A malicious cyber actor or hacking collective has reportedly been sweeping the internet for online stores' unsecured SQL databases, copying their contents, and threatening to publish the information if the rightful owners don't pay up.

The perpetrator has stolen the copied versions of at least 31 SQL databases, which have been put up for sale on an unnamed website. These databases constitute roughly 1.620 million rows of information, including e-commerce customers' names, usernames, email addresses, MD5-hashed passwords, birth dates, addresses, genders, account statuses, histories and more, according to a report from BleepingComputer.

The series of thefts underscores how e-commerce website operators sometimes can struggle with the very basics of asset management and data stewardship.

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