eBay Panic over Passwords after Cyber Attack

Industry News By Rhys Little, 23rd May 2014

eBay is one of the most popular auction websites in the world, and they have revealed it has been cyber attacked by hackers.  They think that more than 15 million British users of eBay could be at risk of identity theft after their personal data was stolen.

eBay hackers accessed 145 million accounts out of the total of 233 million users  so customers have been urged to change their passwords as soon as possible, as well as any other accounts with the same passwords.  The hackers have access to information including name, address, telephone number, date of birth, email address and passwords.  Luckily, the hackers have no access to financial data such as credit card numbers.

The attack took place late February and early March, and MPs are not impressed with the delay before this announcement.  Security experts have warned that the three month delay greatly increased the chance of the hackers using the information from the database, to access other online accounts particularly where people are using the same password for other websites.

The website danger goes beyond the internet too, some telephone banking services accept minimum details, such as a date of birth and home address, to verify the identity of a user.

This has proven that even a trustworthy website such as eBay doesn’t have the most effective hacking defence systems.  Customers need to remember that no matter which online service they use, the systems can never guarantee to be 100% secure.