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Robinhood Hacked, Millions of Names, Emails Stolen

Robinhood Data Breach

Hacker socially engineered customer support employee to obtain millions of names and emails, demanded extortion payment

Mobile stock trading platform Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD) on Monday fessed up to a security breach that exposed names and email addresses for millions of users and “extensive account details” for what appeared to be very specific targets.

The Menlo Park., Calif-based company, which claims that about 22 million users trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies with its mobile app, said the breach happened on November 3 when a hacker stole names, email addresses, dates of birth, zip codes and additional personal information from its customer user data.

The company downplayed the extent of the impact, saying that only “a limited amount of personal information for a portion of our customers” was stolen but confirmed the intruder obtained about 5 million names and approximately 2 million email addresses.

"We also believe that for a more limited number of people—approximately 310 in total—additional personal information, including name, date of birth, and zip code, was exposed, with a subset of approximately 10 customers having more extensive account details revealed," Robinhood said in a statement announcing the incident.

“We are in the process of making appropriate disclosures to affected people,” it added.

After an investigation, Robinhood said the attacker socially engineered a customer support employee by phone and obtained access to certain customer support systems.

“We believe that no Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or debit card numbers were exposed and that there has been no financial loss to any customers as a result of the incident,” the company said. 

Robinhood said the attacker “demanded an extortion payment” and that it promptly notified law enforcement. The company has retained forensics specialists Mandiant to assist with the investigation.

Shares of Robinhood are trading down roughly 3% at the time of publishing in after hours trading.

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's past career as a security journalist included bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.