Zappos customer information hacked
How much was really lost?
If you didn’t already hear. Zappos.com the worlds largest online shoe website was hacked and credit card information was compromised. We seem to be hearing a lot about this lately in the press. Zappos.com is one of our favorite sites to shop on, but now we have to wonder is it safe? Sony had a breach in 2011 which was one of the largest and most talked about. Google.com, and Best Buy were also contenders.
Accordingly, Zappos has expired all customers’ passwords, and directed customers to reset their passwords via a dedicated password-reset page . Tuesday, however, customers located outside of the United States were unable to access either the Zappos website or the password-reset feature, and instead received a message saying that Zappos was working to resolve “a few technical issues.”
Those technical issues involve preparing the systems to handle an anticipated surge in website traffic. “As a result of preparing their systems for the volume of emails and customers changing their passwords, they are undergoing some system updates and they hope to open up to non-U.S. users soon,” said Zappos spokeswoman Diane Coffey of PR agency Kel & Partners, via email.
Zappos is known for their great customer service, pulled a fast one and decided to suspend phone service, because the phone system is just not equipped for high traffic like the amount of calls they would be receiving regarding the issue. We wouldn’t expect their employees we be nearly as cheerful after dealing with all the pain in the ass customers that would want answers to questions they could not answer. Smart move Tony, we commend you. Tony Hseih is quoted here “We have made the hard decision to temporarily turn off our phones and direct customers to contact us by email because our phone systems simply aren’t capable of handling so much volume.” You can read the email that went out to employees 1/15/2012.
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2012From: Tony Hsieh (CEO – Zappos.com)To: Zappos EmployeesSubject: Important – Security
Dear Zappos Employees -
Please set aside 20 minutes to carefully read this entire email.
We were recently the victim of a cyber attack by a criminal who gained access to parts of our internal network and systems through one of our servers in Kentucky. We are cooperating with law enforcement to undergo an exhaustive investigation.
Because of the nature of the investigation, the information in this email is being sent a bit more formally, and unfortunately we are not able to provide any more details about specifics of the attack beyond what is in this email and the link at the end of this email, but we can say that THE DATABASE THAT STORES OUR CUSTOMERS’ CRITICAL CREDIT CARD AND OTHER PAYMENT DATA WAS NOT AFFECTED OR ACCESSED.
The most important focus for us right now is the safety and security of our customers’ information. Within the next hour, we will begin the process of notifying the 24+ million customer accounts in our database about the incident and help step them through the process of choosing a new password for their accounts. (We’ve already reset and expired their existing passwords.)
Here is the email that our customers will be receiving:
Subject: Information on the Zappos.com site – please create a new password
First, the bad news:
We are writing to let you know that there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on Zappos.com, including one or more of the following: your name, e-mail address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password).
THE BETTER NEWS:
The database that stores your critical credit card and other payment data was NOT affected or accessed.
For your protection and to prevent unauthorized access, we have expired and reset your password so you can create a new password. Please follow the instructions below to create a new password.
We also recommend that you change your password on any other web site where you use the same or a similar password. As always, please remember that Zappos.com will never ask you for personal or account information in an e-mail. Please exercise caution if you receive any emails or phone calls that ask for personal information or direct you to a web site where you are asked to provide personal information.
PLEASE CREATE A NEW PASSWORD:
We have expired and reset your password so you can create a new password.
Please create a new password by visiting Zappos.com and clicking on the ”Create a New Password” link in the upper right corner of the web site and follow the steps from there.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any additional questions about this process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have also created a web page that we will continue to update as we learn more about what questions customers have:
In order to service as many customer inquiries as possible, we will be asking all employees at our headquarters, regardless of department, to help with assisting customers. Due to the volume of inquiries we are expecting, we realized that we could serve the most customers by answering their questions by email. We have made the hard decision to temporarily turn off our phones and direct customers to contact us by email because our phone systems simply aren’t capable of handling so much volume. (If 5% of our customers call, that would be over 1 million phone calls, most of which would not even make it into our phone system in the first place.)
We’ve spent over 12 years building our reputation, brand, and trust with our customers. It’s painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident. I suppose the one saving grace is that the database that stores our customers’ critical credit card and other payment data was not affected or accessed.
Over the next day or so, we will be training everyone on the specifics of how to best help our customers through their password change process now that their passwords have been reset and expired. We need all hands on deck to help get through this.
CEO – Zappos.com