Sequoia breach sees hackers access customer Social Security numbers and COVID-19 test results

HR and payroll giant Sequoia has said that a data breach exposed critically sensitive information on its users, including salary and benefit information, SSNs and other government-issued IDs, and even COVID-19 data such as vaccination status.

In a data breach notice to the California attorney general’s office, the company, which has proven popular with SMEs and startups, explained it, “recently became aware that an unauthorized party may have accessed a cloud storage system that contained personal information provided in connection with the Company’s services to its clients, including your employer or, if you are a dependent, your family member’s employer.”

Other data that could be at risk includes names, dates of birth, genders, marital status, and contact information such as work email addresses.

Sequoia data breach

According to the company’s findings – and those of its partners in the investigation including Dell Secureworks – no evidence of malicious tools or ransomware was found. It seems that the data was exposed between September 22 and October 6, 2022, and was read-only, suggesting that the data should remain untampered with. 

In an effort to rectify this significant mishap, Sequoia has extended ID theft protection and fraud detection service Experian IdentityWorks to its users and their dependents for 36 months.

Furthermore, the company is urging affected users to monitor their credit accounts with reporting companies like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, and to consider placing a pin-protected credit freeze to prevent the unauthorized opening of any further accounts in their names. 

TechRadar Pro has reached out to Sequoia for further information about the case, including how access to the database was obtained.

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