Robinhood suffers data breach that exposes user mail ids and names

Karthik Subramanian

Robinhood, one of the most used stock trading apps in the US, has announced that it has suffered a data breach which has led to the compromising of some information of millions of its users as it works to contain the breach.

The breach is reported to have happened on Nov 3 when a hacker called up the customer support of the app and led them to believe that the call was from one of its partners. This led to the executive handing over the customer support system access to the hacker who then proceeded to steal the email ids of around 5 million users as well as the names of 2 million users. The hacker also got hold of the names, date of birth, and zip codes of 310 users before the breach was detected and the company has since proceeded to block the same. This type of hacking is called social engineering where an employee is ‘engineered’ to reveal confidential information by a hacker without them realizing it.

The company reported that the hacker then proceeded to demand payment from the platform for not misusing the data and so the company decided to go to the police and also to make its users aware of the breach instead of making payments to the hacker.

“We owe it to our customers to be transparent and act with integrity,” Robinhood’s Chief Security Officer Caleb Sima said. “Following a diligent review, putting the entire Robinhood community on notice of this incident now is the right thing to do.”

The company also reported that no social security numbers or phone numbers were leaked and also assured that no client suffered any kind of financial loss but the fact that this happened in such a large platform says that the users, as well as the business, needs to be very careful about the data that is being stored at their end. There are thousands of ways where data can be stolen and with the whole world moving towards being digital, it increases the threat of cyber hacks even more in the coming years and it is important that companies and their employees be sensitized about the same. The dangers and the risks need to be handled appropriately so that the users can trade with the platform in an assured manner.

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