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New eBay Security Precaution Could Hamper Some Shoppers

Thanks to a new security vulnerability widely publicized last week, eBay announced it would restrict access to its site through older versions of web browsers. That could cause problems for some shoppers and sellers. That’s particularly unwelcome news following the inconvenience all eBay users experienced when eBay required them to reset their passwords following a security breach it revealed in May.

eBay explained, “We have decided to restrict the use of an outdated Internet security protocol, SSL 3.0, because we have determined it does not meet our standards.” The vulnerability affects any website using the security protocol, not just the eBay website.

The action would impact “a very small percentage of customers” who would experience issues using eBay and would need to update their browser, the company warned. People using any of the following browsers would not need to update their browser, eBay said: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 7 and later versions, and Opera 5 and later versions.

“Implementing this change is necessary to provide a safe, secure online shopping experience to our millions of customers, which is our top priority,” eBay wrote through a post on its announcement board, which contains additional information about the technology known as SSL 3.0.

In May, eBay required all users to reset their passwords, and last week, eBay’s CFO said some users were still experiencing problems resetting their passwords.

PayPal also made a change due to the new security vulnerability known as POODLE. Last week, PayPal Chief Technology Officer James Barrese said the company would disable SSL 3.0 support, which could cause compatibility problems for a “few” PayPal customers, “resulting in the inability to pay with PayPal on some merchant sites or other processing issues that we are still identifying.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.