Many of the largest, high-profile data breaches that have occurred over the past two decades have compromised the information of individuals that might potentially lead to credit fraud or identity theft, but when Adobe experienced a massive hack in 2013, credit and debit card numbers were among the data acquired. This put Adobe customers at a particularly high risk for theft and fraud, and it was only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to about 3.1 million credit and debit card numbers, the attack compromised tens of millions of user accounts across a wide range of the company’s platforms, including the Photoshop family of products. Read on to learn more about what happened and the impact that it had on the software giant.
Encrypted credit card information stolen
The data breach was first announced on October 3, 2013, though it occurred in mid-September. In the announcement it was made clear that about 3 million encrypted customer credit card records were stolen as well as an unknown number of user accounts’ login data. The information was gathered through a source code link that allowed hackers to access and upload data through their own servers.
Widespread compromised customer login data
Because many directories of customer data were password protected on the hackers’ server, it was initially unclear just how many accounts were affected by the breach. However, the number became evident when a file was uploaded onto AnonNews.org that included about 150 million username and password pairs. After further analysis, it was determined that nearly 40 million of these were active user accounts and the remainder was invalid or inactive account data.
Data breach fallout
To attempt to mend customer relationships and protect users’ credit data, Adobe offered free use of credit monitoring services from Experian, which had recently experienced its own breach after being tricked into selling consumer records to an online identity theft service.
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