Monday, April 04, 2011

Just How Many Apology E-mails Can a Guy Get?

By now, just about everybody has heard about the Epsilon data breach. And if you're a customer of one of the many companies that have used Epsilon and had their "limited" information pilfered, then you've no doubt received one or more apology emails. So far, my count stands at three:
  1. To our valued guests,

    Target’s email service provider, Epsilon, recently informed us that their data system was exposed to unauthorized entry. As a result, your email address may have been accessed by an unauthorized party. Epsilon took immediate action to close the vulnerability and notified law enforcement.

    While no personally identifiable information, such as names and credit card information, was involved, we felt it was important to let you know that your email may have been compromised. Target would never ask for personal or financial information through email.

    Consider these tips to help protect your personal information online:
    • Don’t provide sensitive information through email. Regular email is not a secure method to transmit personal information.
    • Don’t provide sensitive information outside of a secure website. Legitimate companies will not attempt to collect personal information outside a secure website. If you are concerned, contact the organization represented in the email.
    • Don’t open emails from senders you don’t know.
    We sincerely regret that this incident occurred. Target takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to protect personal information. Please contact should you have any additional questions.


    Bonnie Gross
    Vice President, Marketing and Guest Engagement
  2. Dear Guest,
    We have been informed by one of our email service providers, Epsilon, that your email address was exposed by an unauthorized entry into that provider's computer system. We use our email service providers to help us manage the large number of email communications with our guests. Our email service providers send emails on our behalf to guests who have chosen to receive email communications from us.

    How will this affect you? First, we want to assure you that your name and email address were the only information that was compromised. As a result of this incident, it is possible that you may receive spam email messages, emails that contain links containing computer viruses or other types of computer malware, or emails that seek to deceive you into providing personal or credit card information. As a result, you should be extremely cautious before opening links or attachments from unknown third parties or providing a credit card number or other sensitive information in response to any email. Also know that Red Roof will not send you e-mails asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. So if you are ever asked for this information, you can be confident it is not from Red Roof.

    We appreciate your business and loyalty to Red Roof and take your privacy very seriously. We will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information.

    If you have any questions regarding this incident, please contact us at 877.733.7663 between the hours of 9am and 5pm Eastern.


    Brenda Eddy Manager, Loyalty Marketing
    Red Roof Inns, Inc.
  3. Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,

    On March 31, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some Best Buy customers were accessed without authorization.

    We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that may have been obtained was your email address and that the accessed files did not include any other information. A rigorous assessment by Epsilon determined that no other information is at risk. We are actively investigating to confirm this.

    For your security, however, we wanted to call this matter to your attention. We ask that you remain alert to any unusual or suspicious emails. As our experts at Geek Squad would tell you, be very cautious when opening links or attachments from unknown senders.

    In keeping with best industry security practices, Best Buy will never ask you to provide or confirm any information, including credit card numbers, unless you are on our secure e-commerce site, If you receive an email asking for personal information, delete it. It did not come from Best Buy.

    Our service provider has reported this incident to the appropriate authorities.

    We regret this has taken place and for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information. For more information on keeping your data safe, please visit:


    Barry Judge
    Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
    Best Buy
When it rains, it pours.

Update 5 April

Got up this morning, and had 44 shiny new spam emails in my spam folder. As a point of historical interest I've never seldom gotten that many over a 24 hour period, let alone a roughly eight hour period. Let's see how this plays out.

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