Recently, Warehouse Specialists, Inc. (“Warehouse Specialists,” “WSI Inc., “WSI”) confirmed that the company was the target of a cyberattack and, as a result, certain consumer information was accessible to an unauthorized party. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, PC are going to begin interviewing victims of the breach to determine what damages they sustained and what legal claims may be available to them. If you recently learned your information was compromised in the recent breach, reaching out to a data breach lawyer is the first step to understanding all of your options.
What We Know So Far
According to a letter from WSI, Inc., on December 10, 2020, the company learned that an unauthorized party encrypted certain files on its computer network. In response, WSI initiated an internal investigation into the cyberthreat, confirming that certain data relating to current and former employees was among that which was accessible to the unauthorized party.
While WSI states that it has no reason to believe the unauthorized party misused any of the compromised data, the situation is concerning as it involves parties’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth, passport numbers, and payroll information, which includes their account number, tax information and tax ID number. The company notes that the “exact nature and extent of the personal information impacted may vary by individual.
On February 9, 2022, Warehouse Specialists, Inc. began sending out data breach notification letters to affected parties.
Warehouse Specialists, Inc. is a privately-held logistics company based in Appleton, Wisconsin. The company provides a range of logistics and warehousing services to corporate clients, focusing on discovering hidden efficiencies in the supply-chain process. Warehouse Specialists, Inc. is a subsidiary of WSI Supply Chain Solutions, which oversees the operation of several other companies, including Material Logistics & Services, LLC (MLS), Fulfillment Specialists of America, Inc. (FSA), American Warehouse, LLC, WSI Transportation, LLC, and WSI Freight Solutions.
More About the Causes and Risks of Data Breaches
Often, data breaches are the result of a hacker gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems with the intention of obtaining sensitive consumer information. While no one can know the reason why a hacker targeted Warehouse Specialists, it is common for hackers and other criminals to identify those companies believed to have weak data security systems or vulnerabilities in their networks.
Once a cybercriminal gains access to a computer network, they can then access and remove any data stored on the compromised servers. While in most cases a company experiencing a data breach can identify which files were accessible, there may be no way for the company to tell which files the hacker actually accessed or whether they removed any data.
While the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach does not necessarily mean it will be used for criminal purposes, being the victim of a data breach puts your sensitive data in the hands of an unauthorized person. As a result, you are at an increased risk of identity theft and other frauds, and criminal use of your information is a possibility that should not be ignored.
Given this reality, individuals who receive a Warehouse Specialists data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant in checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Businesses like Warehouse Specialists are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If evidence emerges that Warehouse Specialists failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.
What Are Consumers’ Remedies in the Wake of the WSI Data Breach?
When customers decided to do business with Warehouse Specialists, they assumed that the company would take their seriously concerns. And it goes without saying that consumers would think twice before giving a company access to their information if they knew it wasn’t going to be secure. Thus, data breaches such as this one raise questions about the adequacy of a company’s data security system.
When a business, government entity, non-profit organization, school, or any other organization accepts and stores consumer data, it also accepts a legal obligations to ensure this information remains private. The United States data breach laws allow consumers to pursue civil data breach claims against organizations that fail to protect their information.
Of course, given the recency of the Warehouse Specialists data breach, the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages. And, as of right now, there is not yet any evidence suggesting Warehouse Specialists is legally responsible for the breach. However, that could change as additional information about the breach and its causes is revealed.
If you have questions about your ability to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against Warehouse Specialists, reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Warehouse Specialists, Inc. Data Breach Notification?
If Warehouse Specialists sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among those whose information was compromised in the recent breach. While this isn’t a time to panic, the situations warrants your attention. Below are a few important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraudulent activity:
Identify What Information Was Compromised: The first thing to do after learning of a data breach is to carefully review the data breach letter sent. The letter will tell you what information of yours was accessible to the unauthorized party. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you have trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach lawyer can help.
Limit Future Access to Your Accounts: Once you determine what information of yours was affected by the breach, the safest play is to assume that the hacker orchestrating the attack stole your data. While this may not be the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. To prevent future access to your accounts, you should change all passwords and security questions for any online account. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts, and any other account containing your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.
Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: After a data breach, companies often provide affected parties with free credit monitoring services. Signing up for the free credit monitoring offers some significant protections and doesn’t impact any of your rights to pursue a data breach lawsuit against the company if it turns out they were legally responsible for the breach. You should contact a credit bureau to request a copy of your credit report—even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account will provide you with additional protection.
Consider Implementing a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report. Credit freezes are free and stay in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may seem like overkill, given the risks involved, it’s justified. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), placing a credit freeze on your account is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, just 3% of data breach victims place a freeze on their accounts.
Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach requires an ongoing effort on your part. You should regularly check your credit report and all financial account statements, looking for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.
Below is a copy of the initial data breach letter issued by Warehouse Specialists, Inc.:
At Warehouse Specialists, LLC (WSI), we value our relationship with you and take your privacy seriously. For that reason, we are writing to provide you with notice of a recent cybersecurity event that may have involved your personal information. Consistent with our commitment to protect the information of our current and former employees and their dependents, we have investigated the incident and, as a precautionary measure, we are notifying you of the event and the additionals that are available to you protection listed below.
On December 10, 2021, WSI became aware that an unauthorized third party had gained access to and encrypted some of WSI’s systems. Immediately upon learning of the incident, WSI took all systems offline, and began an investigation with the help of a third-party forensic specialist that specializes in data security incidents. After its investigation, it was determined that some of the information on our systems, including your personal information may have been accessed and/or acquired during the incident.
While WSI does not have any evidence of the misuse of your personal information, we are nonetheless informing you of this incident because we greatly value our relationship with you and take this matter seriously. This notice was not delayed due to an investigation by law enforcement.
What Information Was Involved
The personal information impacted may include some or all of the following personal information: Social Security numbers, driver’s license number, address, date of birth, passport number, and payroll information, including account number, tax information, and tax ID number. Please note that the exact nature and extent of personal information impacted may vary by individual.
What We Are Doing
Upon discovery of the incident, we immediately took steps to assess the security of our systems to mitigate the impact of the event. In addition to fully investigating this incident and providing notice to you through this letter, we have taken additional actions to improve the security of our systems, including implementing multi-factor authentication and advanced endpoint monitoring.
Additionally, we are offering identity theft protection services through IDX, the data breach and recovery services expert. IDX identity protection services include: 12 months of credit and CyberScan monitoring, a $1,000,000 insurance reimbursement policy, and fully managed ID theft recovery services. With this protection, IDX will help you resolve issues if your identity is compromised.
What You Can Do
We encourage you to contact IDX with any questions and to enroll in the free identity protection services by calling 1-833-806-0280 or going to hops://app.idx.us/account-creation/protect and using the Enrollment Code provided above. IDX representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9 am – 9 pm Eastern Time. Please note the deadline to enroll is May 9, 2022.
Again, at this time, there is no evidence that your information has been misused. However, we encourage you to take full advantage of this service offering. IDX representatives have been fully versed on the incident and can answer questions or concerns you may have regarding protection of your personal information.
For More Information
You will find detailed instructions for enrollment on the enclosed Recommended Steps document. Also, you will need to reference the enrollment code at the top of this letter when calling or enrolling online, so please do not discard this letter.
Please call 1-833-806-0280 or go to https://app.idx.us/account-creation/protect for assistance or for any additional questions you may have.