Foxtons investigates leak of 10,000 customer records
By Shona Ghosh
Posted on 20 Aug 2013 at 16:23
Foxtons is investigating whether hackers have leaked the account details of around 10,000 property hunters registered with its site.
The estate agent said it had obtained the leaked list and was in the process of checking whether any of the details were genuine. The list was posted anonymously to a popular hacking site earlier this week, but was swiftly removed.
The list is still accessible elsewhere and shows more than 9,800 user names, email addresses and partially obscured passwords, apparently registered with MyFoxtons. The list is titled "part 1", suggesting there may be a wider breach.
Foxtons hasn't said how many users could be affected, but said any financial details, such as credit card numbers or transaction histories, were safe with third-party providers.
"It has come to our attention that there were some reports circulating on the internet today suggesting that a small number of user names and passwords to the MyFoxtons web portal were briefly posted to a website," said Foxtons in a statement emailed to registered users.
"We have been able to download the list of usernames and passwords that were posted and are currently running checks to determine its veracity."
The company hasn't responded to a request for clarification.
Home addresses, phone numbers
If the list is genuine, hacked users may find more than just their email addresses and passwords up for grabs. Although Foxtons has said a user's financial details are still secure, their saved property history could provide clues as to their financial circumstances.
Since MyFoxtons exists to let house hunters browse interesting properties and book viewings online, anyone logged into the site can easily check out anything a user has saved for later, where they've arranged viewings and particular areas they're interested in - all indicators of personal circumstances. MyFoxtons users must also provide their home addresses and phone numbers on registration.
Foxtons said it would get in touch with anyone whose account had been hacked, and is automatically prompting all of its users to change their passwords the next time they log in.
It's also advising users not to use the same password across multiple sites.
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