Jan. 13, 2012 at 9:31 PM ET
CoveritLive, a popular, Web-based live-blogging program used worldwide, said Friday it has discovered that "certain proprietary data files" of its users "were accessed without authorization," but that "no financial account information has been compromised."
"We have not yet determined if, or to what extent, CoveritLive account information (i.e., user names, email addresses and/or passwords) was accessed," Demand Media, which bought CoveritLive last year, said in an email to its users. Those users include bloggers, journalists and mainstream media organizations, including msnbc.com, Foxnews.com, ESPN and the BBC. Many people use CoveritLive's free services, but there are premium accounts.
Live-blogged events hosted by CoveritLive draw more than 60 million people every month, the company says, 60 percent of whom are from outside the United States.
CoveritLive said the files were breached "starting on or about" Jan. 7, and an investigation is "ongoing."'
In the meantime, as a "precautionary measure," all users are being asked to re-set their passwords starting Saturday, Jan. 14. at 12 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. GMT), with these instructions:
The next time you log in after the process has begun, you will be asked to change your password before you will be allowed into your account. NOTE: we do not anticipate that you will experience a disruption in your event if you are using CoveritLive while the change is invoked.
Your password and all account passwords are encrypted as a standard CoveritLive information security practice, and we have no evidence that an unauthorized individual has actually retrieved, or is using such data. However, out of an abundance of caution we recommend that if you registered for CoveritLive using an email address and password combination that you use for other online accounts, you should immediately create unique passwords or new login credentials for those other sites and accounts.
Additional precautions can be taken by CoveritLive users immediately, the company said:
Users who have questions can email CoveritLive directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.