Opera sync system is believed to have been attacked earlier this week, according to Opera’s official blog. While the investigations are still ongoing, Opera team warns that several data, including some of the company’s sync users’ passwords and account information such as login names, may have been compromised.
“We have encouraged users to also reset any passwords to third party sites they may have synchronized with the service.” The company wrote in its post, mentioning that they have sent emails to all Opera sync users to inform them about the incident and ask them to change the password for their Opera sync accounts.
In a similar vein, Dropbox sent an email to all its users last week, saying that users who “signed up to use Dropbox before mid-2012” and who “have not changed their password since mid-2012” should reset their password for safety reasons. These two incidents remind people of how many potential risks they are facing on the Internet. As for password safety, some have advised using password managers to keep their personal information safe.
A password manager is a software application that helps a user store and organize passwords. Password managers usually store passwords encrypted, requiring the user to create a master password: a single, ideally very strong, password which grants the user access to their entire password database.
Password managers can be used as a defense against phishing and pharming. With this built-in advantage, the use of a password manager is beneficial even if the user only has a few passwords to remember. While not all password managers can automatically handle the more complex login procedures imposed by many banking websites, many of the newer password managers handle complex passwords, multi-page fill-ins, and multi-factor authentication.
As always, practice good password management, especially when banking. When in doubt, get a VPN.