Department and Attorney General's Office Advise eBay Customers to Change Account Passwords
For immediate release THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014
HARTFORD – Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein today urged Connecticut consumers who use the online marketplace, eBay, Inc., and who have not yet changed the password on their account to do so as soon as possible.
Yesterday, the company announced that a cyber-attack had compromised a database of encrypted passwords and other non-financial data. eBay reported that there is no evidence of any unauthorized access to financial or credit card information, but encouraged users to change their passwords.
eBay reports that it has approximately 660,000 active users in Connecticut, though it is not clear how many may be impacted by the breach. eBay will send emails to all their users, and customers will be prompted to change their password upon signing into their eBay account.
"My office will be looking into the circumstances surrounding this breach as well as the steps eBay is taking to prevent any future incidents," said Attorney General Jepsen. "However, the most important step for consumers to take right now is to change their password and to choose a strong, unique password that is not easily guessed."
"Anyone who had been using their eBay password for other internet or email accounts should immediately assign different passwords for those accounts to protect them from being accessed through this breach," Commissioner Rubenstein said. "While it's not recommended, many people use the same password over and over. Recent massive data breaches underline the importance of personal password management -- keep your passwords unique for each account, simple for you and no one else to remember, and regularly updated."
The Attorney General and Department of Consumer Protection recommend that all consumers regularly change passwords and PIN numbers, whenever possible, to help protect personal and financial information. They also advise consumers to beware so-called "phishing" scam emails in the wake of the breach and avoid clicking on links or opening attachments on any unsolicited emails.
Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5420 or the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fitzsimmons, head of the Attorney General's Privacy Task Force, is assisting the Attorney General with this matter.