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December 13th, 2010

DeviantART Members Emails Leaked By Marketing Partner Silverpop Systems

DeviantART alerted members subscribed to its mailing list that their email addresses have been exposed during a data leak at its marketing partner. The company does not specify the circumstances under which the breach occurred, but notes that besides email addresses, usernames and birth dates might also have been copied by unauthorized persons.

“Silverpop Systems, Inc., a leading marketing company that sends email messages for its clients, told us that information was taken from its servers. This was probably part of a sweep by spammers. As a result, email addresses belonging to deviantART members were copied. Corresponding usernames and birth date may also have been removed,” the company wrote in an email to its users.

DeviantART also stresses that the security breach did not involve any of its servers and their data and that they severed ties with Silverpop because of the incident.

The scope of this incident might be massive, because the website, which describes itself as the largest online social network for artists, has over 13 million registered accounts. This makes the email leak a lot bigger than the one that occurred at Gawker Media over the weekend when hackers copied the user database and posted it online.

Fortunately no account passwords were leaked in deviantART’s case, which would have made things a lot more complicated, as the Gawker incident showed.

“The likely result of this event might be an increase in spam to your email,” deviantART writes in its notification email to users. However, some of these spam campaigns might prove more dangerous than others.

It wouldn’t be surprising if spammers would craft emails that appear to be sent by deviantART, but lead users to malicious websites or instruct them to open infected attachments.

Credit: News

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