Mystery Data Breach Exposes 80 Million U.S. Households

Mystery Data breach

What Happened?

On Monday, April 29, 2019, security researchers with vpnMentor discovered a data breach that included information on 80 million households, approximately 65% of the households in the U.S. The exposed database included names, ages, full addresses, marital status, geographical, income, and other demographic data. What is most concerning, and unusual, about this breach is that no one knows who owns the database.

The 24GB folder was discovered unprotected on a Microsoft cloud server — meaning that anyone who knew where to look could access and steal the data within. Microsoft has since taken the database offline, but these records had been available since February 2019 and the damage may have already been done.

Should I Be Worried?

The information exposed in this breach compromised individuals age 40 or older, who own or rent real estate in the U.S. That represents well over half of all homeowners in the nation, making it a highly desirable resource for fraudsters and identity thieves. Not to mention, since most households are comprised of more than one individual, hundreds of millions of consumers may be at risk.

With this data in hand, cybercriminals can easily guess email addresses, leaving victims vulnerable to phishing attacks. Since physical and income data was also included the exposed database, real-world crime is another concern. And, by combining this information with your Social Security number, fraudsters can fully assume your identity.

9 Tips for Data Breach Victims

If you are age 40 or older and live in the United States, it’s highly probable that your information was involved in this most recent data breach. Stay vigilant about monitoring your personal bank and credit accounts, social media, direct mail, and beyond. Follow these 9 tips to further protect yourself from identity theft and fraud.

Continue following Fighting Identity Crimes to get the latest breach and scam updates, ID protection news & tips from our industry experts!

Follow us on social!
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn   

There’s No Expiration Date for Your Data on the Dark Web

Frozen Clock represents No Expiration Date Data Dark Web

With data breaches impacting organizations on what seems like a daily basis, there’s a very good chance that your personal information has been compromised — and once it is leaked onto the Dark Web, you are vulnerable forever. According to the 2018 End-of-Year Data Breach Report, the total number of data breaches decreased in 2018, however, the number of stolen records climbed more than 126 percent. Not only is that a significant increase in the amount of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) that is now in the hands of cybercriminals, but it is also an indication that breaches have become larger, exposing more pieces of data per incident. Continue reading

When a Corporate Data Breach Happens: Critical Next Steps for 2019

Corporate Breach Response

What if my Business is Next?

Regardless of cybersecurity proficiency, no organization is safe from data breaches. That’s why it’s critical that every business develops and documents an Incident Response Plan. Your response plan will outline steps your organization should take if you suspect data has been compromised. The quicker your business follows the plan, the better off you will be, and you will be in position to mitigate the impact the data loss will have on your business. Continue reading