Digital Privacy Industry News

Two European Usenet Providers Announce Data Breach and Blame Anonymous Third-Party Company

The network systems of UseNeXT and Usenet.nl, two popular Usenet providers, have recently experienced a major data breach that may have led to the theft of customer payment details.

Both companies point the finger to an unnamed partner company, claiming that “unauthorized persons have accessed our infrastructure via a security hole in a partner company.”

Established in 1979, prior to the implementation of the World Wide Web, Usenet is considered one of the world’s oldest networks, allowing individuals to exchange information freely. Over the past three decades, the network has evolved considerably, encompassing hundreds of thousands of newsgroups, where online users discuss different topics and debate the latest news.

While both providers have shut down their websites entirely, a data breach notification was posted, offering additional information to their users.

A snippet of UseNeXT’s notice reads: “We are currently analyzing what damage may have occurred. For security reasons, all systems are currently offline. Therefore, we cannot be reached via the Internet, email or call center”.

The two providers have also warned potential victims about the risks of unauthorized access to their account information that may include full name, billing address and payment data used for their subscription, such as IBAN and account number.

Since the perps may have stolen personal identifiable information and financial details, the companies are urging subscribers to be vigilant and take the following preventive measures:

• Change the password for your Usenet account and any other online accounts that shared the same login credentials
• Review your account settings and check if the automatic forwarding of messages is enabled – as this could indicate unauthorized access
• Keep an eye out for any suspicious charges on your accounts
• Ignore any suspicious emails that might appear in your Inbox and do not click on any links or provide additional personal information

The two platforms remain offline for now, and there’s no ETA for the services’ restoration.

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About the author

Alina Bizga

Alina has been a part of the Bitdefender family for some years now, as her past role involved interfacing with end users and partners, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She is a history buff and passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi. Her spare time is usually split between her two feline friends and traveling.