Thousands in CT have personal information exposed after Webster Bank data breach

Securing your identity following Webster Bank data breach
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 7:48 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 5:43 AM EDT
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(WFSB) - Thousands of Webster Bank customers may now have their personal information for sale on the internet. A data breach of a third party vendor, Guardian Analytics, exposed bank customers’ information.

The Connecticut Attorney General’s office says the data breach impacted 153,754 people in Connecticut. Of that group, 117,278 had their name and account number exposed. 36,476 people had their name, account number, and social security number exposed. Everyone impacted should receive a letter in the mail.

Steve Cohen received his letter Monday.

“It was kind of very vague, it wasn’t very specific, just that they got certain, you know like probably my social security number and things like that,” said Cohen.

Webster Bank sent a template letter to the Maine Attorney General’s office. The letter says that on January 26th, 2023, Webster learned that Guardian experience a data security incident. Guardian is a third-party vendor that provides fraud protection services to Webster Bank.

The letter goes on to say that an investigation revealed that between November 27th, 2022 and January 22, 2023 “the unauthorized third parties acquired files that contained Webster clients’ personal information from Guardian’s systems and later posted the acquired files on the internet.”

In short, thousands of customers now have their data for sale on the dark web.

Frederick Scholl is the cybersecurity program director at Quinnipiac University. He says data breaches are extremely common, and the best protection is being diligent.

“There are a lot of companies advertising identity theft protection, things like that, I think the best identity protection is you to go look at your accounts and make sure that there’s nothing unexpected in there,” said Scholl. “There have been enough of these that have taken place that it just unfortunately puts the requirement on all of us to monitor our accounts every month and look for any unexpected charges that might be there.”

Webster Bank declined our request for an interview and instead sent the below statement.

“Guardian Analytics, a third-party vendor for fraud monitoring services, experienced a data security incident which resulted in unauthorized release of certain Webster information. Webster has notified regulators and is providing notice to individuals. Webster’s own systems have not been compromised nor were they impacted by this incident. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused our clients and disappointed this occurred with this vendor.”

Cohen is watching his accounts closely, like always.

“It’s normal in today’s day and age. You kind of expect it. You just have to watch all of your stuff: all of your banking, all of your credit cards, and address it if you see a problem,” said Cohen.

Webster is offering 24 months of credit monitoring as required by Connecticut law.