General Electric is taking action to notify its employees of a data breach in a public statement. According to GE, the data breach occurred at Canon Business Process Services Inc., which is a business partner of the company. Canon is responsible for processing GE’s documentation on “employees, former employees, and beneficiaries entitled to benefits.” While General Electric itself was not affected, this does not matter as sensitive employee data was still acquired. GE employs more than 200,000 people across all of its units.
The records from the GE data breach are listed as follows in the security statement:
Direct deposit forms, driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, medical child support orders, tax withholding forms, beneficiary designation forms and applications for benefits such as retirement, severance and death benefits with related forms and documents, may have included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, passport numbers, dates of birth, and other information contained in the relevant forms.
The breach of the GE records, contained within Canon’s database, occurred during the beginning to the midway point of the month of February. The identity of the threat actor is unknown, or at the very least not publicly being identified, and their motives cannot be pinpointed at this time.
What is certain, however, is that the information will be, if it hasn’t already, be put in circulation on hacking forums. Phishing attempts, identity theft incidents, and more can all be expected to occur. Because of this, GE states that Canon will be offering free identity protection and credit monitoring for two years. The company being used for these services is Experian, one of the “Big Three” credit-reporting agencies.
As of now, the cyberattack is over, and Canon has secured its database with outside help. Nevertheless, as GE is a massive corporation with an image to protect, this data breach is a PR nightmare. The moment that data breaches or data leaks happen, the information is in cyberspace forever. Cybercriminals make sure of that.
Featured image: Wikimedia / VitVit