Freecycle Tells 7 Million Users To Change Their Passwords ASAP After Massive Data Breach
Grassroots online items exchange forum Freecycle has been the focus of a massive data breach affecting more than 7 million of its users. Here's what you need to know.
Non-profit organization Freecycle announced that it detected a data breach three months after stolen data from the site was put on sale on a hacking forum on May 30. It advised all its registered users to change their passwords right away. Even Freecycle founder and executive director, Deron Beal, was not spared—his Freecycle account info and forum posts could be found on the hacking forum. He stated in a notification on the Freecycle homepage that, "On August 30th we became aware of a data breach on Freecycle.org. As a result, we are advising all members to change their passwords as soon as possible".
Information such as usernames, User IDs, email addresses, and passwords were stolen. The announcement noted, "No other personal information was compromised and the breach has been closed and is being reported to the respective privacy authorities." According to the site, the most likely repercussions from this breach would be increased spam email volume. The organization recommends members maintain vigilance against reading suspicious emails and/or opening any links or attachments the emails may contain.
Freecycle is a network of 9 million global users in more than 5,000 local town groups that focuses on giving and getting free stuff while keeping what would have otherwise been thrown out away from landfills. It's a thriving community that truly believes in the "one man's trash is another man's treasure" proverb.
If you have a Freecycle account, we think it's good idea to change your password right away, as well as for any other sites where that password may be used. You can do so either in your account profile settings or the password reset page. The Freecycle customer support team can also be contacted via email for those who are having difficulty changing their password.