Cap 1 Data Leak and Equifax’s Solution
Capital One Leaked Your Data and Equifax Has a Fix
Gosh, I slacked off on July posts. Fear not, the credit world provided nothing short of excitement since the last update and the sarcasm will flow free.
The Capital One Leak Details
Another week, another data leak. Capital One was the lucky winner this time to have its woefully inadequate data security breached by a hacker. But wait, TDWise, you are a military travel hacking blog, not a cyber security blog, how do you know that Cap 1’s data security was woefully inadequate? Oh, I’m glad you asked, reader. I say Cap 1 had woefully inadequate data security because the hacker, in a world of being able to cover your online footprints with ease, decided to deposit his newly acquired hoard of Cap 1 data for 100 Million Americans onto his public GitHub; a move that would subsequently lead to his arrest by the FBI. If that guy, a guy who couldn’t foresee his own arrest for cyber crimes after handing the FBI all the evidence (or, perhaps, neglected to check if he was logged into the public or private GitHub before his 100 Million American strong Cap 1 financial data dump) was able to penetrate Cap 1’s data security measures, then those measures were woefully inadequate.
So what data of yours did you give to Cap 1 that Cap 1 gave to a hacker that said hacker gave to the publicly accessible internet? Nothing of real consequence. If you had a business account with Cap 1 and used your social as your tax ID, that’s probably out there. All that data of yours that’s already on the internet for anyone willing to pay those annoying background check sites also went out (name, address, phone, email, DOB, and whatever stated income you lied to Cap 1 about getting), and some credit report info. So now what?
Should You Care?
Luckily, Equifax already lost your data and is still offering free credit monitoring for half of America, so there’s that (more on this below). But really, there’s nothing much to do. Enter: the TDWise opinion on data leaks. See, personal info leaks ALL THE TIME. It leaks in various batch sizes with 6-9 digits of affected people. It leaks from the government to China (thanks Office of Personnel Management) with far more thorough personal information, it leaks from credit reporting agencies, it leaks from banks a plenty, and it will continue to leak until companies you trust with personal information take their data security more seriously than a guy who practically asked the FBI for a felony conviction. So basically, all of our sensitive details are already in a dark web database somewhere waiting for the highest bidder in a game where everyone is the highest bidder. What we can take solace in is the sheer volume of data our data lives among. It takes some serious time to compile the needed details and use them in an identity stealing fashion. This inherent time stall then puts lottery winning odds to YOUR data being used in such a fashion. Will it happen eventually? Sure. Will that data be valid by the time it happens? Odds are slim.
There are really only two things that I do in preparation for the inevitable day one of our 48 and growing credit cards gets used by a Nigerian prince for mail-order Wal-Mart essentials. The first is using credit cards exclusively. All of them have zero fraud liability. Unauthorized charge pop up? Call it in and that charge goes away. Try that with debit or cash, Dave Ramsey. The other is having some sort of identity theft monitoring and since every data leak usually comes with complimentary monitoring, I now have about 5-6 emails pop in every time I change something on my credit report. It’s a fun race to see who is the fastest responder.
The Nicely Timed Equifax Solution
Speaking of complementary data monitoring, your Equifax financial data may not be worth $125 after all. The FTC has been forthcoming on the cash management of the settlement. Apparently, the money pot earmarked for the $125 payout is only $31 Million and the $125 thing was based on a mere 248,000 people requesting the cash. How anyone thought only 248,000 fine Americans would take the money and run in lieu of the 7th email to tell me my credit report has changed just goes to show how incredibly detached lawyers are from the internet. That said, I would be surprised if we all saw a cool $3 for our released data. It might be worth it to snag their monitoring offer as it comes with $1 Million of identity theft insurance that works for this Capital One leak too. Fear not, at least one of us is getting $20 Million for their duress during this endeavor. Some may get all hung up on the details of it being the Equifax CEO before being let go of his CEO-ness for losing all your data, but I’m sure he lost $20 Million in sleep over it.