In an email on Friday, brokerage firm Scottrade Inc., alerted customers to a data breach, which affected 4.6 million people.
Scottrade learned about the problem after being contacted by the FBI. According to the email sent to customers, and a public notice, the authorities learned that Scottrade was compromised while investigating other data-theft cases.
"If your information was contained in the affected database, you will receive a letter or email from Scottrade with additional information and resources. We have secured the known intrusion point and conducted an internal data forensics investigation on this incident with assistance from a leading computer security firm. We have taken appropriate steps to further strengthen our network defenses," Scottrade told customers.
The firm that was brought on to do the IR is unknown, but the top guess currently circles around the usual suspect – Mandiant/FireEye. The breach affects Scottrade customers who had accounts prior to February 2014, but investigators have determined that the breach took place between late 2013 and early 2014, so accounts that were created or maintained within that tine frame are at risk.
"We have no reason to believe that Scottrade’s trading platforms or any client funds were compromised. Based upon our internal investigation and information provided by the federal authorities, we believe a list of client names and street addresses was taken from our system," Scottrade explained.
"Although Social Security numbers, email addresses or other sensitive data were contained in the system accessed, it appears that contact information was the focus of the incident. We have not seen any indication of increased fraudulent activity as a result of this incident." Scottrade is using AllClear ID to handle the identity theft coverage. The company says the investigation is ongoing, but they'll continue to cooperate with law enforcement.
Scottrade also stressed a warning against Phishing, telling customers that official communications from the company would never ask about account numbers, passwords or other private information. Earlier hackers stole the personal data of 15 million T-Mobile customers by going after the company that processes the wireless carrier's credit checks.