Just days before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the unofficial kickoff of the Holiday shopping season in the United States, online retail giant Amazon is tight-lipped about what appears to be a massive data breach involving consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom and across Europe.
The stock price of the company has already been downgraded by Wall Street analysts so it’s possible that more detailed bad news will follow. Right now, little is known about the widespread data breach of its customers. Amazon sent a surprisingly vague email to customers around the world including the US, the UK and Europe on Tuesday.
Recipients of the email say that it states the following:
We’re contacting you to let you know that our website inadvertently disclosed your email address due to a technical error. The issue has been fixed. This is not a result of anything you have done, and there is no need for you to change your password or take any other action.”
The email provides few details and some unexpected formatting. Some wonder if it is legitimate but Amazon has not responded that it is not and right now, it appears to be from Amazon. It’s also possible that it is related to a recently exposed criminal sale of Amazon customer email addresses. This latest news comes just a month after Amazon announced that it had fired an employee for sharing customer emails in return for bribes according to the Wall Street Journal. According to sources, the rogue employees were not only selling customer data but providing unscrupulous merchants with internal data on how to hack product reviews and take other steps to increase their product sales on Amazon.
So far, the number of people affected is unknown. It’s also not clear if the exposed data is limited to names and email addresses. This may seem less serious than a social security number and birthdate exposure but it is still dangerous when used by perpetrators of phishing emails and other social engineering scams. We will continue to track this story as it develops.
At MyProfyle, we believe this threat is further proof that everyone’s information is at risk from many different sources and that we are all exposed multiple times per year. The solution to identity fraud is not to try to lock your identity or seek unobtainable privacy but to control your identity – not just your credit – by putting yourself in the position know of, approve or decline activity conducted in your name. That’s MyProfyle Free For Life ™ Identity Protection.