Nationwide Mutual hack affected '1.1 million Americans'

Summary:A data breach at Nationwide Mutual Insurance affected over a million U.S. citizens, according to new data.

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A Nationwide Mutual Insurance data breach that took place on October 3 apparently affected over a million Americans.

The company reported to the North Carolina Attorney General that 1.1 million American customers may have been affected by the data breach, conducted by an unknown party and potentially from overseas.

A portion of the network used by Nationwide Insurance and Allied Insurance was the hacker's target, which means that not only Nationwide customers were placed at risk, but customers that used third parties to request insurance quotes may also have had their data stolen.

Attorney General Tom Miller has cautioned the Ohio-based firm's customers, saying that: "This hacking case affects a large number of people, including Nationwide customers and non-customers alike."

Once the security breach was discovered, Nationwide Mutual Insurance informed the FBI, and immediately made the situation public. Nationwide verified the identities of individuals whose data may have been compromised on November 2, and has begun sending out notices to these customers.

The firm has attempted to reassure customers with a prepared statement on its website, saying that it was "very sorry," but remained unaware "of any misuse of consumers' information at this time."

The company's analysis of the hack resulted in discovering that customers' "name, Social Security number, driver's license number and/or date of birth and possibly marital status, gender, and occupation, and the name and address of their employer" were vulnerable and potentially stolen. The insurance firm claims that there is no evidence that credit card account information was compromised.

To try and improve security for the company's customers, Nationwide Mutual Insurance is offering credit card monitoring and identity theft protection products for free.

Topics: Security

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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