Hackers attack Citi, access data of over 200,000 bank accounts

Summary:Citi is the latest corporation to end up on the list of big companies hacked so far this year. The bandits were able to access sensitive data belonging to over 200,000 bank card accounts in North America.

Citigroup is the latest corporation to end up on the list of big companies hacked so far this year. The bandits were able to access sensitive data belonging to over 200,000 bank card accounts in North America.

This incident is just another in a long string of highly-publicized hacking attempts this year, including attacks on Sony's PlayStation Network, Gmail accounts in China and, most recently, Nintendo.

The Financial Times reports that the breach was actually discovered a little over a month ago in early May, but it has only become public knowledge now.

However, it might not be as bad as it might seem just yet. First, the amount of customers affected is only one percent of Citigroup in North America. Sure, that's a considerable amount of people, and it would be unfortunate to end up in that group. But this isn't exactly on the same scale as the attack on the PlayStation Network in April. That was worldwide, affected millions and more sensitive information was at risk.

Citi affirmed that the only types of information that leaked were customer names, account numbers, contact info and email addresses. Citi added that social security numbers, birth dates, card expiration dates and card security codes were not at risk...at least not yet.

Citi spokesman Sean Kevelighan told Reuters in an email:

We are contacting customers whose information was impacted. Citi has implemented enhanced procedures to prevent a recurrence of this type of event...

For the security of these customers, we are not disclosing further details.

It's understandable that Citi wants to protect its customers (even though there was obviously a loophole somewhere), but many more questions that should be addressed remain unanswered - especially as to how this all happened.

Surely if you're a Citigroup member whose information was at risk in this incident, Citi reps will call you with instructions, but it's always a good idea to be proactive and take steps to protect your identity at all times.

Related coverage on ZDNet:

Topics: Banking, Security

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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