The Financial Services Industry Just Does Not Get It

The banking and financial services industries are continuously under cyber-attack, which is becoming more sophisticated.  Some of these organisations are learning from their mistakes and the improved sophistication of the attacks but many don’t and this is an on-going problem. Now, the credit card giant CapitalOne has been found to have suffered a potentially disastrsous data breach affecting over 100m customers.
 
In just one Internet minute cyber-criminals steal around $2.9 according to the annual Evil Internet Minute report from RiskIQ.
The company has analysed and data derived from the volume of malicious activity on the Internet and they report that cyber-criminals cost the global economy $2.9 million every minute in 2018, which became a total of $1.5 trillion. 
 
Capital One Financial Corporation has admittedhat they were subjected to a cyber-attack by an outside individual who obtained over 100 million pieces of personal information relating to people who had applied for its credit card products and to Capital One credit card customers. 
 
Capital One claim to have immediately fixed the configuration vulnerability that this individual exploited and promptly began working with federal law enforcement. The US Justice Dept. hav announced that FBI has arrested the person responsible, suggesting the the breach itsef took place some time before the 19th July when Capital One first realeased the news.
 
A former Seattle technology company software engineer has been arrested on a criminal complaint charging computer fraud and abuse for an intrusion on the stored data. US Attorney Brian T. Moran. is quoted as saying: “Capital One quickly alerted law enforcement to the data theft, allowing the FBI to trace the intrusion,” said US Attorney Moran.  “I commend our law enforcement partners who are doing all they can to determine the status of the data and secure it.
 
This criminal event has affected approximately 100 million individuals in the United States and approximately 6 million in Canada. No credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised and over 99 percent of Social Security numbers were not compromised, according to Capital One.
 
The largest category of information accessed was information on consumers and small businesses as of the time they applied for one of our credit card products from 2005 through early 2019. This information included personal information Capital One routinely collects at the time it receives credit card applications, including names, addresses, zip codes/postal codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and self-reported income.
 
Beyond the credit card application data, the individual also obtained portions of credit card customer data, including:
 
• Customer status data, e.g., credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history, contact information
• Fragments of transaction data from a total of 23 days during 2016, 2017 and 2018
 
No bank account numbers or Social Security numbers were compromised, other than:
 
• About 140,000 Social Security numbers of our credit card customers
• About 80,000 linked bank account numbers of our secured credit card customers
 
For Canadian credit card customers, approximately 1 million Social Insurance Numbers were compromised in this incident and the affected individuals will be notified through a variety of channels. The investigation is on-going and CapitalOne says its analysis is subject to change.
 
Almost two years after the breach at Equifax exposed the confidential financial records  of 143m US citizens and four years after the Anthem data encryption debacle allowed hackers access to 80m cutomer records, Capital One's admission comes just a month following discovery of the careless exposure of confidential data by First American .
 
It really does look like the financial services industry has learned nothing about proper data protection practice. 
 
Dept. of Justice:        RiskIQ:
 
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