You may have read of a major breach of account at Adobe Systems, which has been called a “very sophisticated hack” resulting in a compromise of over 38 million accounts. Adobe provides many commonly used applications (including Acrobat, Flash, etc.), and so it may come as no surprise that some Brown users are going to have Adobe accounts that are affected. We are aware of least 2,200 accounts that were from a Brown address. If you were affected, you should have been contacted by Adobe directly.
The list of exposed email addresses and encrypted passwords was anonymously posted online, presumably by those who hacked the Adobe site. As a result, multiple hackers are reportedly actively working to decrypt the passwords. Decrypting a 6-character password can take as little as 3 to 5 minutes, even if it is a "complex" password with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Longer passwords take more time to crack but with enough computational power and time, any password shorter than 15 or so characters is probably at risk.
We strongly urge everyone to you to change your Adobe password as soon as possible, whether you have been contacted or not. In addition, if you used the same password for other accounts (e.g. your Brown or Google password, or your bank account password) you should change those immediately as well. Reports have surfaced detailing that passwords are already being unencrypted. Please note that you should never use your Brown password on an external website, and it is never a good practice to use the same password in all of your locations.