'Fraudster' posts confidential eBay member data on forum

Someone used an eBay discussion forum to disclose confidential information about eBay users, including possible credit card numbers.

Someone used an eBay discussion forum on Tuesday to post confidential information about eBay users along with what may be their credit card numbers.

The incident, first reported by AuctionBytes.com, a technology news site that focuses on e-commerce, led the e-commerce giant to shut down the forum, which ironically is devoted to the discussion of security issues.

Nichola Sharpe, an eBay spokeswoman, confirmed that on Tuesday morning someone the vendor describes as "a malicious fraudster" posted the names and contact information of 1,200 eBay members on the company's Trust & Safety discussion forum.

"This information could have been obtained as part of an account takeover. Since this time, our Trust and Safety team has been proactively addressing this situation," she said via e-mail.

Along with members' information, the "fraudster" also posted what appear to be credit card numbers. However, if that's what they are, they don't match the ones eBay has on file for the members whose contact information was disclosed, Sharpe said.

"We are in the process of proactively contacting members by phone, so that if the information is valid somehow -- regardless how this fraudster acquired the information -- these members can take the steps they need to take to protect themselves," Sharpe said.

The "fraudster" didn't obtain the information by breaching eBay's security systems, so eBay thinks the culprit stole the information via methods such as phishing, she said.

The company has posted more information in an official blog post.

The incident, which eBay continues to monitor, has been broadly reported and commented on by eBay users on this long thread.

In its article, AuctionBytes reported being able to access the forum and view several posts before they were removed.

The posts included fields labeled "Id verified" and "Store" along with a time-date stamp of the user registration, AuctionBytes reported, adding that it hasn't been able to verify the accuracy of the information viewed.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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