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Three Years Later, Zendesk Discovers Data Breach

By October 18, 2019May 9th, 2022Cybersecurity

File this one away under ‘better late than never.’  Zendesk, a popular customer support ticketing platform, has only recently discovered evidence of a data breach that dates back to November 2016.

To make matters worse, they admitted in a recent blog post that they only discovered the breach when they heard about it from an unnamed third party.

Nonetheless, when the company did discover the breach, they promptly notified their customers and began going through the motions we’ve come to expect to see when this type of event occurs.

In terms of scope and scale, the company reports that more than ten thousand user records were accessed. In addition,  the hackers (whomever they were) made off with email addresses, names, and phone numbers of both agents and end users.

Passwords may also have been compromised, but if they were, the hackers got hashed and salted passwords. This makes it unlikely, but not impossible for them to decrypt and use them.  Finally, app configuration settings may have been compromised, which may have included integration keys used by those apps to authenticate against third-party services.

The company also notes that there has been no evidence of any passwords used inappropriately since the breach.

All in all then, it’s certainly not the worst breach in history. Zendesk’s handling of the issue (once they were made aware of it) has been average to above average. However, given that the breach went undetected for three years and was only discovered when someone else told them about it, that doesn’t say good things about the company’s security and detection strategies. It certainly doesn’t instill their users with confidence.

If you’re a Zendesk user, out of an abundance of caution, it’s a good idea to change your password at your next opportunity.  Better safe than sorry.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.