Popular daily deal site LivingSocial is the latest in a long series of web-based services to undergo massive cyberattacks over the course of the last few months. Just last week, the service was hacked, and the information of more than 50 million customers was accessed.
While credit card information was left untouched, the hack did compromise birthdays, passwords, and other pieces of sensitive information. As the number of online services that use our credit cards continues to grow, it’s becoming more and more important that we’re able to protect our personal information.
This latest hacking incident only goes to show that data security is a higher priority than ever before.
LivingSocial Hacked: Good News, Bad News
News of a popular website getting hacked is almost never a good thing. This kind of news, however, is especially bad when the website in question is one that many consumers trust with their personal and financial information.
Together, those two factors can be a potentially dangerous combination. Usually, this kind of private information is very well-protected. It’s under heavy security on the website’s servers, and is encrypted so as to render it useless to anyone accessing it without authorization.
Thankfully, these security measures were in place, so the hacking incident isn’t attributed to any negligence on LivinngSocial’s part. Rather, this was the work of a determined hacker whose motivations are still relatively unclear.
For the most part, LivingSocial’s security breach hasn’t exposed customers to any specific identity theft risk. AllThingsD, who has obtained an internal memo from the company’s CEO, elaborates:
“The hack includes customers’ names, emails, birthdates, and encrypted passwords.”
Nobody wants that information to be available to computer hackers, but it’s important to note that financial information wasn’t stolen.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the compromised passwords were all still encrypted. This should allow many LivingSocial users to breathe a sigh of relief, but we recommend changing your passwords if you use LivingSocial.
The Washington, DC-based company has responded to the hacking quite well, and is immediately making sure that its customers protect their personal information. Since neither the customers’ credit card information nor the merchant’s financial information was accessed in the attack, countermeasures on the part of the consumer don’t need to be too extensive.
The 50 million customers that were affected by the hacking will have to change their passwords, but this should take care of any gaps in security left over after the attack.
Now is certainly not a good time for LivingSocial to sustain an attack of this nature. The daily deal landscape has looked bleaker and bleaker over the last few years.
This cyberattack actually comes almost immediately on the heels of a very large “cash infusion” from investors, whose very purpose was to help counter the losses the company was experiencing.
What You Can Do
If you’re a LivingSocial user, you don’t have to worry about canceling your credit card, as none of that information was accessed. Also, you’re safe if you happen to live in Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, and/or the Philippines. Customer information from those companies is stored on different server systems.
Otherwise, you should simply head over to LivingSocial and change your personal password. This will make your account secure, and is actually a requirement in the wake of the attack, anyway. If you use the same password for other sites like Gmail or Amazon, we recommend changing it there, too.
Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go. Thankfully enough, LivingSocial had the right measures in place to make sure the attack wasn’t as devastating as it could have been.
Tell us — what measures do you take to keep your personal information safe online?
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