Over 14 Years of Customer Data Stolen
A hacker has been charged with exposing Capital One’s customer information including (but not limited to): 140,000 American social security numbers, 1 million Canadian social insurance numbers, 80,000 linked bank account information, credit scores, personal addresses, and more. The investigation for this case is still ongoing, meaning those numbers could be a lot higher than originally reported.
The accused hacker, Paige Thompson, responsible for this data breach was a former software engineer for Amazon Web Services. Capital One was using Amazon’s cloud services which allowed Thompson direct access to millions of customers sensitive information. It is said that Thompson exploited a misconfigured web firewall application to gain access to the data. Capital One posted an official statement on 7/29/19 stating they have fixed the vulnerability that allowed the hacker to exploit their systems and steal this highly sensitive data.
The alleged hacker Thompson was found posting the information and tools they used on sources such as Github, social media, and even popular chat application Slack.
With over a decades worth of personal information now floating around the dark web, now’s a good time to review the steps you should take to protect your personal data and avoid cases of fraud.
What Should You Do Now?
Take a Deep Breath
Capital One says it will notify anyone affected by the breach and will offer free credit monitoring and identity protection going forward.
Go ahead and double-check your credit card history and bank statements. Capital One’s app on iOS and Android will let you review your purchase history. The sooner you report any suspicious behavior to your bank, the faster the issue will get resolved.
Freeze Your Lines of Credit
When you freeze your credit, no one will be able to access your credit. Meaning no new credit cards, no credit reports. Nothing. It will be completely locked down until you un-freeze it. Capital One makes freezing your credit fairly simple by using their app or calling their customer service. No business lender or bank will be able to gain access to your credit history until it’s unfrozen. For those who are looking to apply for an auto or home loan, this will stop you being able to do so. Plan accordingly before you freeze your credit. There is a delay between freezing it and then resuming it.