Website programming error compromises personal information

Share this article:

A programming error on the website belonging to PLS Financial Services – a Chicago-based consumer financial services retailer – allowed some visitors to access personal information of an undisclosed number of customers.

How many victims? Unknown, but PLS Financial Services employs nearly 4,000 people across roughly 400 centers in the U.S., and posts annual revenues exceeding $250 million.

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, email addresses and Social Security numbers.

What happened? A recent programming change by the company that operates the PLS Financial Services website allowed for certain visitors to access a restricted portion of the site.

What was the response? PLS Financial Services hired a computer security firm to validate the programming error had been corrected, and to look for signs of unusual activity. The retailer notified affected customers by letter and is offering a free year of identity protection services.

Details: The website operator alerted PLS Financial Services of the incident on July 26. There were 34 visitors to the restricted portion of the website from the time the operator made the change on July 11 until it was corrected two weeks later. The 34 visitors were believed to have accessed the website to submit a loan inquiry.

Quote: “We are communicating this information to you because we cannot conclusively rule out the possibility that the contents of the restricted part of the site were viewed,” said G. Clinton Heyworth, PLS Financial Services information security officer, in a letter to affected customers.

Source: oag.ca.gov, “Master Notification (PDF),” Sept. 18, 2013.

Share this article:
close

Next Article in The Data Breach Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

POLL

More in The Data Breach Blog

Second burglary breach within a month for Coordinated Health

More than 700 Pennsylvania patients have been impacted after Coordinated Health experienced its second burglary-related data breach within a month.

Fate of unencrypted drive unknown, PHI of 5,500 in Virginia at risk

A Virginia-based chiropractic center is not quite sure what happened to an unencrypted thumb drive, which contained personal information - including Social Security numbers - on more than 5,500 patients.

Iowa State server breach exposes SSNs of nearly 30,000

The breach impacts Iowa State students where were enrolled at the university between 1995 and 2012.