Capital One, which is ranked among the largest banks in the United States, has just suffered a massive data breach. It is reported that credit card application information of everyone who has applied between 2005 and 2019 has been compromised. This period of about 14 years has seen approximately 100 million individuals from the United States and about 6 million from Canada apply for the bank’s services
This is perhaps one of the largest data breaches in corporate history. The data set that was affected contained personal information like names, phone numbers, email addresses, date of birth, incomes, in addition to other information that goes with credit card applications. Moreover, about 1,40,000 social security numbers from the U.S and 80,000 correspondingly linked bank account information were compromised. Furthermore, about 1 million social insurance numbers belonging to Canadian customers were also leaked.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a suspect named Paige A. Thompson in connection with the breach. She is now set to stand trial on the charges of stealing data.
This incident shows the ever-present threat that cybercrime poses. User data is considered to be one of the most important commodities, with some experts even indicating that it could be more valuable than oil. The stolen data could be used for malicious purposes or to carry out social engineering programs that could target ordinary civilians and influence public opinion.