Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union Insider Breach Discovered After One Year

A recent security incident that involves a Massachusetts financial institution called Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union shows that it’s not necessary for hackers to be involved for data leaks to occur.

More precisely, one of their employees that left the company in December 2010, took with her some files that contained private belonging to their customers, including social security numbers and loan account numbers, reports DataBreaches.

The worrying thing is that the incident would have never been discovered if the woman's latest employer hadn’t noticed the after she left her new job.

She claims that the was taken on a USB drive to be utilized in her new job and that the files were never copied to other computing devices.

“We have recovered the thumb drive device that contained the computer files in question. We have obtained a sworn affidavit from our former employee indicating that she made no unauthorized use or further disclosure of the disclosed personal,” reads a letter sent by the organization to the General Attorney’s Office.

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union also states that both their former employee and her new employer assured them that the would not be disclosed to other parties, and that they implemented new systems to prevent such incident from occurring in the future.

All the individuals have been notified on the breach and they were advised on how to monitor their bank accounts, but they were not told what exactly led to the situation.

In related news, hacktivist collectives that run Operation Robin Hood are working to prove that banks and some credit unions are experiencing major difficulties in securing their systems against cyberattacks. Unfortunately, this latest situation only comes to prove that there’s a lot of work to be done in order to get to the point where their systems are completely protected and their customers are safe.

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union notifies hundreds of insider breach – without telling them what happened?

USB ports are so convenient… and such a risk.

Lowell, Massachusetts-based Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union recently notified the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office of a breach that occurred when an employee voluntarily left her employ on December 27, 2010 and took some files with her on a USB drive. She reportedly planned to use the forms in her new employment. When she left that new position in July 2011, her employer looked at her hard drive, noticed that there were files from Jeanne D’Arc, and sent them copies of the files that they had found.

An analysis of the files revealed that customers’ personal data had been copied onto the flash drive and then uploaded onto the new employer’s system. Some files contained names and Social Security numbers, while other files contained names and loan account numbers. There were 327 New Hampshire residents affected; the total was not disclosed.

The CU’s letter to its affected customers nforms them that there was a breach (not described) on or about December 27, that the CU found out months later, and that the CU doesn’t believe the data have been misused. It offers affected customers no services, does not explain why it believes there is a low risk of misuse, does not indicate what steps it is taking to prevent a similar breach in the future, and its only apology is “We regret that this incident occurred.”

All in all, Jeanne D’Arc customers will learn more about the breach from reading this blog than they will have learned directly from the credit union.

That Jeanne D’Arc did not have sufficient controls in place to prevent an officer from downloading and removing files with personal information is, of course, a concern. That they never would have discovered the breach were it not for the diligence of the employee’s next employer is embarrassing, at least. But why not tell customers what happened so that they can make their own risk determination?

Jeanne D’Arc responded promptly to the breach once it learned of it, and its letter to the Attorney General’s office is sufficiently detailed. Its letter to customers… not so much.

Actually, the more I look at it, it may be one of the worst notification letters I’ve seen in years. See what you think. The notification and letter are available here.

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