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Staples Discloses Data Breach Exposing 'Limited' Customer Information

Alina BÎZGĂ

September 17, 2020

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Staples Discloses Data Breach Exposing 'Limited' Customer Information

US-based Office Superstore, Staples, has recently disclosed a data breach that exposed the order details of nearly 2,500 customers.

“We recently learned of unauthorized access to a limited number of non-sensitive customer order data on Staples.com, which may have included information about one of your orders,” the customer notification email said.

“This may have included your name, address, email, phone number, last four digits of your payment card, and information about the cost, delivery and product ordered. It did NOT include your account credentials [i.e., your username and password] or full payment card number, and there is no indication that it resulted in any purchases being made on your behalf.”

According to BleepingComputer, the breach was possible due to a lack of security measures in the order tracking systems used by Staples customers.

These services allowed customers to locate and track their purchases by entering their order number and ZIP code. However, the company was issuing a sequential order number for each purchase, and adding the ZIP code was not mandatory in the Order lookup process.

As such, by adding a valid order number on the tracking page, unauthorized users could check the tracking information of a package. The route and delivery address of the shipment would be revealed, allowing for a straightforward lookup for the matching ZIP code.

When combining the valid order number and ZIP code, a bad actor could subsequently look up the full order details of a customer.

“Information from fewer than 2,500 orders was affected,” the company said in a recent statement. “We investigated and took steps to remedy the situation. The company takes the protection of its customers’ data seriously and has notified users whose order data was determined to have been impacted.”

Although Staples assures customers that their account credentials and full credit card numbers were not impacted by the breach, affected shoppers are advised to monitor their account statements and check for unauthorized activity.

As with any data breach that involves the exposure of personal information, victims should remain vigilant for phishing attacks via email or phone. Cybercriminals can create official-looking messages that could leverage the incident, asking the recipients to confirm additional personal or financial details.

Never provide your personal information to individuals contacting you online or via phone. When in doubt, search for the official phone number of the company, and reach out to them directly.

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