Another day. Another series of hacks. eBay announced yesterday that their databases have been compromised by hackers that gained access to users’ personal information such as addresses, names, and passwords. The auction site has however gone on the record saying that credit card numbers have not been compromised because that information is stored separately.
eBay strongly urges its users not only to change their passwords, but also to change the passwords on sites where the same password was used. The security breach was reported to have occurred in February, but was not detected until two weeks ago.
Two weeks can seem like a long time to disclose unnerving news such as this, but remember, it’s nothing compared to the months that Target waited before announcing its breach that compromised customers’ credit card numbers last holiday season. The retail chain’s series of unfortunate events ultimately ended with the resignation of it’s CEO.
In the end, it was a Russian teenager who hacked Target’s systems. Furthermore, eBay has yet to announce who is responsible for their cyber attacks.
eBay has not been the only US company that has been under fire from hackers. It has recently become apparent to the public that Alcoa, US Steel, Westinghouse Electric, Solarworld, and Allegheny Technologies (among others) have been the target of Chinese hackers.
US Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that a Chinese Intelligence group dubbed ‘Unit 61398’ is responsible for the slew of attacks. The group focused on stealing trade secrets such as patented design plans, pricing strategies, and emails regarding litigation against the Chinese.
Shout outs to Chinese residents reading this article, by the way. Oh wait! None are, because of the great fire wall!
The United States has indicted those involved in the cyber attacks. Although it is highly unlikely that those responsible will be transported to United States and tried, this measure does prevent these individuals from traveling to the US (obviously) or countries that have extradition agreements with the US.
China in response has suspended all joint cyber security ventures with the US, and Chinese newspapers such as Global Times and People’s Daily have resorted to calling the United States a bunch of “mincing rascals” and “high-leveled hooligans.”
Holder in response said, “Hey China. The 1950’s called, and they want their insults back.”