Paige Thompson, Capital One hacker compromised privacy of over 100 million U.S. citizens

It would appear that Paige Thompson wanted to get caught: she posted extract of the data that she hacked on GitHub, a publicly available coding platform.

In a significant development, Capital One Financial Corp disclosed that a hacker, who has been arrested, had managed to obtain the personal information, including names and addresses, of around 100 million individuals in the United States and 6 million individuals in Canada.

The suspect, a software engineer identified as Paige Thompson, 33, made her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday.

According to a complaint filed in the District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, Thompson posted information from her hack, which occurred between March 12 and July 17, on GitHub, a coding platform. A user saw the post and notified Capital One of the breach.

It is not immediately clear what the suspect’s motive was.

In a statement, Capital One said the hack is expected to cost between $100 million and $150 million in 2019.

Although the hacker did not gain access to credit card account numbers, she did however gain access to around 140,000 Social Security numbers as well as 80,000 linked bank account numbers. Other personal information that was accessed includes phone numbers and credit scores.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office, the hacker was able to gain access to the data thanks to a mis-configured web application firewall.

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