2023Data Security

Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn

Two “people search” service providers have disclosed that data breaches have affected a total of more than 20 million users – over 11.9 million accounts at one and more than 8.1 million accounts at the other – according to individual data breach notices published by both companies and a report from SecurityWeek.com.

On February 3, 2023, the two providers informed users that they “learned recently that a list, including name, email, telephone number in some instances, as well as securely encrypted passwords and expired and inactive password reset tokens, of subscribers was being discussed and made available in an online forum.”

The notices “confirmed that the list was created several years ago and appears to include all customer accounts created between 2011 and 2019” and that “the published list originated inside our company.” The notices stated the breach “appears to be an inadvertent leak or theft of a particular list, but our investigation is ongoing.”

The “people search” service providers stated they followed “incident response protocols” and “retained third party forensic and threat intel advisors to help us understand the cause and nature of this data leak.” An initial investigation by the companies “has not identified evidence of malicious activity on our own network.”

The notices also stated that the “published list in question does not evidence user activity, such as queries or reports on our system, and does not appear to involve leakage of payment information, readable or usable passwords, or other means to compromise user accounts.” The two notices are available here and here.

To help prevent data breaches, background check companies can attain Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) accreditation, a Service Organization Controls (SOC) report, and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications. All have strict rules on the handling of consumer information.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a service offering of ClearStar, a leading global provider of background checks, drug testing, and occupational health screening. ClearStar has PBSA, SOC, and ISO certifications to help ensure data security during background checks. To learn more, contact ClearStar.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2023 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – A Service Offering of ClearStar – Making copies of or using any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.

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