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Massive cyber attack sends eBay into disarray

22 May 2014

eBay is asking users to change their passwords because of a cyberattack that compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data.

After conducting extensive tests on its networks, the company claims it has no evidence of the compromise resulting in unauthorised activity for eBay users or any unauthorized access to financial or credit card information.

However, changing passwords is a best practice and will help enhance security for eBay users.

"Information security and customer data protection are of paramount importance to eBay," says the online auction website.

"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."

Cyber attackers 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.

The database, which was compromised between late February and early March, included eBay customers’ name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth.

However, the database did not contain financial information or other confidential personal information.

The company says that the compromised employee log-in credentials were first detected about two weeks ago. Extensive forensics subsequently identified the compromised eBay database, resulting in the company’s announcement.

eBay says it has seen no indication of increased fraudulent account activity and 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.

In addition to asking users to change their eBay password, the company also is encouraging any eBay user who utilised the same password on other sites to change those passwords, too.

"The same password should never be used across multiple sites or accounts," eBay warns.

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