Data Breaches

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04 February, 2021
3 Minutes

Data leak exposes millions of bank loan and mortgage documents


Steve Symanovich

Staff writer

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If you’ve taken out a loan or mortgage from one of several major banks in the past decade, your personal financial information, including Social Security number, may have been exposed.

An independent security researcher found millions of financial and banking documents, representing thousands of loans and mortgages, dating back to 2008 leaking from a server without a password, according to an article published by TechCrunch. The database — reportedly exposed for two weeks — was shut down January 15.

What data was potentially exposed? Here’s a sample:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Birth dates
  • Bank and checking account numbers
  • W2 forms
  • Social Security numbers and other financial information.

What are the risks?

If your loan information was accessed, you could face risks. Cybercriminals can use exposed data to commit identity theft and financial fraud, for example. The information can be sold on the dark web and can be used to commit cybercrimes either immediately or years later.

This recent data leak — which has been traced to a company that stores financial data for major financial service companies — underscores two points.

  1. When you share sensitive financial information with anyone, you can’t always be sure it will be stored securely and protected against a data leak or breach.
  2. It’s smart to consider a Cyber Safety solution like Norton 360 with LifeLock, which can help protect your devices, online privacy, and identity.

Was my mortgage and loan data part of the leak?

Tens of thousands of people may have had their data exposed, according to TechCrunch. How likely is it that your loan was included in the data?

Statistically, small. For instance, more than 600,000 mortgages originated in the first half of 2018 alone, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Even so, it’s a good idea to practice good Cyber Safety habits. Norton 360 with LifeLock helps protect against cyberthreats like viruses and malware. And if you’re a victim of identity theft, LifeLock can help you restore your good name.

Data leaks may be out of your control, but having Cyber Safety protection can help protect your devices, online privacy, and identity against cyberthreats.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

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