Capital One Suffers Massive Data Breach

There was a time when bank robbers resembled the stereotype of a bandit or a pirate. In reality, modern bank robberies are much less like an Ocean’s Eleven movie and more of a person sitting behind their desk eating yogurt and probing networks for vulnerabilities. While we can’t verify the type of food that was eaten during the recent Capital One Financial Corporation breach, we do know what was taken and how. Paige Thompson, AKA “erratic,” a former software engineer, stole more than 100 million Americans’ information and another 6 million Canadians’ sensitive information in the breach.

Capital One was made aware of a configuration vulnerability on July 17th when an ethical hacker discovered the data on Github and reported it to the bank. While investigating and fixing the vulnerability, the bank revealed that a third party had gained access to their system in March of this year. Capital One immediately fixed the vulnerability and contacted the FBI to conduct a criminal investigation. The list of information stolen is not pretty and is quite long.

Compromised data includes: 

Names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, zip codes/postal codes, self-reported income, credit card application data, credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history, transaction data, US Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, and Canadian Social Insurance Numbers,

It should be noted that Capital One responded immediately to this breach and has since strengthened its cybersecurity defenses, but one cannot help but wonder how that much sensitive data was exposed on a popular public website from March to July without the bank realizing it was missing. Not only that, but what if the hacker decided to sell the information in a more secure location such as the Dark Web.

Fortunately, the main suspect behind this digital bank heist was apprehended quickly. Today’s robberies may use less dynamite and guns, but the catastrophic effects are typically long-lasting and far-reaching. 



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