UK-based postcard-sending service Touchnote learned last week that its systems had been breached in an attack that resulted in customer details getting stolen.
The company’s investigation so far revealed that the attackers managed to steal names, email addresses, postal addresses, order histories and, in some cases, dates of birth. Touchnote has pointed out that it only stores the last four digits of customers’ payment card numbers. Full credit and debit card numbers, expiry dates, and security codes are not at risk.
Touchnote says user passwords have not been accessed, but customers have been advised to change them as a precaution. The company has noted that passwords are not stored in clear text, but it’s unclear what type of cryptographic hash function has been used to protect the data.
While the compromised data cannot be used on its own for financial transactions, malicious actors might use it to trick victims into handing over sensitive information. Touchnote has started notifying impacted individuals about the breach, but the company has highlighted that the legitimate emails will not ask recipients to provide any information.
The company has yet to determine who is behind the attack, but an investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
Touchnote was launched in 2008 and so far it has been used to send out more than 4 million cards in over 200 countries. The firm’s Android and iOS mobile applications have been downloaded millions of times from official app stores.
“Securing customer data obtained by mobile apps is no different that securing other data – with the available technologies today to easily and quickly protect sensitive data, it’s a proven, reliable way to also protect customer trust and satisfaction,” Mark Bower, global director of product management for HPE Security – Data Security, told SecurityWeek. “There’s simply no excuse today not to follow best practices of encrypting all sensitive personal and financial data as it enters a system, at rest, in use and in motion. The ability to render data useless if lost or stolen, through data-centric encryption, is an essential benefit to ensure data remains secure.”
“Cyber criminals today are motivated to steal enterprise data, intellectual property and employee or customer information. Hackers are always looking for a way to exploit a system in a way that they can then turn stolen data into cold, hard cash. There is a definite risk if credit card information is obtained. However businesses need to also think about protecting personal information about their customers like name, full address, phone number and email address. Criminals could then use this information to open bogus accounts or sell it for use in more targeted larger-scale spear-phishing or identity theft attacks,” Bower added.
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