Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Aug 5 2014 21:40:48

eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

By: Ina Steiner

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Remember that article in Monday's issue about something fishy going on with eBay Live Chat, where users reported their accounts were seemingly being accessed by third-parties? Turns out there's a gaping hole in the system that lets anyone communicate with eBay about someone else's account.

You can see the story in Wednesday's EcommerceBytes newsletter.

There's no computer hacking or programming skills required - anyone can initiate a live chat session on eBay UK and enter someone else's User ID while signed in under their own account.

Two sellers wrote to me this morning saying users have been able to get eBay live-chat agents to make changes to other people's accounts and have been able to enter buying IDs in order to get negative feedback removed from sellers' accounts.

eBay's PR department didn't respond to my inquiry sent Sunday about the reports of strange live chat activity. But they did respond on Tuesday afternoon when I asked about the eBay Live Chat breach users had uncovered. eBay Ryan Moore emailed me a statement that defended its method of authenticating users' identity, characterized the breach as "social engineering" and stating it had taken corrective action.

We verified the vulnerability ourselves this afternoon; we can't test the system again now since eBay UK's live chat is down for the evening. But users should keep a close eye on their accounts, and take a look at their accounts to make sure everything appears to be in order.

Thanks to sellers for letting me know about the breach so I could reach out to eBay - apparently the reports they were sending to eBay weren't enough to get the company to take action.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Aug 5 22:45:53 2014

"[A]pparently the reports [sellers] were sending to eBay weren't enough to get the company to take action."

It took the "glitch" being disclosed on a widely read site such as this to get eBay to acknowledge the issue. Once again we see the type eBay response to all their problems: Ignore until caught.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 00:19:45 2014

Ebay continues to crumble and fall apart at the seams.

Is anyone noticing how quickly they are deteriorating?

A true indication of a large company with serious internal infrastructure damage.

John Donahoe has failed ebay users in so many ways.

Why is he still there? How badly does he have to ruin this company before they oust him?

Ebay is a classic example of corporate corruption to an extreme.

It's totally sad to see how easy it is for upper level CEO's to ruin a healthy company then walk away with large sums of money.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed Aug 6 05:06:34 2014

ITT Tech in Texas is a subcontractor to Ebay. An experiment done last year confirmed that is where the interference is emanating from, qualifying the latest rounds of "headaches" as insider jobs.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: 360

Wed Aug 6 05:49:03 2014

I wonder how much info a person could get...

It would be hysterical if people started logging into live chat and closing the accounts of some of eBay's largest sellers. That would probably get some attention.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 6 06:09:42 2014

Ina says "eBay's PR department didn't respond to my inquiry sent Sunday....."

And they won't.  This is how eBay deal with issues.  Heads buried in the sand.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Aug 6 06:41:20 2014

Coming on top of yesterday's news that 1.2 Billion with a ''B'' usernames and passwords were stolen along with approx 500K email addresses from online sites that are currently not being named.

Security people are on the news shows again telling us to change all our passwords.  Again.

Without knowing which sites were hacked, we must assume we were all affected.  


I know this issue and eBay live help are two different things, but it feels like ''more of the same''.  

Must we proceed as if NOTHING is secure online?  Anywhere. Ever.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed Aug 6 08:22:45 2014

I wonder if the middle manager involved with this is getting a promotion to the unemployment line.

Absolutely a clueless piece of computer programming - I hang my head in shame at the quality of eBay's programming work. I notice you can use different browsers & get different results (and response times), I can't even imagine how mobile pages look.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Wed Aug 6 10:17:50 2014

Xander said:  

"John Donahoe has failed ebay users in so many ways.

Why is he still there? How badly does he have to ruin this company before they oust him?"

Xander it is my FIRM belief that when he took over he was given permission to stay forever to turn it around, and if he can't it will just close down someday.

Think about it, what other CEO can do the wrongs, and evil commited towards innocent sellers this man put in place, screw the site up beyond repair, make sellers hate the buyers, make the buyers disrespect and punish most sellers, let the lying opinion put a person out of business before the descore, let the company be hacked, never reveal it till months later, then act like nothing really happened.

This man has special protection from Pierre or the BOD, told he can do whatever to make it better, or it will just close down someday.

That is what I firmly believe. I positively HATE what this Man ( Donahoe ) has done to my business, my health, my family and other innocent sellers, while he walks away with millions each year for a a job NOT WELL DONE !

Like I said, the better you do to give Top Service, and royal treatment to customers, the more eBay will try to think of ways to PUNISH you for your reward !

Art this point, there should just be a special news conference announcing eBay is closing it's website doors for ETERNITY !

Donahoe ruined it, to late for anyone to turn it around, I will pass on DEVIL WENIG and Burke, or anyone connected to this CEO

Thank you Meg, thank you for making Billion off of us promoting work from home, sell on eBay then personally picking this COLOSSAL FAILURE of a Human Being and CEO to ruin everything YOU profited off of us from, then turned him loose on us to rain HELLFIRE on our health, nerves, family, business !

