Social Security Numbers Stolen in 49ers Data Breach

Nearly 21,000 people were affected by the February breach of the NFL team's computer systems.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
Expertise cybersecurity, digital privacy, IoT, consumer tech, smartphones, wearables
Bree Fowler
An image of the San Francisco 49ers logo.

People affected by the breach will get one year of free credit monitoring.

Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers said the names and Social Security numbers of nearly 21,000 people were stolen in a breach of the NFL team's computer systems earlier this year.

The acknowledgement was made in a required data breach notification filed with the state of Maine. According to the filing, which references a notification made to consumers on Thursday, the breach occurred in February and was discovered in August. A total of 20,930 people were affected.

Social Security numbers are considered one of a person's most sensitive pieces of personal information. When they're compromised, it puts people at risk for identity theft, because the numbers can be used to open lines of credit. 

In a Friday statement to the press, the team said it's begun alerting those affected by the breach and is offering them free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

In its notification to the state of Maine, the team specified that it would provide one year of those services through Experian.

The 49ers said they're also working with cybersecurity experts to shore up cyberdefenses and prevent future breaches.