Hackers access Zappos customer data

Companies should bolster their defenses against hackers. With the proliferation of these individuals plying the world wide web, website owners should make security top of their priorities, if not the most important, for their sites.

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing shop based in Nevada, informed their customers to change their passwords after somebody was able to gain access to their server.

The company’s CEO Tony Hsieh said in a letter sent to its customers that, “names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers and scrambled passwords have been accessed illegally. He also added that, “critical credit card data and other payment data was not affected or accessed.”

The letter that was sent included a link and instructions for creating a new password. They letter also noted that if their passwords are the same to other sites, then they could also change their passwords there so as to avoid for these individuals to gain access to them.

“We’ve spent over 12 years building our reputation, brand, and trust with our customers. It’s painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident. I suppose the one saving grace is that the database that stores our customers’ critical credit card and other payment data was not affected or accessed,” Hsieh added.

Amazon acquires shoe retailer Zappos.com

Amazon has announced yesterday that they will be acquiring Zappos and the deal will be expected to close this fall.

Amazon has been offering shoes in their main site, and has even introduced a separate site in 2007, Endless.com, to sell shoes and handbags but they still couldn’t compete with Zappos.com. According to comScore, Zappos received 4.5 million visitors in June, while Endless.com only got 777,000.

Now for you guys who don’t know what Zappos is, it’s a decade-old private company who has become the largest player in the online shoe market.

This acquisition is by far, the largest in Amazon’s history, offering Zappos 10 million shares of Amazon stock worth nearly $900 million at its current level.

Amazon also said it would give Zappos employees an additional $40 million (whew!) in cash and stock to keep them on board and preserve the Zappos culture which has endeared it to many consumers.

Zappos has been known for its personalized service, free overnight shipping and a policy to allow buyers to return any pair of shoes free.

“We plan to continue to run Zappos the way we have always run Zappos — continuing to do what we believe is best for our brand, our culture, and our business,” Mr. Tony Hsieh, Zappos chief executive wrote in a blog.

Well, what can say? If you can’t beat em’, buy ‘em!

That might not be your usual saying or proverb or whatever it is, but it sure does work for Amazon. 🙂

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/technology/companies/23amazon.html?_r=1

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