Millions brace themselves for spam attack after database hacked

4 April 2011

barclaycardBarclaycard, Citigroup and an arm of Amazon are among the companies who have been affected by a security breach at Epsilon, an online marketing firm based in Texas. Hackers have managed to get their hands on the juicy information contained with their databases.

Epsilon said the hackers broke in on 30 March: “An incident was detected where a subset of Epsilon clients' customer data were exposed by an unauthorized entry into Epsilon's email system.”

Only email addresses and some names had been exposed, so rather than worrying about your bank details being in the wild, it is more likely you'll be getting inundated with spam.

That said, it is one of the biggest cases of data theft in history. Capital One customers, as well as the Marriot International hotel group and US supermarket chain Kroger, could come under a more serious attack from spammers and phishing attacks.

Several avid Bitterwallet readers have received emails from US brands, which may also have been involved; Benefit Cosmetics sent reader Kiara a warning saying "a former email vendor that the database with our customers' names and email addresses has been compromised by an unauthorised person".

Meanwhile reader Chris received an email from TiVo that stated his email address was exposed due to unauthorized access of a third party service provider - even though Chris has never had any contact with or passed his details onto TiVo.

Stay vigilant readers.


  • me
    I received 14 of the same spam in one day in my e-mail which rarely I get any spam at all. :( bastards!
  • And B.
    [...] we reported on the massive security breach at Epsilon, an online marketing firm, that affected some of the world’s biggest brands. But [...]
  • amanda
    Did the hackers post the addresses online, or use it for their own nefarious purposes?

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