U.K. to launch eBay investigation after data breach, three U.S. states also investigating

By Daniel Levine,

A U.K. government agency is hoping to start an investigation into eBay, which announced earlier this week that it had been attacked by hackers. Three U.S. states are also investigating the popular auction website.

eBay said on Wednesday that in February and March, a cyberattack “compromised” a database filled with encrypted passwords and other non-financial information. The company said that the hackers did not gain access to another database with financial data.

However, as Mashable points out, “non-financial data” still covers vital information, such as phone numbers, date of birth, full name and home and email addresses. So, eBay urged all of its users to change their passwords immediately.

In light of recent corporate attacks like the Target breach last fall, government agencies have been quick to launch investigations into eBay’s breach. The BBC reports that the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has already started working with European data authorities to get the bottom of the situation, as plenty of U.K. customers were affected. However, the investigation will not start immediately, as they have to make sure it will be valid under the outdated ICO laws.

“There's millions of UK citizens affected by this, and we've been clear that we're monitoring it, but by taking the wrong action under the law now we risk invalidating any investigation,” an ICO spokesperson told the BBC.

Information commissioner Christopher Graham also told BBC Radio 5 Live that, “eBay is, on the face of it, a very serious breach,” reports zdnet.

Meanwhile, Reuters confirmed that three states in the U.S. - Florida, Connecticut and Illinois have launched a joint investigation into the breach.

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