Feeds

Play.com: Only customer emails lost in data breach

Mailshotter Silverpop blamed for malwarey kerfuffle

Seven Steps to Software Security

Online retailer Play.com has named its marketing partner Silverpop as the guilty party behind the disclosure of customer names and email addresses.

The breach led to distribution of spam to email addresses only registered with the online retailer on Sunday, a development that led to howls of protest from users.

These emails offered supposed software updates from Adobe but actually linked to sites serving up malware.

The offer of the latest version of Adobe Reader X out of the blue and via email is unlikely to have taken in many, since the ruse was neither timely, subtle nor salacious.

Play.com, which issued an apology to users via email on Tuesday morning, has since come forward with an official statement from chief exec John Perkins (below) that seeks to downplay the significance of the admitted breach. In particular the online retailer stresses that the snafu only affected email details, and not credit card details or other sensitive information.  

On Sunday 20 March some customers reported receiving a spam email to email addresses they only use for Play.com.

We reacted immediately by informing all our customers of this potential security breach in order for them to take the necessary precautionary steps. We believe this issue may be related to some irregular activity that was identified in December 2010 at our email [marketing] service provider Silverpop.

Investigations at the time showed no evidence that any of our customer email addresses had been downloaded. We would like to assure all our customers that the only information communicated to our email [marketing] service provider was email addresses. Play.com has taken all the necessary steps with Silverpop to ensure a security breach of this nature does not happen again.

We would also like to reassure our customers that all other personal information (i.e. credit cards, addresses, passwords, etc.) are kept in the very secure Play.com environment. Play.com has one of the most stringent internal standards of e-commerce security in the industry. This is audited and tested several times a year by leading internet security companies to ensure this high level of security is maintained.

On behalf of Play.com, I would like to once again apologise to our customers for any inconvenience due to a potential increase in spam that may be caused by this issue.

Play.com is one of the UK's largest online retailers of DVDs, CDs, books and consumer electronics gadgets. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.