EBay closes password security hole

Online auction powerhouse eBay Inc. closed a security hole in a password-maintenance feature late Tuesday that could have allowed attackers to take over a user's account and commit fraud.

The vulnerability existed in the feature that allowed registered eBay users to change the passwords that they use to log into the site, according to Kevin Pursglove, senior director of communications at the San Jose, California, company. Though the "change your password" feature was taken offline around 5 p.m. Pacific time (1 a.m. GMT) Tuesday due to the security hole, the feature has since been fixed and put back online, he said.

The hole would have allowed an attacker who knew the publicly available name that an eBay member bids under, to change that user's password, thereby taking over the account, Pursglove said. EBay was first notified that the attack was possible by a user on March 27 or 28, Pursglove said. Users who attempted to change their passwords after the service was disabled got error messages, he added.

Although the potential existed for attackers to have access to accounts, no credit card or personal information would have been available to them, because that data is stored on separate servers and behind separate firewalls, Pursglove said.

Ebay is "in the process right now of reviewing all the password changes that have come in to us recently," Pursglove said, adding that the company has not yet received any user reports of fraud or account hijacking related to the vulnerability.

The company is "still in the process of reviewing" how the hole occurred, he said.

EBay users have been hit with other account troubles recently. Some users have reported having their accounts hijacked in recent months, though Pursglove said those incidents are unrelated to Tuesday's security hole.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sam Costello

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?