Company Denies Massive Data Breach Underway at Early Warning Credit Reporting Agency
Credit reporting company denies sending consumer complaint data randomly to other consumers
June 5, 2018
Update, 6/8: The Observer received the following message from Early Warning:
"To confirm, no “massive data breach” occurred, as your headline states. You received multiple emails due to an error of one of our IT systems.
Early Warning uses a secure portal (website) as a way for consumers to send us data in a secure manner. On Sunday, June 3, a consumer was using the Portal to upload documents in relation to an ongoing interaction with Early Warning.
When information is uploaded, the Portal generates an email notification that contains a secured link to return to the portal, log in, and view the contents. An error in the Portal allowed that consumer to send this email notification to several consumers, in addition to Early Warning, as intended.
The consumers received the email with the link, and the email did not contain any personal information. The Portal automatically prevents more than three views of the information in the link, and worked as designed. You received multiple emails as recipients replied to the errant email.
Upon detecting the issue, Early Warning immediately began a privileged legal investigation and promptly took the Portal off-line. A modification was made, to prevent the inadvertent delivery of information to unintended recipients, and the service was restored for use by consumers.
At this time we have no evidence of any malicious activity.
Early Warning takes the privacy and security of its customers and their data very seriously."
Our Original Article:
In a truly jaw dropping example of technical incompetence by a major company against consumer privacy, Early Warning Systems is sending packages of consumer data to other consumers.
The server at Early Warning is randomly sending dispute information, to consumers other than the consumer who filed the dispute in other words. This reporter has received 20 packages of information from strangers Sunday morning alone. One consumer is receiving many other consumers reports.
"Early Warning supports consumers' rights to dispute and correct inaccurate or ... a leader in financial technology that protects and advances the financial system." Early Warning is an alternative to Chex Systems, in the way that Experian is an alternative to TRW or Transunion credit reporting bureau. http://www.earlywarning.com
ChexSystems is a check verification service and consumer credit reporting agency owned by the eFunds subsidiary of Fidelity National Information Services. It provides information about the use of deposit accounts by consumers.
IN addition to attaching the information, the notices say: A new package has been uploaded for you.
Subject: RE: Dispute ID 568294
Please click the following URL and enter your username/password to view this package over a secure connection. After viewing this package, you may also download any associated attachments or compose a reply within your web browser.
Our secure communication portal is solely for sending/receiving documents, with sensitive personal information, to Early Warning Consumer Services. The portal is not monitored for questions/comments. If you have a question/comment about your consumer report, please call us at 1.800.325.7775. You should recieve your consumer report 15 calendar days from the date of your request.
4 business days, Rhode Island
5 business days, California, Connecticut, Louisiana