Vudu, Walmart's video streaming service, told customers on Tuesday that their personal information may have been compromised and that all passwords have been reset as a precaution.
The issue was not the result of hackers. Instead, the company said that its office was burglarized on March 24 and the thieves stole a number of hard drives containing users' information.
In an email to users, Chief Technology Officer Prasanna Ganesan wrote that the hard drives stored customers' names, email addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers, account activity, dates of birth and the last four digits of some credit card numbers. It did not contain full credit card numbers.
"While the stolen hard drives included VUDU account passwords, those passwords were encrypted," Ganesan wrote. "We believe it would be difficult to break the password encryption, but we can't rule out that possibility given the circumstances of this theft. So we think it's best to be proactive and ask that you be proactive as well."
A spokeswoman for Hulu said that the company had notified law enforcement of the theft and was cooperating with an investigation.
Here's the full text of Ganesan's email:
We want to let you know that there was a break-in at the VUDU offices on March 24, 2013, and a number of items were stolen, including hard drives.
Our investigation thus far indicates that these hard drives contained customer information, including names, email addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers, account activity, dates of birth and the last four digits of some credit card numbers. It's important to note that the drives did NOT contain full credit card numbers, as we do not store that information. Additionally, please note if you have never set a password on the VUDU site and have only logged in through another site, your password was not on the hard drives.
While the stolen hard drives included VUDU account passwords, those passwords were encrypted. We believe it would be difficult to break the password encryption, but we can't rule out that possibility given the circumstances of this theft. So we think it's best to be proactive and ask that you be proactive as well.
If you had a password set on the VUDU site, we have taken the precaution of expiring and resetting that password. To create a new password, go to www.vudu.com. Click the "Sign In" button at the top of the page. Enter your current username and current password when prompted, then follow the instructions to reset your password securely. Also, if you use your expired VUDU password on any other sites, we strongly recommend that you change it on those sites as well.
As always, remember that VUDU will never ask you for personal or account information in an e-mail. Please use caution if you receive any emails or phone calls from anyone asking for personal information or directing you to a web site where you are asked to provide personal information.
As an added precaution, we are arranging to have AllClear ID protect your identity for one year at no cost to you. We have FAQs on our web site (vudu.com/passwordreset) to answer questions on the incident and to more fully describe how to use the AllClear ID service. We have reported this incident to law enforcement and are cooperating fully with their investigation. We want you to know that we take this matter very seriously, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Prasanna Ganesan Chief Technology Officer, VUDU