Trans Hacker Arrested After Stealing Personal Information of 100 Million+ Capital One Customers
A former Amazon systems engineer has been arrested for accessing and publishing the personal information of more than a hundred million Capital One Bank customers.
Paige Thompson, 33, had her first appearance in court Monday in Seattle after being arrested by the FBI. The former Amazon engineer accessed the information of Capital One customers through Amazon Web Services. More than 80,000 credit card numbers were exposed, and more than 100,000 social security numbers were leaked in the hack.
Thompson identifies as a transgender woman.
It doesn’t seem thus far that any money has been stolen as a result of the hack. Sources within the FBI describe Thompson as “wanting to get caught.”
Thompson posted frequently about suicidal thoughts on a Twitter account FBI investigators used to investigate her criminal activities. In a Slack chat, Thompson suggested that she would eventually publish the information she stole from Capital One, potentially putting the hundreds of millions of bank customers at risk of identity theft.
Thompson was known under the name ‘erratic’ in several ‘white hat’ online hacker groups. It appears she accessed Capital One’s information through an exploit in their systems, as the company admitted that it was at fault, as opposed to Amazon’s web hosting services.
A previous employer described Thompson as a talented software engineer who could find internal vulnerabilities within companies’ digital security systems. Unfortunately, her talents appear to have been used for more devious purposes, judging from the data theft inflicted on Capital One.