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Largest internet security breach in U.S. history?

The Guardian has reported that millions of customers’ details have been stolen as a result of an email hack. Customers of Barclaycard US, Capital One and other companies are said to be affected, after an attack on marketing email provider Epsilon – which is said to be one of the largest internet security breaches in US history.

Customers have been warned to expect fraudulent emails to be send to them, attempting to obtain further login details. It is not thought that passwords or credit card details have been exposed, and the Guardian has learned from Barclaycard US that the company will continue working with Epsilon, despite the breach.

Although thought unlikely, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is carrying out enquiries to check if any British customers have been affected.

Epsilon provides online marketing services for over 2000 companies. On Friday of last week, is added a statement to its website stating that its systems had been “exposed by an unauthorised entry”. It is not yet known who perpetrated the attack, which US law enforcement agencies have begun investigating.

“The information that was obtained was limited to email addresses and/or customer names only,” Epsilon said in its statement. “A rigorous assessment determined that no other personal identifiable information associated with those names was at risk. A full investigation is currently underway.”

“Losing your email address via a service to which you already belong makes it much easier for scammers to hit you with emails which match your existing interests, at least loosely,” said Paul Ducklin of internet security firm Sophos. “That, in turn, can make their fraudulent correspondence seem more believable.”

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