It’s beginning to look a lot like…BREACH season! With both Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service revealing data vulnerabilities of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), now is the time for consumers to get empowered and proactive about thwarting cyber criminals and identity thieves.
Amazon Breach Hours Before Black Friday
It appears that Amazon may have leaked an undisclosed number of names and email addresses of their customers, as reported on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018. According to various news reports, an email was sent to customers, where Amazon did reveal high-level details of the data breach, warning that the company “inadvertently disclosed your name and email address due to a technical error.” Here’s an example of the email sent by Amazon:
We’re contacting you to let you know that our website inadvertently disclosed your email address due to a technical error. The issue has been fixed. This is not a result of anything you have done, and there is no need for you to change your password or take any action.
TIP | Even though the Amazon statement indicates customers don’t need to change their credentials, it’s always a good idea to read up on our suggestions on how to test and ensure you are using a strong password.
Additional news articles have reported that the company told customers the issue had been fixed but declined to provide further details about the issue. Essentially, the only way for customers to know if they were part of the Amazon breach is if they received the above notice. Additionally, despite users’ information being made public, the company told customers there was no need to change their passwords or “take any other action.”
Needless to say, customers have taken to social media to voice their opinion on the notification that Amazon sent out, with one security expert even indicating that it “could be viewed as one of the worst breach notes in history.”
TIP | Read more about our recommendations for ensuring safe holiday shopping, especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Cyber Criminals Hack Into U.S. Postal Service’s Informed Delivery
CSO reported on November 12th, 2018, that cyber criminals were abusing the U.S. Postal Service’s Informed Delivery for ID theft and credit card fraud, impacting an estimated 60 million users. According to the article, “…ID thieves have been using the Informed Delivery service ‘to identify and intercept mail, and to further their identity theft fraud schemes.'” Informed Delivery, a free service through USPS, enables customers to digitally preview their mail and also manage the delivery of their packages.
It’s also believed that in some cases the account details within the Informed Deliver could be manipulated and modified on the fly. Additionally, some victims may not know that they have accounts through Informed Delivery, since the hackers could have signed them up in order to view photo scans of the victim’s mail. These scammers could also then use the victim’s hacked PII to apply for credit cards and then steal those cards from their mailboxes.
As a follow-up, an article appeared on November 21st, 2018, indicating that the security vulnerability has been fixed. The last major U.S. Postal Service data breach was reported in November of 2014, a security incident that compromised the personal information of 800,000 employees, and another 2.9 million customers.
Take Control of Your Identity, Secure Your Personal Information
Even if you, your family, your employees, your partners – essentially everyone you care about – haven’t been impacted by identity theft, the chances are it’s just a matter of time.
IdentityForce and EZShield have united to provide the industry’s top-rated digital identity theft protection and cybersecurity solutions. Our team is committed to providing ongoing resources and tools to help you stay protected and aware of the latest scams and trends. Check out EZShield’s educational blog, Fighting Identity Crimes, and don’t forget to subscribe to IdentityForce’s monthly newsletter, as well as email updates from Fighting Identity Crimes.
The time to protect yourself, your family, and your employees is now. Get started with a Free Trial of IdentityForce, the #1 rated identity theft protection solution. Don’t go into the holiday shopping season, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday, without having 100% peace of mind.