The Associated Press has issued a warning in the wake of phishing attacks following a data breach of its AP Stylebook.
A notification sent out by the company confirms a breach of Stylebooks.com, a third-party website, between July 16 and July 22, 2023. It became aware of the phishing attacks on July 20.
The organization has been quick to act, issuing a series of warnings and cybersecurity tips to protect its customers as well as access to credit monitoring services.
AP Stylebook attacks
According to the notification, personal identification belonging to customers that was stored on an old version of the AP Stylebook site had been accessed, which gave the threat actor access to email addresses to execute a phishing campaign.
The hackers are also expected to have gotten access to customers’ names, full addresses including zip codes, user IDs, and phone numbers, while the notice points out that Social Security Numbers or Taxpayer IDs may also have been compromised.
Customers that would typically require access to the Stylebook include journalists, authors, and other writers. It outlines some of the most commonly accepted grammar, spellings, and styles for written media globally.
The Associated Press confirmed that the current and active version of the site (https://www.apstylebook.com) has not been affected, and that the old version along with the spoofed website that led customers to part with their details have been taken down.
AP says that it is so far unaware of any cases of identity theft as a result of the data breach, but in the interest of security, has offered customers 24 months’ free access to Experian’s credit monitoring and identity restoration services.
On a more general note, Internet users should exercise caution when following links unless they are sure of the sender or domain in order to protect themselves from phishing attacks. Using additional account security measures like two-factor authentication also goes a long way to securing online accounts.
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