By Chet Dembeck
In what appears to be an orchestrated attack by multiple scammers against Etsy, a popular privately-held online market highlighting handmade crafts, underscores the potential vulnerability of online marketplace giants Amazon ( NASDAQ: AMZN) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) to similar malicious attacks.
According to eCommerce Bytes, “scammers opened hundreds of shops on Etsy containing listings copied from other sellers for apparently nefarious purposes. An Etsy moderator responding to one thread reassured users it was aware of the issue, but the post left sellers with many questions and uncertainty. ”
Phoney Storefronts To Grab Quick Cash
Some Etsy sellers on its forum alleged that the newly launched scam shops with copied product images originated in China and that as soon as Etsy shut one down, another one popped up.
The consensus is that the sole purpose of the attack was to score some quick cash and never deliver the items being ordered.
This comes only a month after eBay announced that millions of its customers’ accounts could have been compromised in the following press release:
“Our company recently discovered a cyber attack that comprised a small number of employee log in credentials, allowing unauthorized access to eBay’s corporate network,” the release said.
“As a result, a database containing encrypted password and other non-financial data was compromised. There is no evidence of the compromise affecting accounts for Paypal users, and no evidence of any unauthorized access to personal, financial or credit card information, which is stored separately in encrypted formats. The company is asking all eBay users to change their passwords.”
What customer information was accessed?
The attack resulted in unauthorized access to a database of eBay users that included:
- Customer name
- Encrypted password
- Email address
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
Ecommerce Being Adversely Affected
Various eBay sellers have publicly stated that since the most recent attack, their sales have plummeted because of the bad publicity and consumer security concerns.
In the short and long term, such hacking attacks could adversely affect Etsy, eBay and Amazon, unless these companies more carefully vet new stores, especially with origins in countries noted for scamming.
It appears that all three have been blinded by the increase in market such countries as China offer without taking the necessary counter measures to make sure new online merchants are on the up and up and just Trojan horses ready to invade, plunder and conquer.
Neither Chet Dembeck nor Last Reporter have a position in eBay or Amazon.