On August 31, 2022, Black Knight, Inc. that the company faced a data breach after an unauthorized party gained access to sensitive consumer data on Black Knight’s network. According to Black Knight, the breach resulted in the names and social security numbers of certain individuals being compromised. Recently, Black Knight has sent letters about data breaches to all parties involved to inform them about the incident and what they can do to protect themselves from identity theft and other forms of fraud.
If you have been notified of a data breach, it is essential that you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are after the Black Knight data breach, see our recent piece on the subject here.
What we know about the Black Knight data breach
News of Black Knight’s data breach is still evolving, and currently the only source of information is the company’s official filing with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. According to this source, the incident involved a breach of electronic information stored on the company’s computer system.
The available records do not indicate when the breach occurred or when Black Knight first discovered the incident; however, the company indicates that customer names and Social Security numbers are included in the leaked information. Based on the most recent information, it does not appear that financial account information or other sensitive data was compromised in the breach.
On August 31, 2022, Black Knight sent data breach letters to all individuals whose information had been compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
Founded in 1962, Black Knight, Inc. is a business services company based in Jacksonville, Florida. The company provides integrated technology, services, data and analytics to the credit union, mortgage and real estate sectors, as well as the capital and secondary markets. Black Knight also serves the needs of various government agencies. Black Knight employs more than 6,400 people and generates annual sales of approximately $1 billion.
What is the risk after a data breach?
After a cybersecurity incident leads to a data breach, hackers who have successfully obtained your information can use it to commit various crimes, such as identity theft and other forms of fraud. When thinking about which companies to target, hackers will often consider the type of consumer information a company may hold. Social Security Numbers are arguably the most targeted data type, because if a hacker can get your name and Social Security number, they often have enough data to steal your identity.
Identity theft occurs when another person uses your personal information and opens a new line of credit, such as a loan or credit card, using your information. Once the criminal obtains the loan, they will issue money in your name until they reach the credit limit. At this point, they move on to the next victim, making you pay the bill.
Aside from the obvious risk of being accused of fraudulent charges, there are other risks associated with being the victim of a data breach. For example, if you become a victim of identity theft after a data breach, it could affect your creditworthiness. If a cybercriminal obtains your information through a data breach and they successfully steal your identity, they usually spend as much money as possible as quickly as possible. By the time you learn of the identity fraud, the credit limit is often maximum. Not only does using a high percentage of your credit negatively impact your credit score, but unless you make payments into the account or get the company to reverse the charges, it can further damage your credit.
Identity theft can even affect your work. First, it takes an average of 200 hours to repair your credit after you have been the target of identity theft. If you’re like most people, it can be impossible to find time during the work week to repair your credit, so you may need to request time off to deal with the situation. In addition, in cases of criminal identity theft – where a person gives your name to the police when they are arrested – victims are given a criminal record. This can make it much more difficult to find work, as employers regularly conduct background checks (and even credit checks).
Applying for loans, credit cards and even unemployment benefits are all common targets of hackers who carry out these cyber attacks. It’s important to realize that hackers spend a lot of time planning their crimes, and they wouldn’t go through all this effort if there was nothing for them. For most hackers and cybercriminals, the goal is to steal personal information, which can later be used for their personal benefit. While there are several ways criminals can use this personal information, the most common is opening loans or applying for government benefits on behalf of the victim. This is why, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, victim names and Social Security numbers were the most targeted information in data breaches that occurred in 2021.