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Capital One, one of the largest banking corporations in the US, revealed Monday that it is the latest company involved in a security breach affecting consumers. This time, over 100 million individuals in the United States and six million in Canada have been affected.
The breach was, according to federal prosecutors cited by several media sources, the work of a single hacker, a Seattle-based woman currently in custody of the FBI.
Capital One said “no credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised.” According to the statement, though, “about 140,000 Social Security numbers of our credit card customers” and “about 80,000 linked bank account numbers of our secured credit card customers” were compromised.
In a statement, Capital One CEO Richard D. Fairbank said, “While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened…I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right.”
Capital One stated that the breach occurred March 22nd and 23rd of this year, though it wasn’t discovered until July 19th as a result of an internal investigation. Prompted by an external security researcher, the inquiry identified a cloud-computing service as the point of vulnerability and the method which the suspect used to gain access.
Most of the data stolen was what consumers and small-business owners entered when they applied for a Capital One credit card “from 2005 through early 2019,” the bank said.
“This information included names, addresses, zip codes/postal codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and self-reported income,” the statement added. The hacker also stole “credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history, contact information.”
This news comes on the heels of Equifax’s settlement for its own data breach in in 2017, which will provide up to $125 to those affected if approved.
While it’s impossible to know the extent of the damage from this breach, there are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself. We’ve written about credit monitoring services, which alert you to possible fraud, in the past, as well as how to freeze your credit if your information has been stolen. Most importantly, however, is making sure that you keep yourself safe online in order to stop hackers in their tracks.
Know before you go.
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