The notification and the warning that Play.com sent out to its customers following a breach of systems belonging to the company that handles part of its marketing communications seems to have been a reaction to its customers’ complaints on public online forums and direct complaints to the company.
“On Sunday the 20th of March some customers reported receiving a spam email to email addresses they only use for Play.com,” said John Perkins, Play.com CEO, in a statement issued yesterday. “We reacted immediately by informing all our customers of this potential security breach in order for them to take the necessary precautionary steps.
He also identified the third-party marketing company that handles their communications: it’s Silverpop. As you might remember, the compromise of Silverpop’s systems has brought about problems to McDonald’s, deviantArt’s and Walgreens’ customers.
“We believe this issue may be related to some irregular activity that was identified in December 2010 at our email service provider, Silverpop,” Perkins revealed.
When the Silverpop breach was first revealed, I believed that it would be a good idea for all Silverpop Systems clients – and there are many! – to warn their customers about the possibility of being on the receiving end of malicious spam, and now it seems that I was right.
The only thing that’s bothering me is the fact that email addresses belonging to Play.com customers were misused only now – three months after the Silverpop breach was made public. Why did the spammers wait so long?
“Investigations at the time showed no evidence that any of our customer email addresses had been downloaded,” said Perkins. Could it be that Play.com’s mailing list was stolen in a second breach that happened more recently?