After a few notifications of a potential problem with Experian by his readership, Brian Krebs and team checked out Experian’s account signup process and found some disturbing news.
We’ve seen and reported on scams that involved the potential theft of a victim’s social security number – from bank SMiShing campaigns, to attacks on community associations, to traffic ticket scams. There’s always the looming question of “what do cybercriminals do with that information?” A recent article over at KrebsOnSecurity put the spotlight on an example of how personal details can be used that serves as a warning that should be heeded.
Brian Krebs begins the article noting that he’s heard from a number of readers about how their Experian account was hacked, PINs/passwords/security questions changed, their credit “unlocked”, and new credit card accounts opened.
Brian hypothesized that perhaps it may be as simple as attempting to sign up with a new account (and a threat actor-controlled email address) impersonating the victim by using their personal information (which includes their social security number).
To his surprise, when creating an “new” account for himself (he already has an account with Experian), the system overwrote Brian’s old account with the new details, essentially locking him out of the account. One of his readers shared it was only after he answered credit report questions that he was given access back to his account.
Given some of the notorious data breaches of Experian themselves, Equifax, and TransUnion, the scenario painted by Brian Krebs is scary. It demonstrates that those phishing attacks I write so much about have serious repercussions – both personally, as well as for businesses – increasing the needs for continual Security Awareness Training to both help secure the workplace, as well as the employee’s personal digital life.