Should You Worry About the Epsilon Email Breach?

Not if you're tech savvy...
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2011 12:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – If you're sitting at a computer reading this story, chances are you've received an email—or two or three—from the likes of Citibank or Best Buy or Walgreens apologizing for the Epsilon email breach. But just how worried or angry should you actually be about the incident? Perhaps not very, at least if you're a savvy tech user. Since the attackers only have your name and email address, the "most worrisome" possibility is a targeted phishing attack, an expert tells Fast Company.

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"Spear-phishing" attacks are more likely to work than generic phishing attempts, since they appear to be from a company that you already have a relationship with and expect email from (ie, if you're a Citibank customer, it wouldn't be surprising to get an email from Citibank asking you to do something). In an effort to combat this, the 50 companies affected have been sending out the above-mentioned apology emails notifying customers of the breach. So while the attack is certainly significant for those who are uneducated on email scams, for those who are prepared, "the most obvious outcome is that we will get a lot more apology emails in the next few weeks," says the expert. (Read more email stories.)

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