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Friday, August 12, 2022

A Verizon employee database was stolen by a hacker, now held for ransom

Verizon is dealing with an incident where a hacker captured a database containing company employee data, including workers’ full names as well as their ID numbers, email addresses and phone numbers. Motherboard reported that the database is legit, as the anonymous hacker contacted them last week, and they were able to verify the data by calling some of the numbers.

“These employees are idiots,” the hacker said Motherboard per cat. The hacker is asking for $250,000 in exchange for not disclosing the database and said he is in contact with Verizon.

Verizon spokesperson contacted Motherboard confirming the incident, saying, “A fraudster contacted us recently threatening to release readily available employee directory information in exchange for payment from Verizon. We do not believe the fraudster has any sensitive information and we do not plan to engage further with them. As always, we take Verizon’s data security very seriously and have strong measures in place to protect our people and systems.

The hacker claims to have socially engineered the database to log into a Verizon employee’s computer remotely. The hacker’s account, in an email sent to Viceis that they posed as internal support, coerced the Verizon employee into allowing remote access, then ran a script that copied data from the computer.

Information that has been stolen could still be harmful. If you’ve ever had to get support from a carrier over the phone, you may have had to deal with the various services that take care of your SIM card activation. If a would-be hacker impersonates an employee and spoofs their phone number in the database, they could continue to use social engineering for SIM card swapping fraud. The technique has been used frequently over the years, as attackers have manipulated accounts through carriers such as T-Mobile and AT&T to steal cryptocurrency or access social media accounts, including one belonging to the former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

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