Ebay, the online auction house and retailer announced in a press release on Wednesday morning that it had been hacked. According to the release written on Ebay Inc’s Website, “cyberattackers compromised a small number of employee log-in credentials, allowing unauthorized access to eBay’s corporate network…Working with law enforcement and leading security experts, the company is aggressively investigating the matter and applying the best forensics tools and practices to protect customers.”
A cyber-attack is any type of offensive maneuver employed by individuals or whole organizations that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, and/or personal computer devices by various means of malicious acts usually originating from an anonymous source that either steals, alters, or destroys a specified target by hacking into a susceptible system.
The cyber-attack took place between late February and early March of this year, but according to the Huffington Post, eBay only detected it two weeks ago. The company reported that it has seen no indication of increased fraudulent account activity on eBay. The company also said it has no evidence of unauthorized access or compromises to personal or financial information for PayPal users. PayPal data is stored separately on a secure network, and all PayPal financial information is encrypted. The compromised passwords were encrypted, so it is unclear if the hackers are able to read them and to use them elsewhere online.
“The scope for damage is absolutely huge and could be the biggest hack of all time, given the number of users eBay has,” Rik Ferguson, global vice president of security research at security software firm Trend Micro said, according to the Guardian.
When they were asked how many people were affected by the cyber-attack, eBay referred the Huffington Post to a webpage that simply states that the company is asking all 145 million of its active buyers to change their passwords. “Beginning later today, eBay users will be notified via email, site communications and other marketing channels to change their password. In addition to asking users to change their eBay password, the company said it also is encouraging any eBay user who utilized the same password on other sites to change those passwords, too. The same password should never be used across multiple sites or accounts,” the site reads.
According to the Guardian, in a statement, the auction site reported that its database was compromised between late February and early March. PayPal, the payment arm of eBay, also released a statement saying it was not affected and that financial information had not been compromised.
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