Cyber security has been a sore spot for many online businesses in recent years. The constant threat of a cyber attack has businesses and individuals on edge, and for good reason. The website and business Livingsocial has recently experienced one such cyber attack that affected over 50 million of its users.
Livingsocial is an online marketplace where merchants and consumers meet to exchange local social based business products and daily deals. But in April of 2013, the website was hacked exposing the private information of over 50 million of its users. Information such as full names, emails, birthdates, and encrypted passwords were all obtained by the hackers. Thankfully credit card information was not accessed during the attack, due in part to the companies separate database for financial information.
The company expired all of the customer’s passwords in an effort to ensure future security. They also sent emails requesting that customers also change their passwords on other websites that require the same password.
No explanation was immediately given for how the attack happened, but they did describe it as resulting in “unauthorized access to some customer data”. The company CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy did remind customers that the security of their information is the company’s priority, and that the company is redoubling their efforts to prevent any such issues in the future. While this reassured most customers, it comes as one more blow to the company who has let go of nearly 9% of its entire staff in recent months. Adding a security breach does not help improve the company’s image, and can cause consumers to lose trust in future endeavors by Livingsocial.
Because Amazon owns a full 29% of Livingsocial it comes as a shock to see the site suffer from such a comprehensive cyber attack. But it may cause the site to invest more time and interest in the privacy of their customers leading to an all around better company in the coming months.