NetGalley site hacked in database attack

Book review service NetGalley was hacked just before Christmas in a data security incident.

The company says the incident initially appeared to be a defacement of the website’s home page but, with further investigation, was seen to have resulted in unauthorized and unlawful access to a back-up file of the NetGalley database.

NetGalley is warning members that this incident may have exposed some of the information shared with the firm. The back-up file that was affected contained profile information, including log-in name and password, name and email address and also, if supplied, mailing address, birthday, company name, and Kindle email address.

NetGalley says it currently has no evidence of the exposure of any of this data, but cannot at this stage rule out the possibility. The company points out that it does not store or process any financial data.

Passwords were hashed with a protected ‘salt’ value which does not make them unobtainable but makes it difficult for a hacker to decode. NetGalley has now changed its password security to use a new encryption algorithm that offers increased security, so all new passwords will use this security method as of December 23, 2020.

It says once it found the cause of the breach, it was able to shut it down within an hour. The firm is now requiring that anyone with an account to change their password before signing in to a NetGalley account.

You can get more details about the data breach through this link to the NetGalley website.

NetGalley is a review service that’s used by hundreds of big and small publishers to get early reviews and feedback for new books. ‘Readers of influence’, such as librarians, bloggers and booksellers, sign up to review books. The service has been a major part in the growth and success of some indie publishers.


The hacking attack came just days before the official launch of two enhancements to the NetGalley service — the Shelf app and Audiobooks.

The NetGalley Shelf app is the firm’s first mobile app, available for free on iOS and Android devices, and provides a simple and streamlined reading experience, as well as expanding support to include audiobooks.

To get started with Audiobooks on NetGalley you need to update your Profile with information about how you promote audiobooks to increase your chances of getting approved by publishers.


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