Though there has been a lot of talk about cybercrime over the past few months and years, people often do not sit up and take notice until something happens. The ever-popular auction site eBay has now been hit with a cyber-attack and, as a result, has suggested that all 233 million users take precautions and change their passwords.
Revealing that it had been victim of an online attack that had surpassed its information security, eBay said that phone numbers, home addresses, names, dates of births and email addresses had been stolen. Unusually it was not just a segment of consumers whose private details were accessed but everyone who has ever used the website; however, in a blog post, the company attempted to reassure users, saying that no financial data had been stolen, with all credit card details stored in a separate and totally encrypted format. “Our customers are our highest priority and to ensure they continue to have a safe, secure and trusted experience on eBay, we will be asking all eBay users to change their passwords,” a representative explained.
EBay believes that the cybercriminals managed to access their network after stealing some logins from employees, allowing them to crack the company’s network. It was then relatively simple for the attackers to access user information databases and steal the data inside.
Talking about the attack, eBay revealed that the database had actually been compromised earlier this year between the end of February and the beginning of March. The information concerned related to encrypted passwords, email address, physical addresses and other sensitive data. “Information security and customer data protection are of paramount importance to eBay Inc, and eBay regrets any inconvenience or concern that this password reset may cause our customers. We know our customers trust us with their information and we take seriously our commitment to maintaining a safe, secure and trusted global marketplace,” the company said, adding that it fully believes that all unauthorised access to the site has been prevented and security measures heightened.
The case has shown that cybercriminals can attack even the largest companies around the world with devastating effects. In this scenario eBay had made the step to segregate and encrypt financial data away from other personal details, effectively safeguarding its system. It is a measure that other firms might like to utilise to minimise the damage if they are a victim of such an attack, protecting themselves and their customers in the process.
This article was written by Montash.
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