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Amazon suffers major data breach just days before Black Friday

By Huw Hughes

22 Nov 2018


With Black Friday just around the corner, online giant Amazon has suffered a major data breach that saw customers’ emails and names posted on the company’s website.

The website announced in an email that the breach was the result of a technical issue.

Customers affected by the data breach were contacted by Amazon with an email saying: “Our website inadvertently disclosed your email address or name and email address due to a technical error. The issue has been fixed. This is not a result of anything you have done, and there is no need for you to change your password or take any other action. The impacted customers have been contacted.

“Amazon takes all security-related matters very seriously and your account security is our top priority. We have policies and security measures in place to ensure that your personal information remains secure.”

Amazon hit by major data breach just days before Black Friday weekend

Richard Walters, chief technical officer of cybersecurity firm CensorNet, advised customers affected by the data breach to change their Amazon account passwords quickly. “If the reports are correct, the information leaked - names and email addresses - is less significant than some of these other breaches, which saw card details leaked,” Walters told The Independent.

He continued: “However, it would be wrong to assume that this makes the breach inconsequential. Cyber-criminals can do a lot of damage with a large database of names and emails.

“A large majority of people still use predictable passwords, and thanks to previous high-profile breaches many people’s passwords are also readily available on the dark web. For cyber-criminals, it then just becomes an exercise in joining the dots.”

While Black Friday used to be a predominantly US event, the UK has become more involved in the discount shopping event, with UK shoppers expected to spend 150 million pounds this Black Friday weekend.

The amount of people affected by the data breach has not been disclosed.

Photo credit: Amazon, Facebook

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