The Children’s Place breach due to compromise of their login credentials; CheetahMail not breached – spokesperson

When I saw a press release yesterday from The Children’s Place indicating that their unnamed email service provider had been hacked, I thought it was a reference to the Epsilon breach.

It wasn’t.

The Children’s Place is a customer of Experian’s Cheetahmail service.  A notice from The Children’s Place on ebm.cheetahmail.com says:

Dear Customer,

Yesterday we became aware that our customer email address database, which is stored at the Company’s third party email service provider, was accessed without authorization. Following this access an unauthorized email was sent, which appears to have come from Adobe, directing customers to a website where they are asked to enter their credit card number in order to update software. This email did not come from The Children’s Place and does not resemble the emails you normally receive from us.

Our third party email service provider has informed us that only email addresses were accessed and no other personal information was obtained.

As a reminder, please always be alert to any suspicious emails, especially those that request personal information such as credit card numbers. The Children’s Place would not ask you, in an email, to update any software or for other highly sensitive personal information.

We are continuing to investigate this incident and apologize for any inconvenience. We take your privacy seriously and are taking steps to prevent this from occurring in the future. If you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact us toll-free at 1-877-752-2387.

Sincerely,

The Children’s Place

I contacted CheetahMail to inquire as to whether they had been breached or if The Children’s Place had been phished. Here is their statement:

Experian CheetahMail identified an isolated incident in which someone used a valid client user ID and password to gain access to the client’s email account and transmit an unauthorized and unlawful email. To recipients, the email appeared as a solicitation from an unrelated sender (disguised as Adobe) and directed viewers to an illicit website requesting credit card information. The impact was limited to a single, targeted outbound email.

To be clear, we have no evidence that any CheetahMail computer system was hacked. There was no data breach, data loss or download; someone used authorized client credentials to gain access to our email system.

In partnership with the client, we have taken aggressive corrective actions, including implementing measures to protect against any future incidents. The client has notified its affected customers, and CheetahMail has launched a full investigation.

No other clients were negatively impacted as a result of this incident.

CheetahMail takes this situation very seriously and remains exceedingly vigilant when it comes to security and our commitment to safeguarding our clients’ data.

As always, we urge consumers to continually be alert for malicious emails that attempt to illegally obtain personal or sensitive information.”

Because the investigation is still ongoing, the company would not reveal any other details at this time.

So there you have it – thankfully, this does not appear to be another ESP breach.

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