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Hackers Try to Steal Your Shopping Passwords


A hacker works on his laptop in his office in Taipei, in Taiwan, July 10, 2013. Taiwan is the frontline in an emerging global battle for cyberspace, according to elite hackers in the island's IT industry, who say it has become a rehearsal area for the Chinese cyberattacks that have strained ties with the United States. The self-governing island, they say, has endured at least a decade of highly-targeted data-theft attacks that are then directed towards larger countries. Picture taken July 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Pichi Chuang)

A hacker works on his laptop in his office in Taipei, in Taiwan, July 10, 2013. Taiwan is the frontline in an emerging global battle for cyberspace, according to elite hackers in the island's IT industry, who say it has become a rehearsal area for the Chinese cyberattacks that have strained ties with the United States. The self-governing island, they say, has endured at least a decade of highly-targeted data-theft attacks that are then directed towards larger countries. Picture taken July 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Pichi Chuang)

As the holiday shopping season begins, hackers are trying to trick users into revealing their private account information.

Last week, hackers tried to trick Amazon.com users into handing over their passwords and user names. Last holiday season, eBay and other online shopping websites were attacked.

The attempt to steal individual Amazon user names and passwords was a “phishing” attack. Phishing tries to trick users into thinking the request comes from the company.

In this case, hackers sent email to Amazon account holders. The email lied and claimed that 2,592 Amazon account records were stolen. Customers were asked to verify account information in the phishing email. The email’s signature was signed as "Amazon Customer Support."

Electronics and computer experts say deleting the email is an easy solution.

Amazon says thieves use hoax email that look like they are from Amazon company accounts. Amazon says many phishing emails contain misspelled words and bad grammar.

The company says it never asks for personal information, passwords or bank account numbers.

I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise.

Jim Dresbach wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

phishing – n. the activity of defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company

hackers – n. people who secretly get access to a computer system in order to get information or cause damage

password – n. a secret series of numbers or letters that allows you to use a computer system

email – n. messages that are sent electronically from one computer to another

verify – v. to prove, show, find out, or state that something is true or correct

scam – n. a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people

fake – adj. not true or real

misspell – v. to spell a word incorrectly

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