The online auction and sales giant eBay posted a message Wednesday morning saying that it had been hacked, urging all of its members to change their passwords.
The company said in a statement that a database containing encrypted passwords had been breached, but that financial data, including credit card information, was stored separately and was still safe. Hackers were able to gain access to eBay employee log-ins, eBay said, which in turn gave them access to the encoded passwords.
eBay says that no unauthorized transactions have yet been made with the information. But if you’re an eBay user, you still definitely need a new password.
“[C]hanging passwords is a best practice,” the statement said, “and will help enhance security for eBay users.”
In the statement, which was unsigned, eBay said that the attack took place between late February and early March. Though the passwords that the hackers gained access to were encrypted, or obscured by a code to prevent easy reading, eBay did say that the hackers were able to access members’ names, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth.
The real takeaway from this: Change your eBay password (go to My eBay and open the Personal Information link you’ll see on the left). If you use the same password on multiple sites, you’ll need to change those passwords, too, should the hackers successfully break the encryption.
And if you’re looking for a strong new password, now is a good time to revisit our guide to creating secure passwords on all your online accounts.