Capital One Financial Hacked – Over 106 Million Credit Card Applicants Affected
Capital One Financial Corporation annuonced that the company has been hacked. About 100 million credit card holders and applicants in the United States and another six million in Canada are affected. Hacked data includes information from Capital One credit card holders, including small businesses, as well as people who applied for Capital One credit cards from 2005 through the beginning of 2019. The data was compromised on July 17, 2019.
Hacked information includes full names, addresses, postal codes, phone numbers, email addresses, birthdates, and income reported by personal and small business credit card applicants. Some Social Security numbers, Canadian Social Insurance numbers, and bank account numbers were also stolen. The hacker also downloaded portions of credit card customer data including credit scores, credit limits, account balances, payment history, and contact information. Also breached were fragments of Capital One credit card transaction data from a total of 23 days during 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Capital One Hacker Posted Message on Slack
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has already arrested and charged the suspected hacker. Paige Thompson, a software engineer and former employee of Amazon Web Services. Thompson hacked into Capital One cloud computing services, a web service used by Capital One, on July 17 and exploited a misconfigured web application firewall to gain access to customer data. Computer fraud and abuse is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Thompson, aka erratic, posted a message on a Slack channel, a messaging service used by businesses and developers stating. “I wanna get it off my server that’s why I’m archiving all of it lol,” Thompson posted. She had put the information on her GitHub account using her full name. She also Tweeted that she had taken the Capital One information. A person who saw the data on GutHub notified Capital One. The web server vulnerability has since been patched.
In addition to the compromised credit card application data, the hacker also downloaded United States credit card customer data including credit scores, credit limits, account balances, payment history, contact information, and portions of credit card transaction data during 2016, 2017, and 2018. About one million Social Insurance Numbers were compromised from Canadian customers.
No credit card account numbers or website log-in credentials were compromised in the data breach. Over 99 percent of Social Security numbers on the Amazon cloud web servers were not compromised but still about 140,000 Social Security numbers were hacked from credit card customers. Also about 80,000 linked bank account numbers of secured credit card customers were stolen.
What Do I Do About the Capital One Hack?
Capital One is not providing a way for credit card customers or credit applicants a way to check and see if they are victims of the data breach. According to their website post, the company will be notifying those who are affected and supplying free credit monitoring and identity protection available to them.
Hackers frequently dump personal data online or sell credit card data on the dark web. Hackers and scammers but the stolen credit card numbers and used them to buy items online or take cash advances. Identity theft is when a scammer uses someone else’s name, address, social security numbers and other personal data to open up credit cards or other financial accounts in the victim’s name. Fraudulent accounts can be used to receive money from other scams. Identity theft can also be used in conjunction with tax scams to steal income tax refunds or file erroneous tax returns.
Scammers can also buy hacked personal data on the dark web and use it for various scam calls. The goal is to trick and intimidate spam call recipients into sending money to bank accounts that hacker can access.
If you suspect your data has been stolen and that you may be one of the Capital One data breach victims, then:
- Check your credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial accounts for fraudulent transactions or increases in credit limits
- Freeze your credit to stop any new accounts from being opened in your name
- Be vigilant for scams, phishing emails, and erroneous transactions
If you need help identifying phishing emails, types of scams, or how to stay safe while traveling, please read our posts and cyber security guides
Michelle writes about cyber security as well as how to protect your data online. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers