Details of 400,000 loan applicants spilled in UniCredit bank breach

And it only took them 10 months to realise


Italian bank UniCredit admitted on Wednesday that a series of breaches, undetected for nearly a year, exposed the personal data of 400,000 loan applicants.

In an English-language statement, UniCredit blamed an unnamed third-party provider for exposing Italian customer data – including International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs).

A first breach seems to have occurred in September and October 2016 and a second breach which has just been identified in June and July 2017. Data of approximately 400,000 customers in Italy is assumed to have been impacted during these two periods. No data, such as passwords allowing access to customer accounts or allowing for unauthorised transactions, has been affected, whilst some other personal data and IBAN numbers might have been accessed.

Milan-based UniCredit said that it had closed the breach and informed authorities while embarking on a security audit that will likely tap into at least some of the €2.3bn budget previously allocated towards upgrading and strengthening its IT systems.

The breach at Italy's biggest lender was detected 10 months after the initial compromise, according to UniCredit, a matter of some concern. Affected customers are at heightened risk of follow-up phishing attacks that leverage the spilled data in order to coax out yet more sensitive information.

Nick Pollard, security intelligence and analytics director at Nuix, noted that the breach took place less than a year before tougher data protection rules in the shape of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe. "This latest data breach goes to show the importance of a unified regulation such as GDPR in making third parties accountable for security concerns. GDPR ensures that data is accounted for, protected and access to it is managed," he said.

"The recent UniCredit data breach is a prime example of knowing where the data is, but not ensuring it is properly protected and managed. 400,000 customers' data was put at risk by a third-party supplier. Whilst the fact they know this shows they are doing a better job than most, the delay in revealing this goes to show that any business with large amounts of data must have full understanding of where, how and who manages it."

Donato Capitella, senior security consultant at MWR InfoSecurity, added: "This compromise of UniCredit customer data confirms the risks that organisations face by interconnecting their own IT systems with the ones belonging to their third-party suppliers." ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading
  • Memory maker Micron moots $150bn mega manufacturing moneybag

    AI and 5G to fuel demand for new plants and R&D

    Chip giant Micron has announced a $150bn global investment plan designed to support manufacturing and research over the next decade.

    The memory maker said it would include expansion of its fabrication facilities to help meet demand.

    As well as chip shortages due to COVID-19 disruption, the $21bn-revenue company said it wanted to take advantage of the fact memory and storage accounts for around 30 per cent of the global semiconductor industry today.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021