Tag: data breach

MyFitnessPal Data Stolen

Sportswear brand Under Armour announced that its subsidiary MyFitnessPal suffered a significant data beach, compromising up to 150 million accounts.

The account information involved includes user names, email addresses and hashed passwords, but no financial information such as credit card numbers or identifiers such as social security numbers.

The breach has not exposed particularly sensitive user data, but it does affect a huge number of users and this has caused Under Armour’s stock to drop 4 percent. The breach occurred in February but was only identified in March. The company has been working to notify affected users and is expected to work with the police and data security firms to trace the source of the breach.

“Four days after learning of the issue, the company began notifying the MyFitnessPal community via email and through in-app messaging. The notice contains recommendations for MyFitnessPal users regarding account security steps they can take to help protect their information,” Under Armour said in a statement. “The company will be requiring MyFitnessPal users to change their passwords and is urging users to do so immediately.”

In this case, the data storage was robust and the hackers have 150 million email addresses to sell but there’s little else they can do with the data.

If you are a registered user of MyFitnessPal – change your password immediately and if any of your other accounts have the same login and password then change them as well as hackers will try to find other accounts in your name.

Users of MyFitnessPal should be wary of emails in the coming weeks as there are likely to be scam messages and in particular may be messages that appear to be from MyFitnessPal but are from scammers.

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What If Your Business Has a Data Breach

If your business suffers a data breach i.e. hackers access your system and steal confidential information then you have a lot to do to deal with the breach, communicate with all affected parties and put in place better security to prevent another breach.

How well you deal with the breach often affects the total cost and the level of damage to your business reputation.

These four steps can help:-

1. Investigate the Breach

  1. How did it happen?
  2. What was stolen?
  3. Can the hackers regain entry to your systems?

You’ll need to know exactly what information was lost in the data breach.

Less sensitive information includes  name, address. phone number etc. This can be used by scammers and cold callers but that information is readily available for most people through the phone directory, social media and  the Electoral register.

More sensitive information includes date of birth, name, financial details, payment card details.  Combined with the less sensitive information this can be used for identity fraud.

If the stolen data includes names with login and passwords then you need to act fast to warn people to change their passwords.

2. Determine the Possible Damage

Once you know what data has been stolen, you need to understand how this can affect people i.e how this data can be used by criminals. Will they likely sell the information to a competitor or to other scammers or ransom it back to you?

3. Communicate with All Interested Parties

You need to inform all affected parties ASAP.  This may be customers, partners, staff, suppliers etc. If the breach is serious then you should inform the Information Commissioners Office.  If relevant inform the Police.

4. Increase Your Security

Unless you have security experts, you may need to hire experts to assess your systems and see how security can be improved. Start enacting those improvements straightaway and of course close off whatever method the hackers used to get into your systems.

A data breach can be very serious and must be dealt with quickly and efficiently to minimise damage to your reputation.

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Equifax Data Breach

The personal data of up to 44 million British consumers was feared stolen by hackers in a massive cyber attack on Equifax.

The information commissioner said it was investigating how the hack on Equifax, a US credit rating firm, affected UK customers, many of whom will be unaware their data is held by the company.

Equifax and its UK subsidiary companies state on their websites that they represent British clients including BT, Capital One and British Gas.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has urged Equifax to alert affected UK customers as soon as possible, and said it will work with the relevant overseas authorities on behalf of British citizens.

Equifax admitted hackers had exposed the personal data of 143 million customers in the US, which was stolen between mid-May and July this year due to a vulnerability on its website. The hack was not made public until recently.

The stolen information includes names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license details. It is also thought that around 209,000 credit card numbers were stolen.

Equifax said: “limited personal information” from British and Canadian residents had been compromised.

A spokesman for BT said: “We are aware of the developing story and are monitoring the situation closely. Like many companies in the UK, BT uses Equifax services. We are working on establishing whether this breach has any impact on those services.”

Lenders rely on the information collected by credit bureaus such as Equifax to help them decide whether to approve financing for homes, cars and credit cards.

Equifax chief executive Richard Smith said in a statement “I apologise to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.”

How to check if you are affected – go online to https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html and type in your last name and last 6 digits of your social security number and it should tell you if you have been affected by the data breach.

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Update on Yahoo Breach

In November 2016, Yahoo realised it had suffered a data breach back in 2013. Yahoo released information on what had happened and informed everyone who may have been affected by this.

