Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

LivingSocial Hack Update: Investigation Ongoing, While Emails Out to 50 Million Users


After a massive breach of its computer systems yesterday, LivingSocial has sent out emails to all of the 50 million customers impacted, a company spokesman said, and is now working with law enforcement in an investigation to help find the perpetrators.

The company declined to give more information about how the hackers might have entered the Washington, D.C., daily deals company’s system to get access to names, emails, birthdates and encrypted passwords. But it did note that it was taking extra measures to restrict access to all of its systems and consumer data and has been doing heavy monitoring of consumer accounts.

LivingSocial also underscored that credit card information of its users has not been hacked. “We store credit card data through a financial processing network, so the full number literally does not exist anywhere in our system,” the spokesman said.

Still, the hack is a huge blow for LivingSocial, which is owned in part by Amazon, impacting 50 million customers, who will now be required to reset their passwords. All of LivingSocial’s countries across the world appear to have been affected, except in Thailand, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines, as LivingSocial units Ticketmonster and Ensogo there were on separate systems.

This is the latest big data breach in the consumer Internet space, which has seen troublesome incursions into some high-profile companies recently, including Zappos, LinkedIn and Evernote.

The attack comes at a tough time for the company, since it has been trying to turn itself around after a downturn across the daily deals landspace. LivingSocial got a large cash infusion recently from investors to help stanch its losses. Amazon owns 29 percent of the company.

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