Security Incident Affects Businesses That Applied for SBA EIDL Loans in March
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) confirmed that the private data of almost 8,000 business owners who applied for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) may have been exposed. Loan applicants may have been able to view the sensitive personal data of other applicants. This data breach is reported by the Washington Post.
EIDL loans are a long-standing SBA program. Small businesses that suffer losses due to disasters like floods, fires, or hurricanes can use them to cover expenses while they rebuild their businesses. The money can be used to pay for rent, payroll, and other expenses as governed by the terms of the loan. The EIDL program was recently expanded to help businesses hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s possible that some portion of EIDL loans related to COVID-19 may convert to grants that do not have to be paid back.
A letter from the SBA dated April 13 stated the SBA EIDL data breach was discovered on March 25, 2020. If applicants clicked the “back button” during the application process, they may have been able to see the sensitive information of other applicants. It is unclear how long the issue was present on the web portal or how it was discovered. The SBA states it has fixed the security issue and it is no longer a concern.
According to the Washington Post, “The SBA did not immediately answer questions about how long the breach lasted or how it was discovered.”
SBA EIDL Loan Data Breach
The EIDL program is currently closed to new applicants.
Exposed Data May Include:
- Social Security numbers
- Date of Birth
- email address
- Phone numbers
- Citizenship status
- Insurance information
The SBA EIDL data breach is not connected to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans. The PPP program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. PPP Loans are initiated through financial institutions.
Businesses that may have been affected by the data breach have been notified by the SBA. They were given one year of credit monitoring service free of charge. Due to an increasing number of scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic , is recommended that both people individuals and businesses monitor their credit. Anyone can obtain credit monitoring to make sure no new lines of credit have been opened up in their personal names or in the name of their business credit monitoring also notifies you of any existing line of credit has been increased.
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