October 2, 2015

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Recent Data Breach Roundup: September 2015 Security & Data Breaches

We’re living in an amazing time right now as our world becomes more digital and technology advances at the speed of light. However, with the positive changes come the negative as well — a major negative being security breaches and identity theft.

Doesn’t it seem like we’re always hearing another news story about a major company falling victim to hackers? It’s a lot to stay on top of, but it is incredibly important to be aware of where these breaches are happening and who they are affecting. That is why at the beginning of every month, we will be providing you with a recap of recent data breaches that occurred during the previous month.

Here are the top breaches that were making headlines in September:


It was discovered that more than 225,000 iPhone users had their Apple account information compromised by a malware nicknamed KeyRaider. Individuals with “jailbroken” iPhones were targeted and KeyRaider was primarily lurking on Chinese websites and apps that were offering software for those jailbroken iPhones.

KeyRaider took sensitive information from the iPhones — Apple IDs, passwords, unique iPhone IDs, information about App Store purchases — and sent it all back to the attacker. Some victims of this attack found their phones locked, along with a ransom demand from the hackers, saying the phone’s access will only be restored once the hacker is paid. In addition, the hackers also created software that allows anyone to access a victims’ credentials and use that information to download apps for “free.”

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield joined the large group of health insurance companies targeted by hackers when they announced more than 10 million records were exposed in a data breach. The breach was detected on August 5, 2015, but after some investigation, it was uncovered that the initial attack occurred on December 23, 2013.

Excellus revealed that hackers may have gained access to private information like names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and financial account information. Worst of all, they may have been using that information illegally for over a year and a half.

Apple App Store

September was a tough month for Apple — after information about the iPhone hacking was announced, it was also discovered that different hackers had infiltrated the App Store, which is known for having tight security. Several cyber security firms found a malicious malware program called XcodeGhost in legitimate apps.

Apple removed the affected apps from the App Store and no reports of data theft of other problems have been uncovered yet.

Windows 10

Microsoft’s Windows 10 has NOT been the known victim of a security breach yet, but there have been plenty of privacy concerns circulating among users. The operating system was released in July 2015, and many are having trouble putting full faith in the way Windows 10 collects and stores user data, which the company has said is necessary to use their built-in personal assistant, Cortana. The system collects data like device location, calendar entries, app usage, call history, and even data from your emails and text messages.

If you are using Windows 10, learn about ways you can opt out and protect your privacy by reading more about about Window’s 10 privacy concerns.

Check back at the beginning of November to read about security and data breaches that occurred during the month of October. Wondering what you may have missed this year when it comes to your personal security? Browse through some of the biggest data breaches in 2015, so far.

Judy Leary

President at IdentityForce
For Judy, identity theft protection is in her DNA—her dad started IdentityForce’s parent company in the 70s, and in the 80s, she and her brother came on board. She loves her dedicated team and how much they care about every member, partner, and supplier. In addition to protection against identity theft, Judy is passionate about travel (Aruba is her “happy place”!) and giving back. She volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association, Mazie Mentoring Program, and Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue. She’s also a proud mom to 2 grown daughters and 3 rescue dogs.

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