Data breach in Robinhood affects seven million users

Trading app Robinhood this week admitted it was hit by a ransomware attack, which exposed the details of millions of users.

In a statement on the company’s website, it said that the data breach was caused by a ransomware attack and that it is currently following advice from law enforcement.

Ransomware attacks have become more common in recent years, with everyone from schools come big corporation violated.

Robinhood Ransomware Attack Details

In one statement posted on Robinhood’s site, the company claims that it experienced a security incident on November 3, when a third party was able to access the data records of their customers.

According to Robinhood, the attack was carried out by a third-party ‘engineering to socialize a customer support agent over the phone’ and gain access to customer support systems.

In its statement, Robinhood was quick to point out that no financial data, including bank account or debit card numbers, had been obtained. It also claims that no social security numbers have been compromised and therefore no financial loss to customers.

However, it did confirm that an email list of five million users had been obtained, as well as the full names of two million more. While this is not as serious as financial theft, scammers can still use these details to create convincing scams.

In addition, the other 310 users were collected more rich information, including address details and date of birth. Robinhood is approaching these people individually.

Robinhood refuses to comply with Ransomware demands

After the attack, Robinhood received a request for payment for the return of the data. This is how ransomware hackers work, and it can be a lucrative one, with many companies transferring payments (often in the form of untraceable cryptocurrency), rather than risk exposure. sensitive business or customer data.

However, in the case of Robinhood, it seems to refuse to respond to requests, instead reaching out to security and law enforcement experts.

“After we stopped the intrusion, the unauthorized party requested a ransom payment. We have promptly notified law enforcement and are continuing to investigate the incident with the help of Mandiant, a leading outside security company.” – statement of Robinhood

Should Companies Pay for Ransomware Needs?

We’ve seen many prominent cases over the past year where ransomware disrupted a company, forced them to go offline, and caused massive damage to their day-to-day operations and data security. If you’re using the company’s shoes, you might want to throw a few million at the problem to make it go away, but should you?

That’s a resounding zero, according to the US Treasury Department. There are several reasons for this advice, including that paying may simply reinforce to hackers that these attacks work. There’s also no guarantee that paying will get you back your data or stop asking for more.

A more sinister element at play is that paying after a ransomware attack could accidentally put your company in hot water under the ‘Trading with the Enemy Act’. Since many of these attacks come from abroad, from countries sanctioned by the US, dealing with them could end up with fines from the US government.

So the advice is though What does your accountant tell you?, you should not pay for a ransomware attack.

How to Avoid a Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attack is a pretty far-fetched concept – there’s no such thing as a traditional method that hackers like to use to get into systems. They will, and do, try anything to get in. In the case of the Robinhood hack, it looks like the route started with a phone call, with access to customer service platforms increasing from there. In this case, due diligence and processes are needed to prevent the attack, not specialized security software.

There are ways to catch ransomware early, before it can enter your system. Tools like anti virus software can be a tool to catch threats from unsecured devices or emails and isolate them. When the ransomware gets into the system, it’s too late, so getting them early is key.

Employee training and clear security procedures are also important. Security permissions for the database and platform should be reviewed regularly, only those who really need access can do so.

Vigilance around access details is also important, with previously breached data a potential avenue for scammers. You should check your current login information on a website like to ensure that email addresses and passwords are not accessible to everyone. Good password manager can also help reduce risk, with some even alerting users when their details are breached. Data breach in Robinhood affects seven million users

Caroline Bleakley

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