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article image50 million customers affected in LivingSocial cyberattack

By Leigh Goessl     Apr 27, 2013 in Internet
Washington - Popular daily deals website LivingSocial announced a massive cyberattack on its database. It is estimated 50 million customers across the globe are affected.
LivingSocial, based in Washington, D.C., suffered a large hack recently. The company made the announcement on Friday by sending customers emails notifying them of the breach, including a directive they need to change their passwords.
About 50 million customers, located in numerous countries, are affected by this exploit. According to media reports, customers living in countries located in North America, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland and Malaysia and its LetsBonus users in Southern Europe and Latin America are all impacted.
It appears the only countries not affected are Thailand, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines because they are stored on a completely different system.
"We recently experienced a cyber-attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorized access to some customer data from our servers. We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate this issue," LivingSocial CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy said in an email (courtesy USA Today).
The company says passwords, names, email addresses and birth dates were exposed. LivingSocial did say that the customer passwords stolen were encrypted/scrambled.
"Although your LivingSocial password would be difficult to decode, we want to take every precaution to ensure that your account is secure, so we are expiring your old password and requesting that you create a new one," O'Shaughnessy said.
According to CNN Money, customers who tried logging in yesterday were met with a greeting prompting them for a password reset.
Reportedly, credit card information was not one of the types of data stolen, according to company officials. O’Shaughnessy said that information was stored in a separate database.
This attack is the most recent of a slew of attacks on large company-owned databases, including Sony, Blizzard Entertainment and Zappos, to name a few. Most recently, news giants New York Times and Wall Street Journal were also hacked.
According to the Washington Post, the cyberattack was announced on the same day LivingSocial reported 1Q earnings which showed an operating loss of $44 million for the quarter, compared with a $91 million loss in 1Q 2012. The company also had an increase in revenue when compared to last year's1Q numbers.
While credit card information was not stolen, customers should be on alert that they may see obviously spoofed or "legitimate looking" emails arrive in their inboxes. It is not uncommon after this type of breach for a surge of phishing emails to follow as scammers attempt to obtain additional information to use for financial or identity theft.
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