Tech & The Web

UPDATED: Hackers Access Email Accounts From Several Retailers


Over the weekend, I received notification from TiVo and Best Buy that there had been unauthorized access to their client email database.

Best Buy’s notification assured that the email address itself was the only thing hackers could have gotten; that’s not the end of the world: Gmail, at least, is good at detecting spam.

TiVo’s notification, however, explained that the information that could have been accessed would be limited to email address and first and last name, which could make spam or even something more sinister seem a little more authentic because the emailer would have an actual name to work with.

Best Buy specifically mentioned its third-party email notification vender, Epsilon, by name. It turns out that Epsilon is the same company that services TiVo, along with others including JP Morgan Chase and Kroger, both of which were also affected.

The security breach was said to have happened on March 30th.

For some businesses, I try to use a secondary email address. This prevents my primary one being hacked and it also routes more spam and unnecessary sales pitches to the less-important account.

But there are some businesses that I really want to deal with through my primary email. I wonder if this kind of breach is just one of those unfortunate side effects of the Information Age that we’ll just have to live with. At least this time, there appears to be no serious data in the wrong hands.

UPDATE: On Monday night, I received a similar notification from Target. Their email indicated that only email addresses were accessed.


  1. Just heard from Disney Destinations , the company that makes reservations for Disney theme parks, they got hit, too.

    1. Thanks for the update, Ted. They're now saying about 50 companies were affected. We're probably going to be hearing about this story for a while…at least until all 50 (or however many there were) are identified.

      What's odd to me is that the company that was breached isn't providing a list of the companies affected. Why wouldn't they want the customers to know??

  2. …and I just heard from Walgreen's that they were hacked as well:

    "We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that was obtained was your email address. No other personally identifiable information was at risk because such data is not contained in Epsilon's email system."

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.