The London-based FinTech startup known as Revolut recently confirmed a breach that affected a “small percentage” (0.16%) of its clients. According to a formal breach disclosure, 50,150 customers were affected, including 20,657 customers in the European Economic Area and 379 Lithuanian citizens.

What happened

Hackers compromised card payment data, account data, customer names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. However, no funds were accessed or stolen. The money is safe and consumers can use cards and accounts as normal.

“We immediately identified and isolated the attack to effectively limit its impact and have contacted those customers affected. Customers who have not received an email have not been impacted” – Revolut

How it happened

Deryck Mitchelson, Field Chief Information Security Officer at Check Point Software, says that the attack appears to have stemmed from social engineering. “…these types of phishing attacks can be very persuasive and can look real, giving them a high chance of success,” he stated in Computer Weekly.

“Now that they [the hackers] do have access to this data, we will probably see a rise in phishing or smishing attempts requesting people to reset passwords or account details.”

Mitchelson’s comments proved prescient, as several days after the breach, Revolut customers began to report SMS phishing (smishing) messages, although they do not appear directed at breach victims alone. Rather, the messages have reached the phones of a large swath of Revolut customers.

Fake Revolut phishing message
A cyber attacker’s smishing message targeting Revolut’s customers.

Revolut customers are advised to remain on high alert for unofficial phone calls, emails or messages that contain malicious links. The company has stressed that it will never make unsolicited requests for sensitive information.

Revolut’s precautions

This cyber attack appears to have been highly targeted, meaning that the hackers planned out how they would gather intelligence about Revolut, execute the attack, and profit from it at the end.

Since the attack, Revolut has developed a dedicated team tasked with monitoring customer accounts to ensure that money and data are safe.

The company states that it takes these kinds of incidents incredibly seriously and that it sincerely apologizes to any customers affected by the breach. The company prioritizes customers’ data security.

About Revolut

Revolut was founded in 2015, and has since experienced rapid growth. Last year, Revolut raised $800 million in Series E funding, leading to a valuation of more than $33 billion.

Revolut’s mission is to unlock the power of a borderless economy for all people, says the company’s website. At present, Revolut offers banking, financial management and investment services to 950,000 business persons, across 200 countries and via more than 30 different in-app currencies.

Highly targeted attacks

A series of other well-known companies have also experienced highly targeted cyber attacks in recent months, including Twilio, Mailchimp and Okta. In today’s ultra-connected landscape, digital ecosystem strategies designed to prevent highly targeted attacks are critical.

Companies need to adopt security technologies that provide the highest level of threat prevention against both known and unknown targeted attacks and to keep resources secure at all times. To learn more about services that can assist your organization in preventing highly targeted next-generation cyber attacks, click here.

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