BMO Bank Loses Customer Data in Recent Data Breach Attack
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- By Steven
- Sep 28, 2023
BMO Bank is the 8th largest bank in the United States, employing over 12,000 individuals. The bank manages more than $3 Billion in annual reserves and works with a huge number of customers as it has over 1,000 physical locations across the country. BMO Bank is based in Chicago, Illinois, but has locations throughout the country. If you bank with BMO, your data may be at risk, because the organization was recently hacked and lost a significant amount of customer data.
How Did the Attack Occur?
We don't have any specific details other than the little information included in the report to the Texas Attorney General, so we don't know the exact means the hacker used to gain access to the Bank's data. We suspect a phishing attack unveiled useful data or the bank's file systems had a security vulnerability.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
The information lost varies for each individual involved, but if your data was involved in the BMO Bank breach, you could lose your Social Security number, birth date, full name, and home address. Any of that data could have been shared with the hacker and could be misused.
How Did BMO Bank Admit to the Breach?
The staff at BMO Bank filed a report with the Texas Attorney General's office. That report explains the basic details of the breach but doesn't go into specifics of what occurred and how the breach was possible. No company announcements have been put out about the breach yet, but individual notices should be sent out explaining the details to everyone impacted.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
Since we don't know any information about the hackers that accessed the information from BMO Bank, we cannot say how the stolen data will be used. We expect it will be leveraged for phishing attacks and for identity theft attacks. The hacker may also attempt to extort a ransom payment to have the information returned or may try and resell the data to an interested buyer. Either way, your data is at risk, and the breach could negatively impact you if you don't react fast enough to protect yourself.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
If you learn your data was stolen in this breach, you should immediately guard yourself. Begin by checking your credit for unexpected changes. Once you're through doing that, move on to investing in a credit monitoring service if you can. You may also want to consider putting a freeze on your credit to stop the hacker from utilizing your Social Security number in an unwanted way. If you react to the breach by taking some of these actions, you can prevent most unwanted attacks from occurring. If the attacker attempts to gather extra data via phishing, you must be careful to avoid giving them any of your personal information. To keep from sharing personal information with the attacker, you should avoid giving away any personal data over email or via text message if you don't know and trust the individual.