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Epsilon breach exposes TiVo, Best Buy email addresses, spambots stir into action

Vlad Savov
04.03.11
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If you're subscribed to any of TiVo's email-based communiqués, now would be a good time to make sure your spam filters are up to scratch. Epsilon, TiVo's email service provider, has reported the discovery of a security breach that has compromised the privacy of some customers' names and / or email addresses. A rigorous investigation has concluded that no other personal data was exposed, however it's not just TiVo that's affected -- other big names, such as JPMorgan Chase, Citi, US Bank, Kroger, and Walgreens have also seen their users' deets dished out to the unidentified intruder. As we say, no credit card numbers or any other truly sensitive data has escaped, so the only thing you really have to fear is fear itself... and an onslaught of spam.

Update: Best Buy and the US College Board have also joined the extremely broad list of affected organizations now, judging by the warning emails they've been sending off to our readers. Valued Best Buy customers should expect an email similar to the scawl posted after the break.

Update 2: You can also count Chase Bank customers among those also affected -- not their bank accounts, mind, but their e-mail addresses.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]


Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,

On March 31, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some Best Buy customers were accessed without authorization.

We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that may have been obtained was your email address and that the accessed files did not include any other information. A rigorous assessment by Epsilon determined that no other information is at risk. We are actively investigating to confirm this.

For your security, however, we wanted to call this matter to your attention. We ask that you remain alert to any unusual or suspicious emails. As our experts at Geek Squad would tell you, be very cautious when opening links or attachments from unknown senders.

In keeping with best industry security practices, Best Buy will never ask you to provide or confirm any information, including credit card numbers, unless you are on our secure e-commerce site, www.bestbuy.com. If you receive an email asking for personal information, delete it. It did not come from Best Buy.

Our service provider has reported this incident to the appropriate authorities.

We regret this has taken place and for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information. For more information on keeping your data safe, please visit:
http://www.geeksquad.com/do-it-yourself/tech-tip/six-steps-to-keeping-your-data-safe.aspx.

Sincerely,

Barry Judge
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Best Buy

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