LivingSocial Hack Affects More Than 50 Million Users


The LivingSocial hack has made vulnerable the personal data of some 50 million users, allowing hackers to acquire names, emails, birthdates and encrypted passwords, a report on All Things D said.

Basically all members of LivingSocial, the daily deals site owned in part by Amazon, were affected by the hacking except for users coming from Thailand, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines. These Asian countries were unaffected by the LivingSocial hack because their units—TicketMonster and Ensogo—are located in separate systems.

LivingSocial Official Statement

Tim O’Shaughnessy, LivingSocial chief executive officer, admitted that the cyberattack allowed access to their members’ data. Those who were affected by the hacking should immediately reset their passwords, the Washington DC-based company said.

In a statement it released, LivingSocial said that they are actively working with authorities to get to the bottom of the issue. It maintained that since it never stored passwords in plain text, the stolen ones were encrypted.

But it clarified that the hacking didn’t access the database where credit card information is stored and the database of merchants’ financial and banking information. It is quite important for the Washington-based company to inform their customers and clients that their financial information is kept safe. Otherwise, they risk alienating both their members and their merchants.

It promised to redouble the security of their system and database in the future, so such attacks won’t happen again. Those who may have been impacted will receive a notification email from LivingSocial to explain what happened and to instruct them how to create new passwords and expire the old ones.

Rising Internet Attacks

The attack on LivingSocial’s website came on the heels of several attacks against some high-profile companies such as Zappos, LinkedIn and Evernote. This exploits the vulnerability of several systems now. Even major corporations are not immune to the threat of database hacking.

That is why it is important for these companies to take all the precautions they can to secure their members’ personal information, especially their passwords and banking details.

The LivingSocial hack came at an inopportune time since the company is reeling from losses it recorded earlier. Investors have just agreed to flush some cash into the company, so it can regain its footing. The Washington DC-based company is trying to turn itself around in the rising competition of the daily deals industry.

Unsafe and Disturbing

Netizens naturally feel unsafe and vulnerable after such LivingSocial hack. Since LivingSocial is 29-percent owned by Amazon, there has also been some questions as to the security of that particular site. Then again, it’s not just LivingSocial and Amazon who face these tough challenges. Websites should be very careful with information and data entrusted to them by their users.

Source: All Things D

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