Online shoe and apparel outlet Zappos.com has apologised over a massive data breach that exposed the personal details of millions.
Up to 24 million customers of the Amazon subsidiary may have been affected by the breach, which exposed names, email addresses, addresses, phone numbers, and password hashes. Zappos stressed that credit card data was not exposed. Hackers may have been able to lift the last four digits of credit card numbers but nothing beyond this, according to the e-tailer.
Accounts or passwords maintained with parent firm Amazon.com are not affected by the problem.
At the time of writing on Monday morning, Zappos is blocking international traffic to its blog, so customers outside the US are unable to see chief exec Tony Hsieh's explanation on how the breach happened, which was posted late on Sunday night.
Hsieh said hackers “gained access to parts of our internal network and systems” through one of the firm’s servers in Kentucky, The New York Times reports. Zappos has reset passwords and is in the process of notifying customers about the breach. In the aftermath of the data spillage, Zappos has suspended its telephone support operation, asking customers to contact it only via email.
Surfers who made the mistake of using the same account login credentials at Zappos and other sites would be advised to change their passwords pronto, Hsieh said. The breach can be expected to result in an increase of regular spam and is likely to spawn phishing attacks, so even more security-conscious users ought to be wary. ®