In what’s being touted as possibly one of the biggest data breaches in U.S. history, online marketing firm Epsilon warned some of its customers over the weekend that the personal information of many, many people could be at risk.
Follow-up: See a list of which companies’ e-mail lists have been exposed.
Last Friday, an outside hacker accessed Epsilon’s customer files. The company sends out some 40 billion e-mails annually and also serves many large U.S. companies. Customers include major banks, retailers, and educational groups. The list includes: J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Capital One, TiVo, College Board and many others.
According to Epsilon and its customers, the risk is minimal. It seems that no financial information was exposed, but names and e-mail addresses seem to have been obtained. The College Board, which has 7 million registered students, notified people on its listserv to be suspicious of “links or attachments from unknown third parties.”
Most of the affected companies have been writing to customers to notify them about the breach. Other customers of Epsilon’s include Verizon, Kraft, Best Buy, Ritz-Carlton and more. Still, e-mail users should be wary of any fishy looking e-mails, links or attachments especially if it requires pertinent personal information. It’s always good practice, and will prevent you from being scammed.
It’s unknown as to how many people have been unaffected. Epsilon released a statement saying that, “While we are cooperating with authorities and doing a thorough investigation, we cannot say anything else. We can’t confirm any impacted or non-impacted clients, or provide a list (of companies) at this point in time.”
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