Last Sunday, Jan 15th the online retailer Zappos was the victim of a cyber attack where a hacker was able to gain access to the company’s internal servers

The good news is that credit card details for their 24 million + customers were not affected, though what surprises me is that Zappos has tried to keep this incident hushed.  Zappos did eventually send out the following email to their customers and had them reset their password:

We are writing to let you know that there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on, including one or more of the following: your name, e-mail address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password)

The surprising thing is that Zappos prides them selves as being a customer centric company, though when you access their homepage there is no mention of the incident and you have to dig deeper to find a Zappos Blog, which outlines the issue in a bit more detail.  Zappos is known as a company that goes out of their ways to please their customers and there are numerous stories highlighting the creative and sometimes unmanageable ways they have gone about this to ensure their customers needs and requests are met.  Yet after week, Zappos has chosen to instead push this issue under the carpet and hedge their bets thinking that the average consumer wouldn’t think much about this incident or even hear about it.

In Zappos’s defense, they may have to be tight lipped about the incident as it’s being investigated, though I’m still surprised they are not being more transparent with the issue and it seems this is just another step towards Zappos losing their uniqueness and competitive advantage and gravitating more towards the norm.

As more info surfaces about the attack, we’ll see how Zappos responds. I for one hope they rise above this incident and get back to following their core values – One of which is to “Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication”….

Here are the other 9 core Zappos values….


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