Canada's fourth largest mobile network operator, Freedom Mobile, announced this week that they have suffered a data breach through a third party service provider. 

vpnMentor disclosed on Tuesday that its researchers had identified an unprotected database containing information on Freedom Mobile customers, including email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates, IP addresses, credit scores, unencrypted payment card data with CVV codes, and account details. 

vpnMentor claimed the unprotected database contained at least 5 million records belonging to 1.5 million users, but Freedom Mobile has since announced publicly that these figures are not accurate. 

Freedom Mobile's investigation into the matter found that the database stored details on only 15,000 customers who had opened or made any changes to their accounts at 17 Freedom Mobile retail locations between March 25 and April 16 - a stark difference from vpnMentor's findings. 

In a statement to SecurityWeek, a Freedom Mobile spokesperson claimed, "Any reference to 1.5 million customers affected is inaccurate – the researchers could be referencing the number of lines of data exposed but it is certainly not a reference to the number of customers affected."

The company blamed the data breach on Apptium Technologies, a company contracted to help streamline its retail customer support processes. 

Freedom Mobile first learned of the unprotected database on April 18 and addressed the incident on April 23, claiming to have taken action once verifying the legitimacy of the researchers' emails. 

To prevent being the next targeted organization, breach prevention (system hardening, vulnerability management) and breach detection (file integrity monitoring, breach detection) solutions must be implemented and Security Best Practices must be met. Namely, removing vulnerabilities then maintaining Hardened System Integrity through intelligent change control. It is only by spotting the breach in time that an organization has any chance of effectively managing security.



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