Retail deals site Living Social has admitted to a massive data breach, which has left the details of tens of millions of customers open to harvest by cyber criminals.
The company admitted on Friday that its servers had been breached in an attack that included the theft of protected customer data.
"Living Social recently experienced a cyber attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorised access to some customer data from our servers. We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate this issue," the company said.
"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."
According to information posted by AllThingsD, the leaked data will impact some 50 million users of the service.
The company noted that while any data collected from the breach would be difficult for a hacker to decode and utilise, it is advising customers to change their passwords on Living Social and any sites which utilise similar passwords.
"We do not believe that any customer accounts have been compromised due to this incident," the company said.
"It is difficult to decode a password that has gone through the hashing and salting process, and we have not received any abnormal reports of accounts with unauthorized charges or activity."
The breach is the latest in a series of compromises to impact social networking sites. Vendors such as Twitter have been forced to rethink their security policies after reports of account thefts.
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