Kroger customer data stolen from Epsilon (update2)

Yet another email service provider has been compromised for customer names and email addresses.

Kroger Co. is letting customers know a breach of a database with its customers’ names and email addresses.

The breach occurred at Epsilon, a national third-party email fulfillment company headquartered in Dallas.

[…]

In the email Kroger sent to customers, the nation’s largest traditional grocer assured them the only information that was obtained was customers’ names and email addresses. Also, it relays the message that Kroger would never ask a customer to email personal information such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.

Read more in Business Courier .

No statement appears on Kroger’s web site at the time of this posting, but a brief notice on Epsilon’s web site says:

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. The information that was obtained was limited to email addresses and/or customer names only. A rigorous assessment determined that no other personal identifiable information associated with those names was at risk. A full investigation is currently underway.

Update: A reader kindly sent me a copy of the email Kroger sent to customers:

From: Kroger
Sent: Fri, April 1, 2011 4:16:23 PM
Subject: Important Information from the Kroger Family of Stores

To ensure receipt of your Kroger emails, please add [email protected] to your address book.

If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click here ([redacted to protect reader’s name] ).

Dear

Kroger wants you to know that the data base with our customers’ names and email addresses has been breached by someone outside of the company. This data base contains the names and email addresses of customers who voluntarily provided their names and email addresses to Kroger. We want to assure you that the only information that was obtained was your name and email address. As a result, it is possible you may receive some spam email messages. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Kroger wants to remind you not to open emails from senders you do not know. Also, Kroger would never ask you to email personal information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers. If you receive such a request, it did not come from Kroger and should be deleted.

If you have concerns, you are welcome to call Kroger’s customer service center at 1-800-Krogers (1-800-576-4377).

Sincerely,

The Kroger Family of Stores

If you wish to create or edit your online Kroger profile, please click here
(http://krogermail.com/[redacted to protect reader’s name]).

The Kroger Co.
1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Update 2 (4-2-11): Kroger also owns the Ralphs chain of grocery markets, which reported the compromise and provided an FAQ on the breach on their web site, too.

About the author: Dissent