Tag Archives: Target

Data Breaches on the Rise in California

The annual California Data Breach Report has indicated that the number of data breaches that occurred in California in 2013 has increased from 131 cases in 2012 to 167 cases in 2013. What is more staggering is that the actual number of people affected by the data breaches increased by 600% during the same period. As a result, over 18.5 million people were actually affected by the data breaches.

California’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, believes that the current statistics are troubling for the California State as in 2012, 17% of the total number of data breaches to occur in the United States happened in California.

Harris stated, “With the world’s eighth largest economy and more than 38 million consumers, California is uniquely impacted by data breaches. In 2012, 17% of the data breaches recorded in the United States took place in California – more than any other state. Even more troubling, the number of reported breaches in California increased by 28% in 2013.”

The retail sector accounted for the largest number of data breaches (26%) which were followed by the finance and insurance sector (20%) and the healthcare sector at (15%). In 2013, malware and hacking contributed to 53% of total breaches to occur within the Californian state whilst physical loss or theft of storage and computing devices containing unencrypted data made up 26% of the total data breached. Unintentional misuse and deliberate misuse by insiders contributed 18% and 4% respectively.

The retail sector has significantly contributed to the overall statistics, mainly thanks to the two large data breaches that affected Target and LivingSocial customers. These two incidents can also be contributed to the huge increase in the number of people affected.

Such statistics show the importance of ensuring that data is stored in a secure format. Kamala Harris has urged the state’s retailers to utilise chip-enabled point-of-sale (POS) systems and encryption after large amounts of customer data was compromised during a stage where it remained in its raw format.

Home Depot Investigate Possible Data Breach

American retailer Home Depot has confirmed that they are currently investigating a possible data breach which may have resulted in customer credit and debit card information being compromised.

Home Depot is currently working with the police to see if they have suffered a data breach after security expert Brian Krebs reported that hackers are selling details of stolen credit and debit cards used at the retailer.

Paula Drake who is a spokeswoman for Home Depot has confirmed that that they are currently investigating a possible data breach and that they will notify customers immediately if the investigation concludes that data has been compromised.

Drake stated, “Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers. If we confirm that a breach has occurred, we will make sure customers are notified immediately.”

Brian Krebs reported on his website that several banks believe that Home Depot is the source of the data breach which has exposed credit and debit card information. Krebs also reported that the stolen information could go back to April or May and that there are signs that the data was stolen by the same group who were involved in the Target data breach.

Krebs stated, “There are signs that the perpetrators of this apparent breach may be the same group of Russian and Ukrainian hackers responsible for the data breaches at Target … among others.”

The Target data breach resulted in 40 million credit and debit card data information and personal data belong to a total of 70 million customers being compromised.

Brian Krebs also stated that the stolen information was for sale on Rescator was labelled American sanctions. Krebs believes that this was retribution for the US and European sanctions against Russia.

Has Sears Suffered a Data Breach?

Sears Holdings have confirmed that they are currently reviewing their systems to see if they have become the latest victim of a data breach.

So far, it is good news for Sears and their customers as the review has shown no signs that a data breach has occurred but the review is still ongoing.

Howard Riefs who is the director of corporate communications at Sears Holdings has confirmed that they are currently reviewing their systems to determine if they have suffered from a data breach.

Riefs stated, There have been rumours and reports throughout the retail industry of security incidents at various retailers, and we are actively reviewing our systems to determine if we have been a victim of a breach.

The retailer which has almost 2,500 stores in the United States and Canada have started the investigation after a series of reported data breaches by other high profile companies such as White Lodging and Target which resulted in debit and credit card information being stolen.

A major flaw in the point of sales systems is what hackers have been successfully exploiting. The flaw meant that unencrypted card details were held in a computers memory for a short period of time but long enough for the hackers to be able to obtain all of the information. It was this flaw that the hackers used in the Target data breach which resulted in the malware sending the card details to servers outside of the company.

With the rewards of successfully hacking into a companys computer network and stealing confidential data becoming greater, the importance of ensuring that there are no weaknesses in your security plan is increasing by the day. This should be tested on a regular basis and set up to guarantee that the latest updates are downloaded and applied.

As part of a successful security plan, a robust backup solution should be utilised. This can help save a company thousands of pounds and limit any potential damage to its reputation. By having a robust backup solution in place, it means that data can be recovered to a required state no matter if it is deleted or modified.

Identity Theft on the Increase

The number of identity theft victims in the USA increased to 13.1million in 2013 from 12.6 million in 2012. This is an increase of 500,000 cases and shows that thieve are becoming more sophisticated with their methods to illegally obtain confidential data.

The statistic have been gathered and presented by Javelin Strategy & Research who conduct an annual survey. The results for 2013 are the second highest since the start of the survey in 2004 with the greatest number of identity theft victims being 13.9 million in 2009. However, something to keep in mind is that this survey was completed in October 2013, before the retail company Target was successfully attacked by cyber thieves.

The study by Javelin Strategy & Research concluded that data breaches were one of the main sources of fraud in 2013. In total, one in three people who received notification of a data breach resulted in their identity being used for fraudulent activities.

Alphonse Pascual who is a senior analyst of security, risk and fraud at Javelin believes that there has been a shift in method of attacks where large organisations are being targeted more frequently.

Pascual stated, Rather than a large number of smaller breaches as was more common in the past … we are now seeing larger retailers being targeted on a much more consistent basis.

Pascual was also very critical of the larger organisations who are keeping confidential data belonging to thousands of people and their security measures which seem to be getting successfully bypassed on a more regular basis.

Pascual claimed, This data clearly exposes just how ineffective current security practices have become. The businesses we trust with our personal information have become easy targets.

As the number of victims of identity theft has increased in 2013, the amount of money that was stolen actually decreased. A total of $18 billion was stolen in 2013 which is a reduction of $3 billion in 2012 which totalled $21 billion. This reduction has been largely credited to financial institutions as they are now detecting fraudulent activities at a much quicker rate and are therefore closing down accounts much sooner.

Adam Levin who is the chairman of Identity Theft 911 believes that despite the reduction of money being stolen, the number of identity theft victims is very worrying due to the consequences that it can have on the victim.

Levin stated, It’s not just about dollars and cents; it’s about the victims. ID theft disrupts your life. It creates real havoc and sometimes the consequences are horrendous. We need to keep these criminals from breaking and entering databases in the first place.

By following a few simple steps, you can significantly reduce the possibility of becoming another victim of identity theft and identity fraud.

By ensuring that security software is installed on all computers and mobile phones and keeping them up to date by ensuring the latest security updates have been downloaded and applied helps significantly. These devices should be protected by strong passwords which should be changed on a regular basis. Monitoring bank account and credit card statements regularly and ensuring that all personal documents that are no longer needed are shredded and disposed of appropriately will also go a long way to ensuring that you dont become a victim of identity theft and identity fraud.

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal