Capital One Fined $80 Million for 2019 Data Breach Affecting 106 Million Users

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A United States regulator has fined the credit card provider Capital One Financial Corp with $80 million over last year’s data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 100 million credit card applicants of Americans.

The fine was imposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury that governs the execution of laws relating to national banks.

According to a press release published by the OCC on Thursday, Capital One failed to establish appropriate risk management before migrating its IT operations to a public cloud-based service, which included appropriate design and implementation of certain network security controls, adequate data loss prevention controls, and effective dispositioning of alerts.

cybersecurity

The OCC also said that the credit card provider also left numerous weaknesses in its cloud-based data storage in an internal audit in 2015 as well as failed to patch security vulnerabilities, violating the “Interagency Guidelines Establishing Information Security Standards,” that all US banks must comply with.

These unsafe and poor security practices resulted in a massive data breach last year when a single hacker was able to steal credit card information of over 106 million Capital One customers.

Capital One Hacker

Besides credit card information, the hacker also managed to steal approx 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers linked to US customers, and 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers.
The hacker, identified as former Amazon web services employee Paige Thompson a.k.a erratic, 33, was arrested following the breach and charged with computer fraud and abuse, which carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The breach occurred after Thompson allegedly exploited a misconfigured firewall on Capital One’s Amazon Web Services cloud server in March and unauthorizedly stole more than 700 folders of data stored on that server.

In addition to the civil money penalty of 80 million dollars, the OCC also ordered Capital One Finance to enhance its cybersecurity security defenses and submit a plan to the OCC within 90 days outlining how it intends to do so.

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