May 9, 2019

Amazon Hit By "Serious" Hack, Resulting In "Extensive" Fraud, Cash Stolen From Merchants

We recently documented  how Amazon has come under fire from its merchants for allegedly trying to undercut them on pricing and products. Now, the e-commerce giant is under scrutiny for a different reason: security. Amazon is now saying it was hit by an "extensive" fraud last year, revealing in court documents that hackers were able to transfer funds from merchant accounts over the course of six months, according to Bloomberg.

The "serious" online attack included hackers breaking into about 100 seller accounts and moving cash from loans or sales into their own bank accounts. The hack took place between May 2018 and October 2018, according to Amazon’s lawyers.

Amazon said it was still looking into the compromised accounts and that it believed hackers changed the details on its Seller Central platform to bank accounts in their name. Amazon believes that the accounts were compromised by phishing techniques that looked for login information. Amazon has reportedly concluded its investigation of the incident.

Lawyers for the online retailer asked a judge in London to approve searches of account statements at Barclays and Prepay, two banks that "have become innocently mixed up in the wrongdoing." Amazon says that it needed the documents “to investigate the fraud, identify and pursue the wrongdoers, locate the whereabouts of misappropriated funds, bring the fraud to an end and deter future wrongdoing."

The filing doesn’t denote how the suspected wrongdoers were able to add new bank account information to merchant accounts. Amazon has issued more than $1 billion in loans to merchants and one of the units named in the filing was Amazon Capital Services U.K., a division of the company responsible for making these loans.

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