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LivingSocial admits major hacking attack on customer database

Credit card info is safe, company insists

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Up to 50 million customers of the Amazon-funded daily deals site LivingSocial are getting an apologetic email from CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy explaining that their information may have been stolen.

"LivingSocial recently experienced a cyber-attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorized access to some customer data from our servers. We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate this issue," he writes in an email received by El Reg.

"The information accessed includes names, email addresses, date of birth for some users, and encrypted passwords – technically 'hashed' and 'salted' passwords. We never store passwords in plain text."

At this stage, the company is saying that all credit card details for customers, and the financial accounts of operators that LivingSocial does deals with, are stored on a separate database and that this hasn't been hacked.

Users are being asked to change their passwords and to ignore any emails claiming to be from LivingSocial that ask for financial information. Although the email doesn’t mention it, if your LivingSocial password was used for any other online accounts, then you'd be advised to change those, too.

It's a nasty bit of Friday news for LivingSocial, which is facing a tough time convincing some that digital coupon-clipping is a viable business. Rival Groupon is clearing out its management team trying after seeing its stock price plummet post-IPO, and Amazon must be wondering if it's going to get a return on the considerable investment it has made in LivingSocial. ®

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