Paige Thompson: The alleged hacker behind the Capital One breach, Paige Thompson, has been released from federal custody while she awaits her trial. Thompson had originally petitioned for release back in August but the judge at the time deemed Thompson a flight risk and denied the request. The choice to release Thompson came after the presiding judge determined that she did not pose a threat to the community. Thompson is being moved to a federal halfway house while she awaits trial and will be subject to GPS monitoring. Not surprisingly, as one of the conditions of her release Thompson is barred from utilizing the internet or any computers, cellphones, or any other electronic device which the court does not specifically approve ahead of time. Currently, the trial is set for March of 2020.
Following the news of the data breach, discussions surrounding the database took over many darknet forums. A significant number of cyber-criminals have been seeking out the stolen data in the hopes of using it for sophisticated identity theft campaigns. There will no doubt be renewed interest in obtaining the stolen data with the news of Thompson’s release. It is also possible that phishing campaigns may be seen following the news of Thompson’s release by scammers hoping to make Capital One customers fearful that data was published during Thompson’s release. It is recommended that customers exercise caution when dealing with any unexpected emails regarding the Capital One breach. If customers are unsure if they can trust a message claiming to be about the data breach from Capital One, it is best to reach out to Capital One directly through their data breach support page at https://www.capitalone.com/facts2019/