eLearnSecurity Blog

What to Do When Your Data is Compromised

The U.S. Postal Service was attacked by hackers and about 800,000 employee details were breached. Also, customers who made transactions with U.S.P.S. Customer Care from January 1 to August 16 are likely to have their data exposed. CNN reports that data of 2.9 million postal service customers were compromised and information at risk include names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, dates of employment, addresses, etc.

David Partenheimer, Media Relations Manager of U.S.P.S., issued a statement that there was no evidence of compromise when it comes to credit card details.

“Although data as credentials and credit cards have not been stolen, personal details represent important sensitive data and could be used to carry out a wide range of crimes, which are often connected to Identify Theft or Identity Fraud” , eLearnSecurity CTO, Domenico Quaranta says.

“Crimes occur when someone obtains and uses another person’s personal data with the goal of conducting fraud. If the hacker knows enough details, he could use them to conduct very unpleasant actions: examples are to activate telephone calling cards or to create applications for loans.”

Hackers can also send phishing emails. These are messages that pretend to come from a reliable source and will try to ask for sensitive information such as usernames, credit card details, passwords etc. These emails will lure you to provide more data and if some of your details have been compromised the same way as the USPS employees, then they already have an advantage.

Tips for Victims of Cyber Security Breach

For victims of cyber breach, always be vigilant of any fraudulent transactions. Alert your banks so your banks will already be notified about the data compromise. If you find out in the future that you’ve become a victim of some serious identity fraud, report it to your company management for further investigation.

Check your emails and do not give out any sensitive information. Normally, companies will have procedures when data breaches occur so follow those guidelines to protect your details.

Investigation is still ongoing and the U.S. Postal Service team are providing their employees credit monitoring services for one year at no charge.

Companies can prevent these attacks by creating security awareness training to its employees, educating IT staff to be skilled in different areas of security, and having penetration tests as part of the development cycle.

Increasing Company Breaches

Attacks from retail outlets such as Target, Supervalu, and Home Depot this year have bigger impacts with tens of millions of customers affected; most especially when these include credit card details. This U.S. Postal Service breach reinforces the importance of having a secure network system and regular check-ups to test the system’s performance.


Domenico has joined eLearnSecurity since day 0 and serves as CTO and Tech lead of all the R&D projects. He has authored all the new materials appearing in WAPT course and over 30 new labs in the Coliseum.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/domequaranta
Linkedin: http://it.linkedin.com/in/quarantadomenico


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