Credit card issuer Capital One Financial Corp said on Monday that personal information, including names and addresses of about 100 million individuals in the United States and 6 million people in Canada were obtained by a hacker who has been arrested.
The suspect, a 33-year-old former Seattle technology company software engineer identified as Paige Thompson, made her initial appearance in US District Court in Seattle on Monday, the US Attorney’s office said.
According to a complaint filed in the District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, Thompson posted information from her hack, which occurred between March 12 and July 17, on coding platform GitHub. Another user saw the post and notified Capital One of the breach.
Law enforcement officials were able to track Thompson down as the page she posted on contained her full name as part of its digital address, the complaint said. Capital One said it identified the hack on July 19.
A representative for the US Attorney’s office said it was not immediately clear what the suspect’s motive was.
The incident is expected to cost between $100m and $150m in 2019, mainly because of customer notifications, credit monitoring and legal support, Capital One said.
The hacker did not gain access to credit card account numbers, but about 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers were compromised, Capital One said. Other personal information accessed included phone numbers and credit scores
About one million social insurance numbers belonging to the company’s Canadian credit card customers were also compromised.
The hacker was able to gain access to the data through a misconfigured web application firewall, the US Attorney’s office said.
Credit-reporting company Equifax Inc said last week it would pay up to $700m to settle claims it broke the law during a 2017 data breach when roughly 147 million people had their information – including Social Security numbers and driver’s license data – compromised.
Capital One shares fell four percent in late extended trading.