Hacker Targets CD Universe's Credit-Card Data

An apparent hacker, now being tracked by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, posted customer credit card information from an Internet music seller on a Web site after the retailer reportedly refused to give in to an alleged extortion try.

The FBI immediately shut down the Web site, hosted by a company in Washington state, after being notified of it by eUniverse Inc., whose CD Universe online music store was the hacker's target, eUniverse spokesman Brett Brewer said today.

The hacker indicated that he is from Russia, although there apparently is some question about whether that is the case. The unknown would-be extortionist reportedly demanded money from CD Universe, but Brewer said he could not comment on that aspect of the case, including how much the hacker demanded in return for not posting the information he had stolen.

Brewer said he wasn't certain how many credit card numbers were posted online, but added that published reports said 32 numbers were listed on the now-closed Web site. According to a report in yesterday's New York Times, the hacker said he had obtained more than 300,000 customer credit card files and then tried to extort US$100,000 from CD Universe.

The incident occurred last Friday and eUniverse immediately notified the FBI and also began working with credit card companies and customers whose personal information might have been compromised, Brewer said.

EUniverse, based in Wallingford, Connecticut, also has hired an outside security vendor to review its security procedures, the company said.

EUniverse, in Wallingford, Connecticut, can be reached at +1-203-265-6412.

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