Block, formerly known as Square, Confirms Cash App Data Breach

On April 4, 2022, Block, Inc. (the “Company”) announced that it recently determined that a former employee downloaded certain reports of its subsidiary Cash App Investing LLC (“Cash App Investing”) on December 10, 2021 that contained some U.S. customer information. While this employee had regular access to these reports as part of their past job responsibilities, in this instance these reports were accessed without permission after their employment ended.

The information in the reports included full name and brokerage account number (this is the unique identification number associated with a customer’s stock activity on Cash App Investing), and for some customers also included brokerage portfolio value, brokerage portfolio holdings and/or stock trading activity for one trading day.

The reports did not include usernames or passwords, Social Security numbers, date of birth, payment card information, addresses, bank account information, or any other personally identifiable information. They also did not include any security code, access code, or password used to access Cash App accounts. Other Cash App products and features (other than stock activity) and customers outside of the United States were not impacted.

Upon discovery, the Company and its outside counsel launched an investigation with the help of a leading forensics firm. Cash App Investing is contacting approximately 8.2 million current and former customers to provide them with information about this incident and sharing resources with them to answer their questions. The Company is also notifying the applicable regulatory authorities and has notified law enforcement.

The Company takes the security of information belonging to its customers very seriously and continues to review and strengthen administrative and technical safeguards to protect the information of its customers. Future costs associated with this incident are difficult to predict. Although the Company has not yet completed its investigation of the incident, based on its preliminary assessment and on the information currently known, the Company does not currently believe the incident will have a material impact on its business, operations, or financial results.

SEC event filing of Cash App data breachhttps://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/0001512673/000119312522095215/d343042d8k.htm

U.S. data breaches Q3 2021

Identity Theft Resource Center to Share Latest Data Breach Analysis with U.S. Senate Commerce Committee; Number of Data Breaches in 2021 Surpasses all of 2020

The number of data breach victims dramatically increased in Q3 2021 due to a series of data exposures during the quarter 

SAN DIEGO, October 6, 2021 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity crime, released its U.S. data breach findings for the third quarter?(Q3)?of 2021. According to the data breach analysis,?the number of data breaches publicly-reported in the U.S. decreased nine (9) percent in Q3 2021 (446 breaches) compared to Q2 2021 (491 breaches). However, the number of data breaches through September 30, 2021 has exceeded the total number of events in Full-Year (FY) 2020 by 17 percent (1,291 breaches in 2021 compared to 1,108 breaches in 2020). The trendline continues to point to a record-breaking year for data compromises (the all-time high of 1,529 breaches was set in 2017). 

For Q3 2021, the number of data compromise victims (160 million) is higher than Q1 and Q2 2021 combined (121 million). The dramatic rise in victims is primarily due to a series of unsecured cloud databases, not data breaches. Also, the total number of cyberattack-related data compromises year-to-date (YTD) is up 27 percent compared to FY 2020. Phishing and Ransomware continue to be, far and away, the primary attack vectors. 

Download the ITRC’s 2021 Q3 Data Breach Analysis and Key Takeaways 

“While the total number of data breaches dropped slightly in Q3, we are only 238 data breaches away from tying the all-time record for data compromises in a single year,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “It’s also interesting to note that the 1,111 data breaches from cyberattacks so far this year exceeds the total number of data compromises from all causes in 2020. Everyone needs to continue to practice good cyber-hygiene to protect themselves and their loved ones as these crimes continue to increase.” 

Other findings in the analysis include: 

  • There have been no publicly-reported data breaches to date in 2021 attributed to payment card skimming services.  
  • Some organizations and state agencies are not including specifics about data compromises or reporting them on a timely basis. One state has not posted a data breach notice since September 2020. 

Enhancing Data Security – U.S. Senate Committee Hearing – Oct. 6, 2021

The ITRC will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation today to present the findings from our Q3 Data Breach Analysis. Watch the hearing on enhancing data security live at 10 a.m. EST/7 a.m. PST.  ITRC COO, James E. Lee, issued a written statement for the record as part of a hearing with the U.S. Senate Committee. 

For more information about recent data breaches, or?the increase in the number of?data breaches discussed in?the?latest?trend analysis, consumers and businesses should visit the ITRC’s data breach tracking tool,?notified.??? 

Anyone?can receive free support and guidance from a knowledgeable live-advisor by calling 888.400.5530 or visiting ?www.idtheftcenter.org to live-chat.?? 

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC)?is a?national?nonprofit organization established to empower and guide consumers, victims, business and government to minimize risk and mitigate the impact of identity compromise and crime.?Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through?its website?live-chat?idtheftcenter.org?and?toll-free phone number 888.400.5530.?The ITRC also?equips?consumers and businesses?with?information about recent data breaches through its data breach tracking tool,?notified.?The ITRC offers help to specific?populations, including?the?deaf/hard of?hearing and?blind/low?vision?communities.? 

Massive Travel Industry Data Leak

Prestige Software’s main product Cloud Hospitality, the channel management software to the travel industries biggest consumer buying web sites, including Expedia, Hotels.com, and booking.com left data exposed for over 10 million log files, dating all the way back to 2013. At the November 6, 2020 breaking news, it was not yet known whether the data left open on a server was stolen or not. However, we know that criminals run scripts looking for data all the time so it won’t be a surprise if there was a breach.

A channel manager is used to manage bookings across multiple webs sites, including hotels and restaurants. For example with vacancy management, if there is one room left and someone buys it on booking.com, it will show unavailable on hotels.com. With millions of records exposed around the globe, there is sure to be fall out.

