Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Lincoln National Discloses Breach Of 1.2 Million Customers

Shared-password vulnerability may have exposed personal information in online account management system

Lincoln National Corp. (LNC) last week disclosed a security vulnerability in its portfolio information system that could have compromised the account data of approximately 1.2 million customers.

In a disclosure letter (PDF) sent to the attorney general of New Hampshire Jan. 4, attorneys for the financial services firm revealed that a breach of the Lincoln portfolio information system had been reported to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by an unidentified source last August. The company was planning to issue notification to the affected customers on Jan. 6, the letter says.

The letter does not give technical details about the breach, but it indicates the unidentified source sent FINRA a username and password to the portfolio management system.

"This username and password had been shared among certain employees of [Lincoln Financial Services] and employees of affiliated companies," the letter says. "The sharing of usernames and passwords is not permitted under the LNC security policy."

FINRA declined to tell Lincoln whether the source of the username and password was a current employee or some other party, according to the letter.

Upon further investigation, Lincoln found another of its subsidiaries, Lincoln Financial Advisers, was using shared usernames and passwords to access the portfolio information management system, the letter states. In the end the company found a total of six shared usernames and passwords, which were created as early as 2002.

The passwords were "created and distributed by the system administration team to certain home office and support staff to perform administrative functions, respond to registered representative inquiries and review client account activity," the letter says.

The forensic team that investigated the breach found no evidence that the data had been used outside of the company, either by hackers or former employers, according to the letter. The portfolio management system consolidates data about customer accounts -- and therefore contains a good deal of personal information -- but it doesn't allow the user to actually access those accounts, the letter says.

Lincoln says it has "discontinued" all shared usernames and passwords in its systems, and it is notifiying customers, offering them identity theft services.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-20466
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
White Shark System (WSS) 1.3.2 is vulnerable to unauthorized access via user_edit_password.php, remote attackers can modify the password of any user.
CVE-2020-20467
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
White Shark System (WSS) 1.3.2 is vulnerable to sensitive information disclosure via default_task_add.php, remote attackers can exploit the vulnerability to create a task.
CVE-2020-20468
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
White Shark System (WSS) 1.3.2 is vulnerable to CSRF. Attackers can use the user_edit_password.php file to modify the user password.
CVE-2021-24368
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-20
The Quiz And Survey Master – Best Quiz, Exam and Survey Plugin WordPress plugin before 7.1.18 did not sanitise or escape its result_id parameter when displaying an existing quiz result page, leading to a reflected Cross-Site Scripting issue. This c...
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.