The Chinese state media yesterday revealed that Alibaba, the giant retailer’s Taobao online marketplace ( similar to our Amazon and Flipkart) has been hit by a cyber attack which leader the hackers to access 20.59m customer’s accounts. The Chinese firm said that most of the accounts were protected and that hackers did not gain access to data in the majority of cases.
The firm first recommended that users should change their passwords. It saw a drop in share price after initial reports of the attack with the confirmation of analysts saying they fell by up to 3.7%. Alibaba said that the hackers used login details stolen from other websites to try and gain access to Taobao accounts, on the basis that users often use the same login credentials for multiple online accounts.
“The hackers rented the cloud computing service but declined to comment on security measures designed to stop the system being used for the attack”, according to a Alibaba spokesperson. The compromised accounts were reportedly used to make fake orders on the e-commerce site in addition to being sold for hackers.
There were no confirmation about the total number of accounts that had been accessed or what data had been compromised by the hackers. Indeed the spokesperson said to the media that “Alibaba’s system was never breached”.