Over 8 million customers affected by security breach in cash investing apps

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Cash App Investing’s parent company, Block, revealed this month that a former employee was involved in a data breach. Information from more than 8 million US users has been uploaded and the company says it is reaching out to those affected. According to a filing with the SEC, the breach took place on December 10, 2021.

What happened?

Block says the data stolen included full names and brokerage account numbers (internal Cash App ID numbers). In some cases, the former employee accessed people’s trading activity for the day and the value of the portfolio. The breach did not include any username, password, social security number, date of birth, payment information, addresses, or bank account information. Nevertheless, impacted users will have to be vigilant.

Cash App Investing informed law enforcement and brought in a forensics firm to thoroughly investigate the situation. The company says the incident did not affect customers outside the United States and the leaked data did not contain security codes or passwords.

How to protect against hackers

Cash App is not the only crypto brokerage or exchange to be affected by security breaches. Over the past year, criminals have accessed the data (and in some cases the assets) of Robinhood, Coinbase, and Crypto.com users. This is why many crypto investors choose to hold their assets in a crypto wallet that they control rather than in a centralized platform.

If you believe your data has been hacked, the first step to take is to notify the company and, if necessary, freeze your account. Here are some additional steps you can take.

  • Change your password. The Cash app leak did not include password information. Nevertheless, it is recommended to change the passwords of your accounts regularly, especially if there is a risk of data leakage.
  • Update your two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA creates an additional layer of security, like a number generated by an app on your phone. If your account has been compromised, it may be a good idea to reset your 2FA.
  • Be alert to phishing scams. Phishers pretend to be legitimate companies in an attempt to trick you into your data. If criminals have some of your personal data, they could use it to send you a fake message in an attempt to get more. The message can, for example, pretend to come from Cash App’s security team or send you to an imitation website.
  • Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. Viruses and malware are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep your protections up to date. This way, you are more likely to be protected against any emerging threats.

Even if you don’t think your data has been compromised, it’s important to be vigilant and maintain good security habits. Don’t reuse passwords across different accounts, and be sure to choose hard-to-guess codes that use a mix of characters, symbols, and numbers.

Phishing scams are increasingly common, so be wary of emails or text messages, even if they appear to come from legitimate sources. Rather than clicking on links in messages, use bookmarks on your computer. This way you are less likely to enter data on a fake website. Watch out for telltale signs such as a poorly colored logo or URL with the wrong character.

At the end of the line

Security breaches are increasingly common and can be extremely upsetting for victims. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to completely protect yourself from cybercriminals. However, the steps above will make it more difficult to access your information and funds.

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