back to article Confirmed: Barnes & Noble hacked, systems taken offline for days, miscreants may have swiped personal info

Barnes and Noble tonight confirmed it was hacked, and that its customers' personal information may have been accessed by the intruders. The cyber-break-in forced the bookseller to take its systems offline this week to clean up the mess. See our update at the end of this piece. Our original report follows. Bookseller Barnes and …

  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Coat

    IT staff scramble to restore servers from backups, which suggests... you-know-what

    ...a bitcoin use case?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Confirmed Incident

    Received an email from B&N @ 21:48 US Eastern saying "It is with greatest regret we inform you" they had been a "victim of a cybersecurity attack". The statement in short: no compromise of payment card or other financial data, however the systems impacted did contain email address, and billing and shipping addresses along with phone number if those were provided. They have no evidence any of that was exposed but cannot rule out the possibility.

    Also the usual "we take the security of our IT systems extremely seriously and regret sincerely that this incident has occurred".

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Confirmed Incident

      Hi -- thanks. Could you forward a copy of the message to us, please? There are various ways to get hold of us, from encrypted email to an anonymous HTTPS form.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Confirmed Incident

        Certainly, submitted via https form

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Confirmed Incident

      Also the usual "we take the security of our IT systems extremely seriously and regret sincerely that this incident has occurred".

      .

      At Last, At Last !

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    UK Nook e-store was closed down in 2016

    We'll find out now if they really deleted the data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK Nook e-store was closed down in 2016

      My guess: no.

      They’d want to make your future opportunities for being hassled by “trusted partners” as strong as possible.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: UK Nook e-store was closed down in 2016

      They may have kept some data for legal reasons. For example you can't destroy billings data for a given number of years. If they were kept offline or not is another matter.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      This is hilarious

      for, as usual, my timing is more than serendipitous: I uninstalled the Nook app from my phone just last night due to the fact that I hadn't logged in for years, and although I kept the app installed for some [potential] ePub reading it actually miserably failed for this task when I tried it for the first time yesterday. So, out it went.

      Any of my data potentially still on B&N's servers is probably close to 6+ years old, I don't think I've even logged on since then if not longer. In order words, so stale as to be useless, all my personal business data has changed since then.

      1. Bibbit

        Re: This is hilarious

        Good timing. I don’t reckon their current IT / SCO staff are very amused just now, though (unless they wanted the overtime). :/

    4. John McCallum

      Re: UK Nook e-store was closed down in 2016

      B&N's UK servers transfered to Sainsbury's then to Kobo

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: UK Nook e-store was closed down in 2016

        I once got one ebook on Kobo, because for reasons the author felt were good he refused to let it on Apple or Amazon (he has since relented, for Apple. Still hates Amazon, though). I was not impressed. I never got another book from Kobo, and when the author allowed his work to be on Apple I bought all his other stuff there. Has Kobo become usable?

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: UK Nook e-store was closed down in 2016

          I like Kobo a lot. Lots of free stuff on there although weirdly it insists on only showing me things in Portuguese. Probably because of where I live, although the fact that I've never yet read a word of Portuguese on there ought to be a big clue on what I'm interested in, I guess.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Updated Barnes and Noble tonight confirmed it was hacked, and that

    it takes customers' security and privacy extremely seriously.

  5. YetAnotherJoeBlow Bronze badge

    Nook e-store

    ha ha ha

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    which one to believe ?

    Unsolicited email claiming to be from B+N saying they have been hacked and that you may receive unsolicited emails but no credit card data was stolen....

    Followed shortly after by...

    Unsolicited email claiming to be from B+N, saying they have definitely been hacked, and that contrary to previous email, some credit card data may have been taken....

    followed shortly after by.....

    Unsolicited email claiming to be from B+N asking you to log into their website to confirm your credit card and personal information as part of the new security checks.....

  7. James O'Shea

    Nook, snook

    I bailed from Nook many years ago when B&N:

    1 killed the Nook in the UK, making me nervous about Nook's future

    2 killed the Nook non-Windows Store app, effectively killing Nook on my Win 7 systems

    3 killed the Nook app on Macs, period.

