Hackers attack retailers’ data, fetch customer personal information
Hackers have broken into the computer systems of retailers and accessed customer data, specifically e-mail addresses, that may be used later to commit identity theft.
Best Buy Co., Walgreen Co. and TiVo Inc. have confirmed this weekend that personal information stored in their customers' files have been compromised.
The companies use a communications system run by Dallas-based Epsilon, which serves some 2,500 firms nationwide, seven of whom are Fortune 100 companies.
Epsilon said in a statement that a "full investigation was under way" but reassured clients that while names and e-mails were extracted by hackers, "no other personal identifiable information associated with the names was at risk."
The retailers said that Epsilon notified them about the hacking but told them that the risk was minimal because only e-mails were drawn. In theory, these e-mails can be used by hackers to extract more personal information from customers such as Social Security numbers.
Grocer chain Kroger Co. and financial firm JPMorgan Chase & Co. were also affected by the attack on their Epsilon e-mail handling systems. JPMorgan said no financial information of clients was compromised.
Kroger said that its 1-2-3 Rewards MasterCard accounts were not breached. Best Buy, who said it was conducting its own probe, warned customers to dismiss e-mails asking for further personal information which can be used for identity theft.
Barclays Bank, which also use Epsilon, warned customers about e-mail queries asking personal information while reassuring them that all of their credit card information are intact and were not breached by hackers.