoofah Edited by the team at

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It is becoming increasingly popular for hackers to target retailers because they will be able to steal credit card numbers, cardholder names and expiration dates in bulk making it possible to make fraudulent transactions with stolen information. While this may not sound like a big deal, it actually is because many criminals attempt to use this information in order to buy expensive items such as computers, jewelry or appliances that they will later sell for cash. The reason why hackers are targeting retailers instead of consumers directly is due to an investigation that was done on cyber intrusions. Retailers were targeted more than companies in any other sector. This proves that hackers are targeting retailers specifically because they know these businesses hold financial records which will be useful for them later on.

Many large name corporations have already fallen victim to this type of breach including Target, Nieman Marcus and Home Depot just to name a few. Although there was no evidence that encrypted information was accessed, it is still possible that hackers obtained the keys needed to decrypt data since they had access for an extended period of time . The problem with using encryption is that if someone has access to the server where the keys are stored, they can easily read all information over an insecure line without anyone knowing it even happened. Weak passwords are also used which makes it easier for attackers to get in since more than 500 million were stolen worldwide last year.

"After they gained access to the company's networks, hackers installed malware and "sniffers," which are tools that record network traffic and steal usernames and passwords of system administrators who had previously logged into computers." (Perez)   Since companies like Target and Nieman Marcus have fallen victim to this type of breach, we must not only be aware of how our information is stored but also know what we can do to protect ourselves from situations such as these. We need to learn ways on how we can prevent data breaches so it won't affect us in the future. If you want to read more on how you can help protect your information against cyber-threat

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