    I declined to download the Windows Store version for Win 10 as I don't have a Windows Store login and have no desire to get one. And I lacked confidence in Nook's future. I deleted Nook from my iOS devices, in part because I lacked confidence in Nook's future and because I was thoroughly annoyed at their killing Nook for Mac and Nook for non-Windows Store without warning. I had very little Nook content, all of which was, thankfully, downloaded on Win 7 and Mac systems. Withe the death of non-Win Store and Mac Nook, B&N couldn't delete my content (they tried...) and in any case I had backups. I de-DRMed all B&N content (usually in calibre) and fed it to other ebook reader systems, including caibre, Apple's iBooks, and Marvin on iOS. I find it facinating that B&N could no longer afford to support non-Win Store Windows and Mac, but could, somehow, support iOS (badly, Nook on iOS had numerous bugs which I'd reported over a period of years but which were never fixed, not while I still had a copy installed, anyway) and Android (don't use Droid, a FanDroid might have an opinion on Nook there.)

    At one point I was in the local brick-and-mortar B&N at least once a week, buying books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, other things. I had one of their little loyalty cards and earned lots of discounts for all the purchasing I did.I haven't set foot in a B&N store since last year, just before Christmas, and I didn't buy anything then, I haven't bought anything from B&N in nearly two years now. I buy ebooks, mostly, and I buy from Apple and Amazon, mostly. I used to buy DVDs from Best Buy; they're killing their DVD shelving. Congrats, B&N, you sent a lot of business to Apple and Amazon. (Best Buy is doing the same...)

    Let's see how long they last before they go bust.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Nook, snook

      Nook on Mac had several crashing bugs. I could replicate two different crashing bugs at will, and informed B&N. There were other, less replicable, bugs. They killed the app without ever fixing the bugs. They never said why the app died.

  8. AJ MacLeod

    This kind of thing is precisely the reason why, although I've owned a Nook for years (it's been a fantastic device, far better than the contemporary Kindle), not one of the hundreds of books on it have come from the Nook store. I do admit one or two were bought from Amazon, but they were immediately downloaded, de-drm'd and converted into a more suitable format.

    Certainly less convenient than just ordering on Amazon and having it appear "by magic" on my e-reader, but I know they will remain on my device for reading whenever I happen to feel like it, regardless of what any corporation decides at any point in the future.

    (As a happy side-benefit, battery life is even more impressive since Wi-Fi is always off)

  9. hoola Silver badge

    This is what happens when you rent virtual items.

    Whilst I have some sympathy for those who cannot get their books all this does is highlight the ludicrous situation where even the simplest of things, reading a book in this case, fail because some online service has broken.

    I have no issue in using an ebook as long as I have a copy that is DRM free so I can put it on any device and do not need any Internet connection/cloud service for it to work (i.e. be read).

    I use both real paper books and ebooks depending on the situation but ultimately prefer a paper copy. There is something tactile and relaxing about a book or magazine that does not have you glued to a screen.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: This is what happens when you rent virtual items.

      I deDRM ebooks wherever I can, and use just the deDRMed copy. I like ebooks. I hate DRM.

  10. Bibbit

    Salt in the wound

    I wonder if the bad guys utilised Amazon Web Services just to take the piss?

    Apparently the scumbags could have got in via corporate VPNs that had been unpatched for months.

    1. Bibbit

      Re: Salt in the wound

      https://www.zdnet.com/google-amp/article/hacker-leaks-passwords-for-900-enterprise-vpn-servers/

  11. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Nook Hacked?

    They must have got in through a cranny.

  12. Chairman of the Bored

    Headline writers missed a trick?

    No nookie? Because of crookie? Time to take matters into your own hand with a real bookie...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checks....

    Yep.

    Physical books still there in the library room.

    All good.

  14. Lady Judi

    Not getting periodicals

    I only get two magazines, Soap Opera Digest and People. Each are weeklies. My last issue was 19 October.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

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