The eBay data breach is being investigated by the European Union. The UK’s information commissioner will be working with the European data authorities to look into the incident that affected some 145 million eBay users.
According to the BBC, three US states are also investigating the theft of names, email addresses and personal data that occurred between late February and early March.
The online marketplace has already started notifying users that they need to change their passwords, although some have been reporting problems when trying to go through the process. Despite this, eBay claims that everything is in perfectly good working order, even though the site is busier than usual these days.
“We are sending out millions of emails, and it will take some time. The process is certainly well under way,” eBay said. Please mind the fact that the messages sent by the company contain no links. Any other composition of the email should alert you since it could be a phishing attempt.
Connecticut, Florida and Illinois have joined forces to investigate the data breach in the United States. The British information commissioner has told Radio 5 live that the incident is very serious, but the ICO couldn’t begin an immediate investigation because the data protection laws are outdated and complex.
That being said, the UK will have to work with the European Union’s data protection office. “There’s millions of UK citizens affected by this, and we’ve been clear that we’re monitoring it, but by taking the wrong action under the law now we risk invalidating any investigation,” said a spokesperson for the ICO.
The data breach that affected eBay involved the theft of email addresses, names, passwords, customer information, while financial details and credit card information remained safe. Even the passwords that were lifted by the hackers should be safe thanks to the level of encryption they’re wrapped in.
There are concerns about phishing attempts and identity theft, which are quite serious considering that hackers could easily impersonate anyone with the data they got from the eBay accounts.
About 145 million users were affected by the breach, the company said, which makes for a really high number of people who could have identity theft problems. The authorities have a long investigation ahead of them and it’s likely that eBay could end up in trouble, especially for keeping the secret so long before telling everyone that they needed to change their passwords.