Ebay has fallen victim to a massive security breach, proving that not even corporate giants are immune to hacking. According to USA Today, the huge cyber-attack occurred sometime between February and March; however, officials state that the breach was not discovered until May.
Triggered by hackers who managed to gain access to employee login credentials, it allowed the intruders to target the main database and steal usernames, passwords and other personal information. 145 million active users’ data has now been compromised and Ebay are strongly urging everybody – even those with inactive accounts – to change their passwords.
It is still not known how much information was actually stolen; however, Ebay are confident that they will find an answer within the next couple of weeks.
After this widespread disaster many users are now stuck wondering how to increase their security systems, not just on their online accounts, but also their home PCs. The popularity of cloud based security systems is steadily increasing and companies such as Cheeky Munkey are at the top of the security food chain, providing innovative and bespoke systems that are near impenetrable.
On a positive note, Ebay have stated that the breached database did not hold any financial information; furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that the hackers have attempted to gain entry to Paypal. However, regardless of whether or not users are encountering problems, Ebay are taking the security breach very seriously.
Studies conducted by Software Advice, a company that review IT security software, revealed that 67% of Internet users who have accounts registered with companies that have suffered from hacks don’t change their passwords. Hackers can remain under the radar for months, possibly even years, withholding user information and waiting for the opportune moment to strike; therefore, even those who don’t suffer from issues straight away are still subject to problems in the future.
Experts state that the best way to combat hackers is to choose a password that has a unique combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Most websites now contain a password strength indicator that can give new users an idea of how well protected they are.
Having a different password for every website can also be beneficial. While this can be difficult to maintain, password managers are available to make the process easier. These programs will require one master password in order to gain access to every other password; therefore, this “master password” should be very strong. In addition, password manager software usually contains a generator that will create highly complex passwords for website registration; ensuring users have the best possible security systems available.
While this Ebay security breach is unfortunate and inconvenient, it’s certainly been a wakeup call. Most Internet users aren’t aware of the dangers of hacking, and sometimes, a widespread panic is just what the world needs for people start taking the severity of cyber-attacks seriously.
Image Credit: Cult of Android