Authored by a Symantec employee
More than 120 million U.S. households had information exposed in a data leak, potentially raising the risk of identity theft for the impacted American families.
Here’s what happened:
- Cybersecurity company Upguard said it discovered the exposed data on Oct. 6, 2017, in a cloud-based repository, and made its discovery public on Dec. 19, 2017.
- The repository that was exposed contained a range of U.S. household data from Alteryx, an Irvine, California-based marketing and data analytics company.
- Alteryx’s data sets appeared to belong to Experian, a credit reporting agency.
- Upguard alerted Alteryx about the exposed data sets, and Alteryx secured the database last week, according to a Forbes article.
What household data was exposed?
The data included 248 fields of information for each household. The information ranged from addresses and income to ethnicity and personal interests. Details included contact information, mortgage ownership, financial histories and whether a household contained a dog or cat enthusiast.
Not included in the data: names.
Although individual names were not included in the data, it’s possible that data thieves could cross-reference stolen information with other available public information.
For instance, someone could use a street address to search for property tax information. That property tax information often includes the name of the property owner. In this way, someone could “piece together” an individual by combining the different sources of information, which could ultimately lead to identity theft.
To learn more, you can read about different types of identity theft, including tips on what you can do to help protect yourself against it.
Disclaimers and references:
Symantec Corporation, the world’s leading cyber security company, allows organizations, governments, and people to secure their most important data wherever it lives. More than 50 million people and families rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock comprehensive digital safety platform to help protect their personal information, devices, home networks, and identities.
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