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April 5, 2011

Massive Data Breach Exposes 40billion Emails to Risk

It’s being called the largest data security breach in U.S. history.The information breach at Dallas-based Epsilon is considered one of the largest of its kind in the United States, and it's expected to result in an increase of fraudulent e-mails that experts call “phishing” — or those that try to solicit sensitive information like bank accounts, passwords and Social Security numbers from consumers.
This  major security breach is putting millions of Americans at risk. From banks to supermarkets to travel companies. Some information you gave them could be in the hands of hackers.
The hackers who breached the security system at Epsilon, a segment of Alliance Data Systems Corp and which does a  fair amount of email marketing, notified its clients Friday that “an unauthorized entry into Epsilon’s email system” had occurred. Epsilon   sends about 40 billion e-mails annually to consumers who subscribe to emails,from the company's 2,500 clients.

This data breach  puts the  customers  at risk of receiving phishing messages from affected companies that they are affiliated with, such as U.S. Bank, Capital One, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Best Buy, Walgreen, Kroger or TiVo.

Mashable reports that data breach applies to some of the largest names in retail, including Target and Best Buy Target is now notifying customers whose information was compromised that their email addresses and names may now be in unsafe hands and is asking customers to exercise care when opening and responding to email.

Mashable  has  published the list of affected companies which are
  • Targe/Best Buy/Walgreen’s/Capital One/TiVo/JP Morgan Chase & Co./Kroger/US Bank
  • McKinsey & Company/Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • Marriott Rewards
  • New York & Company
  • Brookstone
  • The College Board
  • Home Shopping Network (HSN)
  • LL Bean
  • Disney Destinations
  • Barclays Bank of Delaware
Detailed list can be found here