What Happened?

On Wednesday, ZDNet announced that a data breach caused customer records for up to 14 million Verizon subscribers to be exposed on the Internet, including the customer’s name, their cell phone number and their account PIN. Subscribers who called Verizon’s customer support in the last 6 months were effected. The information could be used to gain access to the subscriber’s account.

The information was found on an unsecured Amazon S3 server controlled by one of Verizon’s service providers – NICE Systems. When a subscriber calls Verizon’s customer service, information about the calls are recorded and analyzed by NICE Systems to help Verizon verify account holders and improve customer service. The recorded information is stored in a log file, which was easily downloadable by anyone on the Internet.

What should I do if I’m a Verizon customer?

If you are a Verizon customer, we recommend that you change your account PIN, even if you have not called customer service in the last 6 months. Verizon released a statement that claims the PINs included in the data set “are used to authenticate a customer calling our wireline call center, but do not provide online access to customer accounts.” But after any data breach where you might be effected, it is best to change account passwords or PINs.

What else should I do to protect myself?

After a data breach at a major corporation, password security becomes vitally important. Using a password management software is a great way to keep your passwords organized and secure. Check out LMG Security’s Password Tips to learn more about using these tools to protect yourself.

If you have any other questions about this data breach, or cybersecurity in general, don’t hesitate to ask our experts.