It was recently disclosed that Verizon had suffered a data breach affecting anywhere from six to fourteen million of its customers. Included in the compromised information were the names, addresses, email addresses and PINs of Verizon customers who had called Verizon customer support during the past six months.
The data breach occurred when Nice Systems, a third party vendor that handles customer service for Verizon stored the information in a misconfigured cloud storage area that allowed anyone to access it.
The most sensitive of the compromised information are the PINs. Access to a PIN could allow a hacker to gain access to the Verizon customer’s account. Additionally, many people use the same PIN for many accounts, which means that their other accounts are also in jeopardy.
If you called Verizon customer support during the past six months you should immediately change your PIN and if you use the same PIN for other accounts, you should change those PINs, as well. Additionally, if you do use the same PIN for multiple accounts, now would be a good time to make all of your PINs unique.
In addition, you should be wary of emails that appear to come from Verizon asking for personal information or requesting that you click on links because the information compromised in the data breach could be used by a hacker to fashion spear phishing emails that attempt to lure you into providing information or clicking on links that can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft or ransomware extortion.