Business Technology

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Seven things you need to know about the eBay cyber-attack

Anita McSorley

Published 24/05/2014 | 14:11

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The website had 145 million customers’ passwords, personal names and physical addresses hacked
We’ve put together a list of seven things you should know about the hack.

The recent cyber attack on eBay meant that a staggering 145 million customers personal details were stolen by hackers.

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The hack took place between February and March and there is still no information on eBay about the incident or the danger to customers.

We’ve put together a list of seven things you should know about the hack.

1. eBay say there is no evidence that financial data has been taken...

The company have said that there is no evidence that financial data, such as credit card details, was stolen. PayPal have also confirmed that they have not been effected.

2. ...but personal details were.

The database with users’ personal names, usernames, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers and date of birth was hacked, although it’s unknown how much of this information was taken.

3. eBay recommend you change your password

The hack was discovered around two weeks ago, but eBay say it happened between late February and early March. Users with the same password since then should change it. Users also using the same password on other online platforms should also change it on them too.

4. No-one has owned up

It’s unknown who is responsible for the hack. As they targeted eBay and its consumer database, it would suggest that the attack was commercially orientated.

5. Beware of fake eBay emails

One of the biggest risks of this hack will be “phishing” emails where customers receive emails claiming to be from the company but are designed to trick them into clicking on unsafe web links.

Normally you can recognise legitimate emails from eBay as they have your username in the subject line. If hackers have got hold of usernames, they will be able to format emails to look exactly like eBay’s.

6. This is not the first time it has happened

Back in 2007, a hacker went after the firm and reportedly exposed the financial details of over 1000 users. Previously in 2005, a hacker was allegedly jailed for “installing malicious programs that captured usernames and passwords.”

7. It’s one of the biggest hacks in internet history

This is one of the biggest data breaches in history, based on the number of accounts compromised.

The biggest breach was uncovered at software maker Adobe Systems Inc. In October 2013, when hackers accessed about 152 million user accounts. Another at Target Corp. in December of last year, included some 40 million payment card numbers and another 70 million customer records.

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