Tags: data breaches, hackers, identity theft prevention, identity theft protection
Now more than ever, criminal hackers are hacking into databases that contain Social Security numbers and using the numbers to open new financial accounts. Criminals use stolen Social Security numbers to obtain mobile phones, credit cards, and even bank loans. Some victims whose Social Security numbers fell into the hands of identity thieves have even had their mortgages refinanced and their equity stripped.
WTEN.com reports an arrest has been made of an individual alleged to have illegally downloaded personal information, including Social Security numbers of about 15,000 people.
Police arrested a man “for stealing the collection of Social Security numbers from computers belonging to contractors working for the Office of Disability and Temporary Assistance, which is the New York state agency that decides some initial disability claims for Social Security.”
As in most cases of data theft, the Office of Disability and Temporary Assistance will notify and provide credit monitoring services to affected individuals.
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s Chronology of Data Breaches, more than 500 million sensitive records have been breached in the past five years. The Chronology of Data breaches lists specific examples of incidents in which personal data is compromised, lost, or stolen, for example “employees losing laptop computers, hackers downloading credit card numbers and sensitive personal data accidentally exposed online.”
The fact that the entire population of the United States has had their information compromised more than 1.5 times, why wait for another breach to get personal information monitoring?
McAfee Identity Protection includes proactive identity surveillance to monitor subscribers’ credit and personal information including use of Social Security number and access to live fraud resolution agents who can help subscribers work through the process of resolving identity theft issues. For additional tips, please visit http://www.counteridentitytheft.com
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Half Billion Records Breached in 5 Years
In the late 90s and early 2000s, hacking had evolved from “phreaking” (hacking phone systems) to “cracking” (breaking into networks). At the time, hackers hacked for fun, for the challenge, and for fame and popularity within the hacking community. But soon enough, the public began spending more time online, shopping, banking, and managing personal affairs.
- Data Leakage is a Correctable and Solvable Problem
WNYT.com reports “the Social Security Administration in New York City says that 15,000 Social Security numbers were stolen by a subcontractor who was working in Office of Temporary Disability Assistance making computer infrastructure upgrades.” In this case the culprit is a subcontractor and succeeded either because he had the contractor’s credentials/passwords and/or the files containing the
- Washington Man Steals Over 1000 Identities
While we often hear about international criminal hackers compromising databases and stealing credit card information, identity theft is often committed locally, by someone with access to sensitive paperwork. In one such case, a suspected identity thief was recently arrested in Washington, after driver’s licenses, credit cards, and Social Security numbers were stolen from more than a
- Criminal Hackers Responsible For Most Data Breaches
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were at least 662 data breaches in 2010, which exposed more than 16 million records. Nearly two-thirds of breaches exposed Social Security numbers, and 26% involved credit or debit card data. The ITRC elaborated, “Other than breaches reported by the media and a few progressive state websites, there
- Bill Would Remove Social Security Numbers From Medicare Cards
The most basic advice for protecting your own identity is to protect your Social Security number. The obvious solution is simply never to disclose your number, but this is silly, since, depending on your age, you have probably provided it to hundreds of people, on hundreds of forms. It now sits in hundreds of databases,
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