14.7 Million Homeowners Exposed in Nationstar Mortgage/Mr. Cooper Event
Table of Contents
- By Steven
- Dec 19, 2023
We reported on Mr. Cooper—one of the nation’s largest mortgage providers—a month ago. Mr. Cooper was featured as they dealt with the throws of a cybersecurity event. The attack disrupted their networks and caused homeowners to avoid payment dues temporarily. Back then, the consequences of the attack were unclear. Subsequently, the public was left to speculate about the event’s impact. Preliminary investigations have concluded, and the impact figure is massive.
How Did the Attack Occur?
Upon our initial reporting of the cyber event, the public knew little about what was happening; the then-still-active attack mainly caused this. The incident notice published by Mr. Cooper stated that an unauthorized third party caused the event. The assailants purportedly gained access to particular systems, and Mr. Cooper responded by downing their entire network. Mr. Cooper’s incident notice has since been removed from the web and replaced by a new notice. The new notice offers no details about how the assailants made the event possible. In conjunction, the public consumer notices offer no new details either.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
According to the public consumer notice on the Maine Attorney General’s website, the assailants exposed consumers’ personal information. Presumably, the stolen information comes from homeowners and loan borrowers, although the nuances differ between individuals. The notice lists names, residential addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, Social Security Numbers, and bank account numbers as potentially exposed.
Additionally, the information stolen in this event is not only from Mr. Cooper. The data also comes from borrowers whom Mr. Cooper’s partners serviced. Those organizations impacted include Nationstar Mortgage, Centex Home Equity, RightPath Servicing, Rushmore Servicing, Greenlight Financial Services, and Champion Mortgage. Consequently, all individuals with accounts or relationships with these organizations must undertake data defenses.
How Did Nationstar Mortgage & Mr. Cooper Admit to the Breach?
The cyberattack happened around October 30th and lasted until November 1st; on October 31st, Mr. Cooper purportedly noticed suspicious activity and, after consulting experts, downed their entire network. Presumably, the isolation stopped the attack; however, not before the criminals purloined millions of borrower records. Mr. Cooper has worked to identify those impacted and notify the appropriate parties in the following month.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
There are no public details about the attackers or their motivations; consequently, borrowers may wonder what may become of their data. Homeowners could be at risk for identity and financial fraud or impersonation based on the stolen data. The assailants could sell their data on the dark web for money or use it in training complex AI for future cyberattacks. No matter what the assailant has planned for the 14,690,284 stolen records—borrowers can still defend themselves.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
An impact figure of 14.7 million is significant, especially in cybersecurity contexts. The figure may indicate their current or former borrowers or a mixture; the individuals’ only similarity is that they were unlucky enough to have information stored within the breached network. They can still act before their data is misused, however. They should start by generating new passwords and updating their contact information, whatever details the owner can change should be. There are monitoring services for the less easily changed data; these will notify the data owners when suspicious activity occurs within their accounts. Now that the data is “out there,” there’s no securing it—but the public can prepare and mitigate the consequences.