The Anatomy Of Amazon Data Breach Explained

Posted on by David Lukic in Data Breaches August 05, 2020
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Along with being an online merchant, Amazon also supplies cloud servers to some heavy hitters in the financial, electronics, government, and technical industries. Unfortunately for Amazon, the Capital One data breach in July of 2019, also became an Amazon data breach. Although Amazon has done its best to distance itself from the incident, the perpetrator who hacked the server was a previous Amazon employee, complicating the equation. The Capital One data breach was devastating to 100 million customers whose names, social security numbers, credit scores, and credit card data were stolen. It is understandable why Amazon wouldn’t want any of the responsibility placed at its door. The data breach was blamed on a misconfigured firewall used on the Amazon AWS server. A top cybersecurity privacy officer, Mark McCreary, agrees: “You need to configure the security correctly. Somebody made a mistake. This is not Amazon’s fault.” Amazon maintains that the security of the cloud server remained in-tact while the system built upon it was what was breached. 

Amazon Data Breach of 2019

The Capital One data breach that was linked to Amazon took place in July of 2019. However, The Guardian reported an actual Amazon data breach in November of 2018 when customer’s names and email addresses appeared on the Amazon website by mistake. However, this was later reported by Amazon to be a glitch in the software, not an intrusion by a third-party. The issue was quickly fixed, and Amazon didn’t explain in detail what happened, they simply referred to it as a “technical issue.” It is unclear how many users were affected.

amazon data breach 2019

How to Find Out About Your Amazon Account Data Breach?

Capital One notified all affected parties by email or mail directly after the incident occurred. The perpetrator, Paige A. Thompson, an ex-Amazon employee, was arrested by the FBI. You can visit the page set up by Capital One to check to see if your data was breached or contact them via phone at 1‑833‑727‑1234 for more information. 

Who to Contact and What To Do if Your Info Was Compromised in Amazon Data Breach

Some of the information breached was social security numbers, credit card data, and banking information. So, if you were affected, the first thing to do is close those accounts and re-open new ones or have Capital One issue you new cards and numbers. It’s also a good idea to enable a credit freeze so no one can open up any new accounts in your name. You may want to consider a credit monitoring service like IDStrong.com, as well. Additionally, you should take these steps:

  • Watch out for phishing scams and never click any links within email or download attachments.

  • Scan your computer for viruses and malware.

  • Change all your bank account and credit card logins and use very complex passwords (with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols).

Can My Personal Information From Amazon be Used for Identity Theft?


personal information being used for identity theft

The information breached from the Amazon server in the Capital One incident is very damaging and more than enough for a hacker to use to steal your identity. Sometimes these criminals will use only your name and email and contact you through email pretending to be Amazon or Capital One and hope that you click a link that infects your computer with malware so they can steal even more information or take control of your computer. Sometimes they demand that you click a link to go to a spoofed website where you enter your login or other details to “validate your account,” and then that information is in the hands of the cybercriminals. 

How to Prevent Data Breach

Although there isn’t anything we can do to protect all the websites and companies where our personal information resides, there are some tips we can take to keep our private information private and our stuff safe. Also, using identity theft protection service will be very helpful. 

  • Never give out your personal details unless you initiate the call or action.

  • Always keep your computer antivirus updated and run deep scans often.

  • If after this Amazon data breach, you received any suspicious sounding email from Capital One forward them to abuse@capitalone.com

  • Consider freezing your credit to prevent any new accounts from being opened in your name.

  • Routinely monitor your credit reports, bank, and credit card statements.

  • Be on the lookout for phishing scams and use common sense when opening emails. 

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