Data Breach Notification: Data Enrichment Exposure

In October, a large database was left unsecured and exposed to the Internet. This database contained “enriched” data profiles, which means that someone had taken some basic information about a person, like an email address or social media profile, and then searched and cross-referenced publicly available data to gather as much information as possible about that person. Companies do this for millions of people and then sell these “enriched” profiles to ad companies to help them target potential customers. It’s one of the reasons you get SO MUCH SPAM.

There were over 600 million accounts in the exposed database. There were 2,789 or email address in those records. There were NO passwords included in this breach.

To find out if your information is included, you can go to Have I Been Pwned and enter your email address in the search form. You can also sign up for breach notifications from Have I Been Pwned by clicking on “Notify Me” at the top of any page on the site.

The information included email addresses, employers, geographic locations, job titles, names, phone numbers, and social media profiles. While none of the individual pieces of this information alone are considered damaging or sensitive, the accumulation of this data in a single profile not only helps advertisers, but it also helps scammers more accurately target people by sending focused phishing emails that seem more credible.

Stay vigilant against phishing emails by learning what to look for. Check out the Phishing Quick Info page here on this site at a minimum.

As always, if you have questions about any of this, you can contact Information Security using the information on the right-hand side of any site page.


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