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eBay password fallout

by Brian Sims

Following news that one of eBay’s databases containing end-user passwords has been compromised after hackers gained access to ‘a small number of employee log-in credentials’, one expert in secure identity is urging businesses to ditch passwords and usernames altogether in favour stronger authentication. Richard Parris, CEO and founder of Intercede comments:” While eBay is right to advise its users to change passwords, the real issue is that usernames and passwords are increasingly unfit for purpose” they do not offer proof of a person’s identity and are easily lost, stolen or hacked. To be even remotely effective, they have to be increasingly complex, which makes them harder to remember and very user-unfriendly. What’s more, many people use the same username and passwords combination for multiple sites and applications, so it’s not just the information that eBay holds that is potentially at risk, but information on any other application with the same password” that could include email accounts, mobile banking, online shopping to name just a few. ” All businesses, including eBay need to wake up to these risks and adopt stronger authentication for both employees and users of their services or sites. The answer lies in two-factor authentication” something you have and something you know. We’re already familiar with this and use it in the form of chip and PIN everyday with our bank cards. It’s now time for businesses and society to wake up to the fact that passwords are dead and we need a more secure alternative.”

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