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Marketing Firm Breached – Banks Warning Customers

Multiple banks are warning customers that their personal information (name and email address) was accessed by hackers who breached a national marketing firm in Dallas, TX.

Epsilon Interactive, a global marketing firm, was hacked and their clients marketing files was compromised. The names and email addresses were exposed as part of the data breached and the data has fallen into the wrong hands when someone broke into Epsilon’s computer systems.

The breach included data from clients such as JP Morgan Chase, US Bank and Kroger customers, the companies said in separate statements on Friday. Of course, timing was not on their side as it was April fools day but this is definitely not a joke – it’s a serious breached. Epsilon, a unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp, said on Friday that some one from outside the firm was able to hacked into some of its clients’ customer files.

“On March 30th, an incident was detected where a subset of Epsilon clients’ customer data were exposed by an unauthorized entry into Epsilon’s email system,” Epsilon said. “The information that was obtained was limited to email addresses and/or customer names only.”

Epsilon said it doesn’t believe any other information was compromised, but it is currently investigating the extend of the actual breach. They learned on Wednesday that their systems were compromised and it is unclear how serious is the issue at this point. Spokeswoman Jessica Simon declined to identify all Epsilon clients that were affected but said that they are “cooperating with a number of authorities”.

As a result of the breach, it is possible that a significant number of people could receive some spam email messages so firms such JP Morgan Chase, US Bank and Kroger are warning customers not to open emails from senders they do not know and are reminding them not to provide credit card or social security numbers over email.

Epsilon runs loyalty programs for credit card users and that information could be extremely valuable for criminals looking to steal banking information in phishing attacks.

In 2009, Epsilon sent 6.5 billion email marketing messages, but the company has yet to announce how much data was compromised or obtained by the hacker.

Epsilon customers also include Visa, Kraft, Citibank and Marriott International.

Below is an actual email sent by US Bank.

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