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Online note-sharing service Evernote has implemented a password reset for its 50 million users after hackers breached its computer network to access some usernames, email addresses and encrypted passwords.
Rhiannon Davies, Associate at international law firm DAC Beachcroft, said: "This attack on Evernote is the latest in a number of cyber-attacks on major online services. Last month, social media website Twitter suffered a highly sophisticated attack, compromising the usernames, email addresses and encrypted passwords of up to 250,000 users.
"Sony was recently fined £250,000 by the UK Information Commissioner for a cyber-attack that occurred last year which compromised the personal information of millions of Sony customers. The Information Commissioner's investigation revealed that the attack could have been prevented if the software had been up-to-date and passwords kept in a more secure format.
"Evernote appears to provide its services to European customers via a Swiss company, and therefore may find itself subject to a fine by the Swiss Data Protection Authority (rather than the UK Information Commissioner) if similar failings to Sony's are found within Evernote's systems. "At the moment, hackers seem to be getting the upper hand in terms of cyber-attacks on major online services. However, there is little direct evidence to prove what is being done with this information. What is worrying is the tendency customers have to use the same email and password on different services. With this in mind, changing the password for Evernote may not be sufficient to protect customers from identity theft."