Online auction site eBay asked all of its users to reset their login passwords Wednesday after discovering it fell victim to a malicious hack.
ABC News reported that the hackers broke in two months ago
and stole an encrypted database full of customer names, passwords, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates. Ebay is unsure of the hackers' level of talent for cracking the encryption, but the company is asking users to change their passwords just in case.
"Changing passwords is a best practice and will help enhance security for eBay users," the company said in a statement. It's unclear just how many accounts out of nearly 150 million were affected, but the eBay reported it was "a large number of accounts."
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PayPal, which powers the site's payments system, was unaffected by the breach, according to eBay spokespersons.
The company said it "will not speculate" as to who hacked the system, but did explain how it happened: the hackers apparently got their hands on a few employee log-in credentials, and made their way further into the system once inside.
CNN Money explained
the potential consequences of the hack should the perpetrators be able to decrypt the data.
"Hackers now know where you live. They can call you. Expect to receive fake deals and offers. Beware of getting duped into revealing even more sensitive information, like your bank details or Social Security number."
Ebay has advised users who use the same email and password on separate sites to change those passwords as well.
The data breach is just the latest in what seems to be a growing cyber-security threat for consumers. Target was hacked last year, compromising the credit cards of 40 million customers who used them in-store or online. Note-taking app Evernote was also hacked last year, affecting 50 million users, who were also asked to change their passwords.
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