Because both personal and credit card data was exposed, I recommend consumers change their travel web site passwords, email passwords, and keep an on on credit card usage or set up alerts.

The data contained full card data and the security code. It’s a PCI Compliance and card network violation to store sensitive cardholder data, therefore, they could lose the ability to store, transmit, and handle all credit card data. While the booking platforms did not expose the data, there is certainly a weakness. For more information from the team that broke the news, see https://www.websiteplanet.com/blog/prestige-soft-breach-report/.

This incident demonstrates your security is only as good as your weakest link. What actions have you taken to remediate deletion of old records both paper and digital? What about your partners? I know of multiple solutions providers that enable merchants to create their own digital credit card authorization forms. This form is then reviewed or downloaded by an employee, with card data key entered then into some other system by the employee. There are so many things wrong with this, including the signature is not even a valid form of defense for card not present. 3-D Secure is the way to go.

  1. If your company uses a 3rd party for billing and or collections, ask questions.
  2. If you’re not using updated tools to keep card numbers out of employee hands, hardware and software, you’re at risk.
  3. Remember, if cardholder data can be decrypted and viewed, you’re at risk.
  4. If you can see the full card number and security code after authorization, that is not compliant.

Contact me for a FREE checkup for common problems IT and security professionals might miss.

If your company has card data that can be retrieved and viewed, you’re at risk too. I fix that.

Christine Speedy, Founder 3D Merchant Services, QIR certified, is a credit card processing expert with specialized expertise in card not present and B2B payment processing technology. Less than 1% of all merchant services sales representatives are QIR certified by the PCI Council. Christine is an authorized independent sales agent for a variety of merchant services and payment technology solutions.

2020 Merchant Credit Card Data Breach List

Updated June 2020, not all inclusive. Is your business safe from a credit card data breach? The list below highlights some credit card data breaches and the primary cause at the time the data breach was announced. While malware reigns as a top cause of payment data breaches, employee theft is still a problem too. To make the list, typically companies are only listed if full card data is stolen.

Restaurants

January 2020- Landry’s owns over 600 popular American restaurants across the U.S., including Del Frisco’s Grill, Joe’s Crab Shack, Bubba Gump, Rainforest Café and more. This is the second data breach since 2016, a result a POS malware. Some waitstaff were accessing an old system with card swipers without end to end encryption. TIP: When updating systems, remove all old terminals from facility; leaving on site commonly leads to reuse. As a consumer, avoid any place that uses card swipers.

Retail & Ecommerce

January 2020: Hanna Andersson– online store malware Magecart in their Salesforce Commerce Cloud (previously known as Demandware). I loved this brand when my kids were growing up. Criminals are hacking into vulnerable e-commerce platforms used by online stores and inject malicious JavaScript-based scripts into checkout pages that collect the customers’ payment info and send it to attacker-controlled remote sites. This is an old problem that updated checkout code prevents.

March 18, 2020: TrueFire online store malware Magecart attack, stolen card numbers for 6 months. Ouch.

June 15, 2020: Claires online store only, Magecard attack. Uses Salesforce Commerce Cloud, previously known as Demandware. This appears to be a new twist on Magecart breach.

Technology

April 22, 2020 Paay, a NY card payments processor startup, left a database containing 2.5 million card transaction records accessible online without a password. The exposed payment transaction belonging to 15 to 20 merchants includes full plaintext credit card number, expiry date and the amount spent.

January 28, 2020 Cornerstone Payment Systems, Christian-friendly company that does “not process credit card transactions for morally objectionable businesses,” left online a database with customer payment transaction data. The database contained 6.7 million records since 2013, and was updating by the day. The database was not protected with a password, allowing anyone to look inside. While there was not full card data taken, I felt notable to list.

April 2020 nCourt runs two payment sites courtpay.org and utilitypay.org using a system called GovPSA. Only hashed data was stolen, but newsworthy because affected data was from a legacy system, which commonly have security issues. The first and last four digits were exposed with other card data from at least three years’ worth of transactions up to and including November 2019.

April 6, 2020: Key Ring, a digital wallet app, left stored customer data of 14 million users accessible in an unsecured database. Users store scans and photos of membership and loyalty cards to a digital folder in their mobile device. The exposed data includes names, full credit card details (including CVV numbers)

North Country Business Products (NCBP), a Minnesota-based provider of point-of-sale (POS) products, initial breach report roughly January 2, 2019 to January 25, though for most, the window is just a day or two. Mostly restaurants and small businesses, usually “level 4” merchants requiring a a PCI Council Qualified Integrators and Resellers for Point of Sale installation. QIRs are integrators and resellers specially trained by PCI Security Standards Council to address critical security controls while installing merchant payment systems. North Country Business Products has a lot of QIR’s. At least 139 impacted restaurants with credit card data breach dates here. NCBP POS systems are installed at over 6,500 locations.

Don’t be the next credit card data breach victim!

Christine Speedy is Qualified Integrator and Reseller certified by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. QIRs are integrators and resellers specially trained by PCI Security Standards Council to address critical security controls while installing merchant payment systems. QIRs reduce merchant risk and mitigate the most common causes of payment data breaches by focusing on critical security controls. Call Christine for technology, merchant services and check processing needs.

GovPayNow.com Data Breach

Government Payment Service Inc., a company used by thousands of U.S. state and local governments to accept online payments, leaked over 14 million customer records, including names, addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits of the payer’s credit card. GovPayNet, doing business online as GovPayNow.com, did not leak any sensitive information, as the leak pertained to just customer credit card payment receipts, which has since been resolved.

For the full story, read it on Krebs Security https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/govpaynow-com-leaks-14m-records/.