The popular electronic payment service PayPal is insisting that an alleged hack by the hacktivist collective Anonymous, in which the group claims that it stole 28,000 passwords, did not happen.
The Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account AnonymousPress tweeted a link Sunday evening to a message on PrivatePaste.com stating that PayPal had been “hacked by Anonymous as part of our November 5th protest[.]” The message has since disappeared.
“We’re aggressively investigating this but to date we have been unable to find any evidence that validates this claim,” said a PayPal spokesperson in a statement.
“Security of our customers’ data is the top priority at PayPal,” they said.
The alleged hack is part of a string of attacks that were planned for Guy Fawkes Day, an English holiday celebrating the foiling of an Catholic assassination plot against the Protestant monarchy in 1605. The holiday, held every November 5th, holds special significance to Anonymous, which derives some of its symbolism from the movie V for Vendetta and its Guy Fawkes-inspired protagonist.
Gizmodo, a technology news site, reported Monday morning that user details allegedly obtained in the hack included user email addresses, names and “associated passwords.”
Update: PayPal now says that they believe that a different company was the target of the attack.
PayPal spokesperson said in a statement, ““It appears that the exploit was not directed at PayPal after all, it was directed at a company called ZPanel.”
“The original story that started this and was retweeted by some of the Anonymous Twitter handles has now been updated,” said the spokesperson, referring to an article on CyberWarNews.info.