How Ebay Uses Twitter, Smartphones and Tablets to Snap Up Shoppers
A massive data breach has forced eBay to warn all 233 million users to change their passwords. Courtesy of Ebay

EBay has advised users to change their passwords after hackers compromised one of its databases.

The cyberattack took place between late February and early March this year but eBay only became aware of it two weeks ago.

Usernames, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses and dates of birth were all stolen in the attack, potentially affecting all 233 million users of the online auction site.

In a statement eBay claimed that it had found no evidence of any financial data being stolen and said that PayPal - the money transfer service owned by eBay - had not been compromised.

"Information security and customer data protection are of paramount importance to eBay, and eBay regrets any inconvenience or concern that this password reset may cause our customers," the statement read.

Cyberattackers were able to gain access to the database through employee login credentials, though it is not yet clear how such details were compromised.

Users of eBay will be notified of the cyberattack via email later today and will be urged to change their passwords.

Earlier today, eBay released advice to users to change their passwords through the PayPal community site. However the post was swiftly removed after it appeared the rest of the company was not ready to make the announcement.

"eBay's handling of this incident so far been a bit slip-shod with its seemingly accidental public leak earlier today," said security analyst Graham Cluley. "Let's hope the rest of the company's response to this security incident runs a little smoother."