NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Hackers quietly broke into eBay two months ago and stole a database full of user information, the online auction site revealed Wednesday.
Criminals now have possession of eBay customer names, account passwords, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and birth dates.
The company said the passwords were encrypted, but there’s no telling when or if the hackers can decrypt them. As a precaution, eBay is resetting everyone’s passwords.
The company isn’t saying how many of its 148 million active accounts were affected — or even how many customers had information stored in that database. But an eBay spokeswoman said the hack impacted “a large number of accounts.”
EBay’s subsidiary, PayPal, said it was untouched by the data breach. PayPal data, which is sensitive because it includes payment information, is kept on a separate network.
To hack into the eBay database, the cyber attackers managed to get their hands on “a small number” of eBay employee log-in credentials, the company said. They then used that to worm their way into eBay’s corporate network. The hackers grabbed the customer database between late February and early March.
It wasn’t until two weeks ago that eBay discovered employee credentials had been stolen, the company said. The company then conducted a forensic investigation of its computers and found the extent of the theft.
The company said it hasn’t spotted any increase in fraudulent activity on eBay yet.
This is only the latest major data breach compromising people’s digital lives. In April, AOL announced hackers stole “a significant number” of its 120 million users’ email addresses, passwords, contact lists and more.
By Jose Pagliery
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