Feeds

Insurance giant coughs to malware-related data breach

This is not business as usual

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The US arm of insurance giant Aviva has blamed a computer virus infection for the potential disclosure of sensitive personal information.

Aviva (Norwich Union, before a recent rebranding) admitted the breach in a letter to the Attorney General of New Hampshire, one of several states that maintain strict information security breach disclosure laws.

Data potentially leaked included names, addresses and social security numbers. Approximately 550 records were involved.

Aviva said it had removed the affected hardware from service. Workers whose login details were potentially disclosed by the breach have been issued with new credentials.

The insurance firm is in the process of writing to individuals potentially affected by the security snafu. The firm is offering a year's free identity protection at no cost as a means of protecting its clients from potential harm.

Copies of Aviva's letter explain that the incident occurred while "our company was conducting online research to locate the most current address information for policyholders or beneficiaries whose correspondence had been returned as undeliverable".

From that, and the fact the new employee login passwords had to be issued, it's possible to speculate that the machine used to carry out the searches was infected by a password stealing Trojan of some sort.

Aviva has pledged to improve its security to prevent a repetition of the potentially embarrassing, though all too commonplace, data security cock-up. At least in this case only a small number of data records were involved and there's no evidence that this has led onto incidents of actual fraud, always the main worry in cases where sensitive personal information spills out into public. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.