Japan’s Fast Retailing, the company that owns the Uniqlo retail chain, said that data from upwards of 460,000 customer accounts was compromised by hackers from April 23 to May 10, according to a report by CNBC.
The company said: “It was confirmed on May 10, 2019 that an unauthorized login by a third party other than the customer occurred on the online store site operated by our company.”
Hackers obtained names, addresses and contact details for the customers. The company said partial credit card info “may have been browsed,” but that there is “no possibility of leakage” in credit card security codes.
The retailer has asked customers to create new passwords that are harder to guess to lower the chances of getting hacked.
The news affected the company’s stocks, which dropped about 0.6 percent in afternoon trading in Tokyo.
The retail hack calls to mind other noteworthy breaches, like when hackers accessed the personal data of hundreds of millions of people at the credit rating company Equifax. News was later released that before the hack, Equifax was worried that data had been stolen by Chinese spies.
The Wall Street Journal reported that former employees were suspected of taking thousands of pages of proprietary information – including code for planned new products, human resources files and manuals – before leaving for jobs in China. The company grew even more suspicious after the Chinese government asked eight companies to help it build a national credit reporting system.
Equifax went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the company even began looking into a way to monitor the computer activity of its Chinese employees. That project, however, was abandoned due to legal concerns.
While the FBI wanted to pursue a criminal case, Equifax pulled back due to worries about legal exposure and how difficult the investigation could become.
In a written statement, Equifax said it became aware in 2015 of “efforts by a former employee to obtain company information, and launched an internal investigation into his activities.” It “brought the investigation to the attention of U.S. law enforcement authorities and cooperated with the federal agencies.”