This time it's Ebay that has been hacked

The auction site is the latest in a string of US-based brands to be compromised by hackers.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 22 Jan 2015

What’s going on at Ebay? Earlier today the company posted a short message advising users to change their passwords - but then, a few minutes later, it vanished. Now it’s back up again. Confusing…

The company said it ‘will be asking Ebay users to change their passwords because of a cyberattack that compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data’. That's 128 million customers who could be at risk.

This afternoon, a spokesperson added: ‘recently, our company discovered a cyberattack on our corporate information network which compromised a database containing eBay user passwords. There is no evidence that any financial information was access or compromised; however we are taking every precaution to protect our customers.’

Ebay also owns PayPal and confirmed that the online payments system hadn't been hacked, as the two have separate systems. However, customers will no doubt be wondering whether PayPal is as vulnerable as its suddenly-exposed parent.

It's not the first US brand to be hit by a big data security breach: just before Christmas, retailer Target was hit by one of the biggest data breaches in history, with as many as 40 million customers having their credit and debit card details stolen. Today, the company reported a 16% fall in net income - which just goes to show the potential scale Ebay could be dealing with. No wonder share price has fallen 2% this afternoon. Investors are clearly nervous...

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