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Verizon Also Affected By Epsilon Data Breach

Verizon Communications is among the companies whose customers' information was stolen after a hacker broke into an e-mail database at marketing firm Epsilon on March 30.

The telco notified customers this week that some e-mail addresses of customers and prospective customers were access by an unauthorized individual, and advised them to be on the lookout for spam or "phishing" scams they may receive.

Others hit in the incident include Charter Communications, TiVo, HSN, The Walt Disney Co., JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Target, Best Buy and Walgreens.

According to Verizon, Epsilon assured the telco that only e-mail addresses were disclosed. "Verizon takes very seriously the privacy of our customers and others with whom we do business," the company said in a statement.

Verizon told customers to report any suspicious or unwanted e-mails to abuse@verizon.net.

Epsilon's parent company, Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems, has said it is working with "authorities and external experts" in investigating the incident and to identify the individual responsible. According to Epsilon, the companies affected by the breach represent approximately 2% of its total client base. Only e-mail addresses and in some cases names were accessed in the breach, with other personally identifiable information unaffected, ADS said.