Just close the doors forever eBay, there is no hope with Donahoe ! Stop this CRUELTY to good sellers !

It is PERVERSE and SADISTIC what your policy updates are to hurt good people/sellers even more !

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 6 11:08:12 2014

Right on, LDS Brother.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 11:12:58 2014

it's quite un-real, the company is imploding, ebay competitor sites must be laughing their heads off,




Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 11:30:45 2014

I like to think of this breach as large enough for a flock of fully laden swallows to fly through. Nice ebay, real nice. What next?

@LDS brother, it seems like destroying ebay was the plan all along, (much as Bain is known for) so they concocted unbearable, insane rules and policies, never imagining that folks would actually play along. They expected mass exodus and site ruination. The 3 year turnaround was supposed to be 3 years to wreck it, gut it, bleed you dry and make a getaway.  

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 12:44:18 2014

JD is criminal, but in my view, held for some years now, the BoD are the real source of the total disaster that is eBay now. They all, POS Pierre first, need to be hauled into court and then sent to prison.  

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Aug 6 14:21:26 2014

Email Wall Street analysts!

Ebay is and always will be about lies and secrets until a major housecleaning occurs.

Apparently a lot more of this is going to have to happen before Pierre pulls his head of the Ukraine and possible violations of the Logan Act.

Rock on, Anonymous! Keep up the good work!

BTW, Ho. I see you've emailed another 4x Ebay bucks offer to some buyers.

The seller buying boycott must be working.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 14:32:55 2014

This is just another instance of the lack of caring of what is actually going on.
The CEO's of a number of very large companies just sit back and collect enormous bonus' checks without anyone being a watchdog.
The companies are normally very profitable to begin with so total incompetence is ignored by the actual majority owners and that is the case at ebay.
Why would anyone hire a stock broker instead of a retail executive to run their company? because all that matters is the stock price.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Aug 6 19:51:02 2014

Ebay is the perfect laboratory specimen of what when sociopaths run corporations.

See the book "Snakes in Suits."

Once again ebafia blatantly violates SEC regulations by failing to report or even admit another major systemic problem.

Ho, your corporate model appears to be Ken Lay. At least he had the decency to commit suicide.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 23:31:11 2014

Wait---Can WE get in there and have OUR Negs and Neuts REMOVEd???

Will we NOT be DEFECTIVE if we do that???

Inquiring minds wanna know!!!!

I will do YOURS if you do MINE!!!!!!

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: Tony This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 6 23:52:36 2014

There was a couple of threads about it on the UK boards last week. Mainly frustrated victims desperate to know what was going on. the threads were locked down pretty quickly by the moderators.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: Kaz This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 7 07:20:59 2014

Tony, I noticed that too.
I've started a thread on the ebay.com Discussion boards>
Buying & Selling>Selling
Feel free to add your thoughts and keep it in full view.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 7 08:56:58 2014

I firmly believe that the downfall of ebay started with Meg and continues. What I can't wrap my brain around is WHY they would want to ruin one of the most successful, well running (so to speak pre-Meg)modern companies? If they had only put as much effort into fixing true problems that let bad buyers get away with robbery, etc. They would be taking home even bigger buckets of money. Instead they seem to be running an experiment as to what can ruin a wildly successful company.                  

The really sad thing is, I doubt that ebay could ever recover from this and should be closed. Hopefully a new honest company could come along to replace it. I have seen that as employees that helped with the theivery have left ebay they have taken their poison with them. I saw the writing on the wall when Google hired some out of work ebay management types and suddenly google wasn't the best place anymore and started making demands of stores, that Google choose to feature in their search. They are a search company not a mini-mall and therefore shouldn't have one word to say how we do things with selling on other sites. We don't answer to them, we have no contract with them and many of us don't pay them. If they don't want to include us in 'search' well I guess that is a search engines perogative. Since Google started making these changes, sales have been dropping like a rock on smaller venues. With the only change being google and their ebay refugess, the poison spreads and spreads and spreads with no end in site.

Perminate Link for eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through   eBay UK Has a Breach You Could Drive a Lorry Through

by: Tony This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 7 11:35:16 2014

There are serious problems with UK CS, Im starting to think the whole lot of them need to be removed.
I contacted them a few days ago, the first time I was cut-off and then I was redirected to somebody apparently more senior. The more senior guy lied about the google redirects, blaming google for redirecting traffic to unrelated pages on ebay. I also noticed after speaking to him that somebody using my account at that exact same time had made 2 searches for a pretty expensive vintage guitar. Not something I stock or have ever looked for.
But most disturbingly I received a spoof email purportedly from ebay this afternoon concerning my bank account details and details I discussed with the CS rep following an attempt by somebody in India to withdraw money from my bank account.

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