The Robinhood cryptocurrency brokerage and buying app suffered a data security incident, resulting in the theft of five million customer email addresses by a hacker, the company said on Monday (November 8th).
The incident took place on Nov. 3 by an “unauthorized third party,” who also stole additional personal information from several customers.
Robinhood explained what happened in a blog post, claiming that a hacker had “socially designed a customer service employee over the phone and gained access to certain customer support systems.”
“At the moment, we understand that the unauthorized party has obtained a list of email addresses for about five million people and the full names of a different group of about two million people,” the post continued.
Robinhood said the hacker was unable to obtain sensitive information such as social security numbers or banking information for most of the affected customers; However, for around 310 customers, the hacker was able to access things like birthdates or personal addresses. Ten other clients had âmore detailedâ account details stolen.
According to Robinhood, the hacker tried to blackmail the company, but the company decided to contact law enforcement instead. The company did not say whether or not the hack affected specific parts of the customer base or its burgeoning crypto industry.
Robinhood recently announced its decision to open the Initial Public Offering (IPO) access platform allowing companies to set aside shares for certain members of the public, with the aim of allowing more traders to detail to access the market.
This will be a change, as large institutional investors and funds have often been the first to spend IPOs.
Read more: Robinhood opens IPOs for retail investors with ties to companies
Retail investors were given relatively few options and were only able to buy shares of newly listed companies after the shares began trading, causing prices to rise.
Robinhood’s Directed Equity Programs (PSDs) will give some members of the public more opportunity to buy shares at the IPO price.