DNA Company ‘GEDmatch’ Hacked in Data Breach

· Andrew Orr · Link

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First, over a million DNA profiles from GEDmatch were leaked. Then, email addresses from the breach were used in a phishing attack against users of genealogy website MyHeritage.

As a result of this breach, all user permissions were reset, making all profiles visible to all users. This was the case for approximately 3 hours. During this time, users who did not opt in for law enforcement matching were available for law enforcement matching and, conversely, all law enforcement profiles were made visible to GEDmatch users.

If GEDmatch sounds familiar, it was the DNA database used to identify the Golden State Killer.

Amtrak Data Breach Affects Guest Rewards Accounts

· Andrew Orr · Link

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Discovered on April 16, 2020, Amtrak suffered a data breach that affects its Amtrak Guest Rewards accounts.

The attack vector involved was compromised usernames and passwords, which may suggest the use of credentials previously leaked or stolen, or the use of brute-force methods.

Amtrak says that some personal information was viewable, although the company has not specifically said what data may have been compromised. However, Amtrak was keen to emphasize that Social Security numbers, credit card information, and other financial data was not involved in the data leak.

Marriott Hit by Second Data Breach Affecting up to 5.2M People

· Andrew Orr · Link

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Hotel chain Marriott International has suffered a second data breach, exposing the personal data of up to 5.2 million guests.

The breach, which began in mid-January 2020 and was discovered at the end of February 2020, saw contact details, including names, addresses, birth dates, gender, email addresses and telephone numbers exposed. Employer name, gender, room stay preferences and loyalty account numbers were also exposed.

Marriott has also said that at present it does not believe passports, payment details or passwords were exposed in the data breach.

It sounds like login credentials of two employees were stolen, likely through a social engineering attack.

Someone Hacked J.Crew Last Spring and we Only Find Out Today

· Andrew Orr · Link

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According to a notice [PDF] from J.Crew, someone hacked the company last year. For some reason we’re only finding out about it today, a year later.

“The information that would have been accessible in your jcrew.com account includes the last four digits of credit card numbers you have stored in your account, the expiration dates, card types, and billing addresses connected to those cards, and order numbers, shipping confirmation numbers, and shipment status of those orders,” J.Crew’s data breach notification explains.

You know, sometimes when I write about this stuff, like Facebook doing every bad thing under the sun with our data, I stop and think: “Am I just a cynical a**hole?” Then, when yet another idiot company has a data breach, I realize, no I’m just reporting reality. These companies deserve to be named and shamed.

Defense Information Systems Agency Suffers Data Breach

· Andrew Orr · Link

Between May and July 2019 sensitive data like Social Security Numbers were stolen from servers belonging to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), a U.S. defense agency. Earlier this month it notified victims.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has begun issuing letters to people whose personally identifiable information may have been compromised in a data breach on a system hosted by the agency. While there is no evidence to suggest that any of the potentially compromised PII was misused, DISA policy requires the agency to notify individuals whose personal data may have been compromised.

Chinese Military Charged With Equifax Data Breach

· Andrew Orr · Link

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Four Chinese military hackers have been charged with breaking into Equifax’s network and stealing the data of tens of millions of Americans.

The accused hackers exploited a software vulnerability to gain access to Equifax’s computers, obtaining log-in credentials that they used to navigate databases and review records. The indictment also details efforts the hackers took to cover their tracks, including wiping log files on a daily basis and routing traffic through dozens of servers in nearly 20 countries.

Reminder that Equifax executives did insider trading based on the breach. They are criminals.

267 Million Facebook IDs, Phone Numbers Exposed

· Andrew Orr · Link

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A database that contained over 267 million Facebook user IDs, phone numbers, and IDs was discovered on the web. It wasn’t password-protected.

Comparitech partnered with security researcher Bob Diachenko to uncover the Elasticsearch cluster. Diachenko believes the trove of data is most likely the result of an illegal scraping operation or Facebook API abuse by criminals in Vietnam, according to the evidence.

Diachenko immediately notified the internet service provider managing the IP address of the server so that access could be removed. However, Diachenko says the data was also posted to a hacker forum as a download.

Database of 1.2 Billion Records Found With Scraped Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

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A database filled with 1.2 billion records of data was found on the dark web back in October. I hesitate to call this a data breach because:

While the collection is impressive for its sheer volume, the data doesn’t include sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers. It does, though, contain profiles of hundreds of millions of people that include home and cell phone numbers, associated social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Github, work histories seemingly scraped from LinkedIn, almost 50 million unique phone numbers, and 622 million unique email addresses.

In other words this is all data that people have willingly put on their social media profiles. While it can be used for nefarious purposes (especially phone numbers) this is less of a breach and more of a database of scrapes. Nevertheless I’m using our “data breach” tag.