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eBay instructs users to change their passwords following database cyber attack

eBay urges customers to change their passwords after the discovery of an online security breach
eBay urges customers to change their passwords after the discovery of an online security breach
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Security experts at eBay are urging users to change their passwords following a breach in their customer database. As USA Today reports Wednesday (May 21), the online shopping and auction website admits that it fell victim to a cyber attack.

Discovering the security breach in May, eBay said in a statement that the database compromise took place sometime between late February and early March. The contents of the database includes eBay customer personal information such as names, encrypted passwords, email and physical addresses, telephone numbers and birth dates.

Fortunately, there’s no evidence that the cyber hackers gained access to customer financial information. According to eBay, no signs of unauthorized account activity has taken place either, based on in depth tests.

If you’re an eBayer who processes payment transactions via PayPal, the company assures that no unauthorized access has taken place with the online payment service. "PayPal data is stored separately on a secure network, and all PayPal financial information is encrypted," eBay said in a statement Wednesday.

Employee log-in credentials are said to be the target of the cyberattack that allowed the hackers access to the customer database. On its official blog, eBay revealed plans to send out email alerts to its customers advising them to change their passwords as a precaution. "We know our customers trust us with their information, and we take seriously our commitment to maintaining a safe, secure and trusted global marketplace," eBay said.

If you’re an eBay customer, there’s no reason to wait for the official email. Here’s how to change your eBay password: Log into eBay and select the drop down menu in the upper left hand corner next to your name. Select “Account Settings”. Select “Personal Information” under the “My eBay Views” menu. Select “Edit” next to “Password” to change your password information.

Users are also advised to change their password on other websites, if it’s identical to the one used for eBay. It’s also a good idea to be leery of emails in your inbox that could be potential phishing scams. Hackers and scammers may use this eBay announcement as an opportunity to obtain your newly changed password or financial information.

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