Trend Micro Employee Stole Customer Data to Help Scammers

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It also contained Trend Micro support ticket numbers, but the security vendor said there's no indication now that financial or credit card payment data and believes the government and business customer information it holds weren't touched. But some customers of Trend Micro were called by scammers with a somewhat more convincing bit of data than some well-known Windows filename-the scammers had their names, email addresses, and technical-support request ticket numbers.

"Our open investigation has confirmed that this was not an external hack, but rather the work of a malicious internal source that engaged in a premeditated infiltration scheme to bypass our sophisticated controls", Trend Micro said.

A former employee of Trend Micro stole the personal data of some customers with a "clear criminal intent" and then sold it to a third party earlier this year, the cybersecurity company disclosed Tuesday.

It did however reveal the employee sold the information to a now unknown third-party.

While the company says that the incident affects less that 1 percent of its 12 million consumer customers, this still means that the details of over 100,000 people could have been exposed. A Trend Micro spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CSO Online Australia that the company could not divulge these details because it was an open investigation.

Trend Micro also took the opportunity to remind customers it never calls customers unexpectedly. It warned that "scammers impersonate legitimate technology vendors, including Trend Micro, in order to extract payment or other sensitive information from victims".

At this stage, it's not known if any Australian customers are among the stolen information.

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According to the company, the rogue employee did not appear to have stolen any financial or credit card information, and no Trend Micro's business or government customers were affected by the breach.

Trend Micro provides cyber-security and anti-virus tools to consumers, businesses and organisations around the world.

"Our investigation further shows that the criminals were only targeting English-speaking customers, and we have only seen data accessed in predominantly English-speaking countries", the company added.

The employee has since been fired, and the police are involved.

The scammers knew so much information about their targets that Trend Micro suspected its customer support database had been breached.

Things became suspicious, Trend Micro explained, when its customers started getting phone calls from people claiming to be employees of Trend Micro.

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