eBay Changes Passwords of Sniping Bidders

A number of web-based sniping services reported eBay account login failures around the end of July. It now appears that this was due to eBay incorrectly marking accounts as having "Unauthorized third party access" and changing the users' eBay passwords.

The issue, identified by eSnipe and Snip, among others, has now been resolved by eBay but it highlights the vulnerability of web-based sniping. These services duplicate the normal eBay login process, but because the login comes a computer that is not at the user's normal location, eBay may wrongly classify the login as an account highjacking and change the user's password as a damage-limitation measure.

eBay tolerates manual sniping but does not have a policy on automated sniping, except in Germany where it is banned.

Tagged: Sniping
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