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Hackers target retailers and publish credit card details

30 December 2014 - 17:26 by Paul Tissington

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Around 13,000 people have been impacted by the actions of hacking group, Anonymous, which this week published a list of user data, including credit card details, from sites including Amazon.

The Independent reports that a wide variety of companies seem to have been impacted, with data stolen from retailers offering safe shopping online, as well as gaming services operated by Microsoft and Sony.

While none of the impacted organisations has commented at the moment, no doubt investigations are getting underway to assess the source of the leak and how it was possible.

In instances like this, it often turns out that the retailers themselves were not subjected to a compromised system, but were, instead, impacted by a smaller, third party firm having been targeted.

While customers may or may not know whether they have been impacted, the most sensible course of action is to change the password for your e-commerce account to avoid any kind of exploitation.

Carrying out safe shopping online is heavily reliant on having a strong password, as well as having one which you change often enough to prevent leaks like this from resulting in identity theft and other fraudulent activities.

Passwords containing a mix of numbers and letters, with uppercase and lower case characters, are recommended by experts. It can alternatively be sensible to compose a multi-word phrase that is easy to remember but hard for others to crack, while avoiding simple passwords or those that could be guessed based on other personal information.

It is not yet apparent exactly why Anonymous carried out the raids against Amazon and others, although a tweet from a Twitter account allegedly linked with the group suggests that this was simply done to cause commercial problems for the companies involved, even if this has come at the expense of user privacy.