eBay buries its own advisory to change passwords following database hack

eBay officials are taking flak for burying news of the password reset issued in response to a hack on the company's corporate network that exposed sensitive data for millions of users.

More than seven hours after eBay published an advisory that was five clicks removed from end users, the company still made no mention of the breach, said to affect 145 million customers, in e-mails, on its front page, or when users log in to their accounts. The bare-bones post disclosed a breach in February or March that allowed attackers to make off with cryptographically protected passwords. It advised users to change their login credentials. The breach also exposed customers' names, e-mail addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth in a human readable format.

Given the magnitude of the breach, it's surprising to see an Internet-based company like eBay take so long to directly notify customers and inform them of what steps they should take to protect themselves. The burying of such an important advisory didn't escape the scrutiny of security bloggers such as Graham Cluley or Paul Roberts. Asked to comment on the lack of disclosure, an eBay spokeswoman wrote: "An updated password reset process is currently being rolled out to all our users. It will be available shortly."

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