See blog post http://fightback.ninja/the-yahoo-data-breach-reported-december-2016/ for more information.

Yahoo has now released more information concerning how this happened.


Yahoo say they called in outside forensic experts to examine what happened and there has been the creation of forged cookies that could allow an intruder to access users’ accounts without a password. Based on the ongoing investigation, the outside forensic experts have identified user accounts for which they believe forged cookies were taken or used in 2015 or 2016.

The company is notifying the affected account holders, and has invalidated the forged cookies. They have connected some of this activity to the same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the data theft we disclosed on September 22, 2016.

If you have not been contacted by Yahoo specifically about this, then your account will not have been affected.

However, if you have a Yahoo account then you should have changed your password and security questions and answers recently. If you haven’t done this then you should ASAP and also any other accounts that use the same login and password.


It is wise to review all of your accounts for suspicious activity and be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information.

Yahoo are doing everything they can to protect their customers data.

For further information go to https://help.yahoo.com/kb/account/SLN27925.html


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The Yahoo Data Breach Reported December 2016

If you are a registered user of Yahoo then you will have received an email from Yahoo explaining what happened in the data breach that has been reported on TV and in newspapers this month.  Someone collected a huge amount of information from Yahoo without their knowledge in August 2013 and it was only in December 2016 that Yahoo found out it’s security had been breached.

Yahoo believe the data copied contains name and email address, telephone numbers, date of birth and in some cases hashed passwords and security questions and answers. But does not include any financial information or credit card numbers etc.

Yahoo only found out about this when  asked by Law Enforcement to examine some data that turned out to be from Yahoo and their investigation proved what had happened three years previously.

  1. As a Yahoo User What Must I Do?

If you have not changed your Yahoo password recently then do so quickly and make sure to set a safe password [http://fightback.ninja/how-to-keep-your-passwords-safe/]. You should also change your security questions.

Check your accounts for any suspicious activities and remember that scammers sometimes only take small amounts for a period of months, hoping to be ignored.

  1. What About Other Online Logins and Passwords?

If you have other accounts that use the same login and password as Yahoo then you should change them quickly. Once scammers have your login and password they will check other websites to see if you’ve used the same information.

Ideally you should use different logins and passwords for each website you’re registered with. However, that may be impractical for people with lots of such logins but you should at least use a set of logins and passwords and not the same one for every web site.

Note: If you receive an email or call from someone claiming to work for Yahoo – be suspicious and do not divulge any confidential information even if they seem to have your information already.

Go to http://yahoo.com/security-update for further information from Yahoo.

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Major Organisations Hacked in the UK in 2016


There have been a lot of company data breaches in 2016 in the UK but the three biggest known such breaches are

  • Three mobile phone company
  • Tesco bank
  • Sage business software company

Three Mobile

Three, one of Britain’s largest mobile operators revealed it’s had a major data breach that could put millions of its customers at risk. Hackers accessed Three’s customer upgrade database via using an employee login. They didn’t get access to any financial data but did access  names, phone numbers, addresses and dates of birth of its customers.

Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank which is part of Tesco supermarkets, had to freeze the online accounts of online customers as 20,000 people had money stolen from their accounts.

You can imagine what the customers thought of suddenly finding their bank cards were rejected. Everywhere and then for some that money had disappeared from their accounts.

Tesco Bank, which has over seven million customer accounts, has said it will cover any financial costs of the breach.


Sage is a business software company and is part of the FTSE-100 index.

Sage said their data breach could have compromised the personal data of 280 businesses that use Sage.

Attitudes to Data Breaches

A recent survey into attitudes towards organisations that have experienced data breaches shows that 84 percent of respondents would reduce or stop using an organisation’s products or services following breaches, and only 16 percent of respondents would continue to use an organisation’s products or services as usual.

Respondents were asked: “If you found out an organisation whose products or services you use had multiple data breaches, which of the following best describes how you would react?”

16 percent – I would continue to use their products or services as usual

27 percent – I would limit my usage of their products or services

37 percent – I would only use their products or services if I had no alternatives

20 percent – I would stop using their products or services completely

Businesses (especially those in the public eye such as FTSE-100 companies) need to understand that if their online security is not up to standard and they are hacked – that has a chilling effect on their customers and it will be hard to repair their reputation.

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