A cyber attack on Barnes & Noble may have exposed customers' home addresses and emails

  • Bookstore Barnes & Noble was hit by a cybersecurity attack on October 10, it told customers in an email on Wednesday night.
  • This may have exposed customer contact details, including telephone numbers, email addresses, and billing and shipping addresses.
  • Barnes & Noble had no evidence that this data was exposed, but said that it "cannot at this stage rule out the possibility."
  • Payment details were not compromised, the company said.
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Bookstore Barnes & Noble has been hit by a cyber attack that may have exposed customers' personal details, including home addresses, it said late Wednesday night.

On October 10, attackers gained "unauthorized and unlawful" access to some of the company's corporate systems, such as the system that retains customer contact details, it said in an email to customers.

This system included telephone numbers, email addresses, and billing and shipping addresses, as well as customers' order history, it said.

Barnes & Noble has no evidence that this data was exposed, but said that it "cannot at this stage rule out the possibility."

The attackers didn't access any payment details or financial information, both of which are encrypted, the company said.

The retailer said that emails were "not compromised" in the attack. When asked for clarification by Business Insider, a spokesperson said it was possible that email addresses "may be used for unsolicited emailing. Otherwise emails are unaffected."

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The spokesperson also confirmed the attack was linked to recent issues with the company's e-reader Nook, and to problems processing orders at its stores. 

Since October 10, some users have been unable to access purchased books and magazines on the Nook, which the company attributed on Tuesday to a "system failure." Barnes & Noble also had problems processing orders at its stores, which the company has since fixed.

"The network issues were linked" to the attack, the spokesperson said. "We had previously noted that there were network issues and we were investigating the cause."

In its email to customers, Barnes & Noble said: "We take the security of our IT systems extremely seriously and regret sincerely that this incident has occurred."

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