recommended reading

Feds: Fandango Customers Were Vulnerable to Hackers, Identity Theft

Fandango's famous bag puppets.

Fandango's famous bag puppets. // Fandango/AP

If you bought movie tickets between 2009 and 2013 on Fandango's mobile app, your credit card information may have been an easy target for hackers.

Fandango settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission on Friday over charges that it failed to take basic steps to protect user data on its app for iPhones and iPads.

Credit Karma, a credit checking service, settled similar charges on Friday with the FTC for failing to protect mobile app data.

Neither company is required to pay any financial penalty as part of the settlements, although both Fandango and Credit Karma are required to establish "comprehensive security programs" and to undergo independent security assessments every other year for the next 20 years.

According to the lawsuits, the companies disabled a default encryption process, known as SSL certification. As a result, hackers could have easily intercepted private information, especially on public Wi-Fi networks often found in coffee shops, shopping centers, or airports, the FTC said.

Despite the vulnerability, Fandango assured customers that their credit card information was safe as they checked out. Credit Karma claimed it used "industry-leading security precautions."

In a statement, Fandango said it upgraded its security in March 2013 and that it is not aware of any customers who had their information stolen.

"Security is among Fandango's top priorities, and we are fully committed to protecting our customers' personal information," the company said. "We have reviewed and heightened our security program to protect our customers' personal information, across all of Fandango's products and platforms, and we test regularly for data security."

A Credit Karma spokesman said the company has addressed the security issue and is not aware of any lost data.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez noted that consumers are increasingly relying on mobile apps to make purchases and handle sensitive financial information.

"Our cases against Fandango and Credit Karma should remind app developers of the need to make data security central to how they design their apps," she said.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, and other lawmakers are pushing bills that would allow the FTC to fine companies for inadequate data security practices.

The FTC is currently investigating Target over last year's massive hack of credit card information.

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion

Florida’s Concealed Carry Permit Holders Names Exposed

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.