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Innovation in Information Security

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Why Hack When You Can Buy Your Way to Identity Theft

Continuing a trend of employees stealing valuable data, an employee at a Fidelity National Information Services subsidiary at some time prior to May 2007 stole more than 2 million records that contained a range of personal, financial account, and credit card data for users of Fidelity services.

Immediately profiting off the theft, the employee sold the information to a data broker that then sold the information on to direct marketing companies. Even though officials from the Fidelity subsidiary involved have stated that none of the data was used for fraudulent financial activity, the consumers who were subsequently contacted by the direct marketing firms might think otherwise.

Even though they have found no fraudulent activity, the Fidelity subsidiary just doesn't know what the data has been used for, or where it has exactly spread to - which is always the considered risk with identity data theft. A clear example of failing to understand how fluid the storage and distribution of information is, the company has set out to recover all of the data stolen. They will be able to recover copies of it, but there will be no guarantee that they can recover all copies of it.

The employee who stole the data was a senior DBA who has subsequently been fired and is likely to face civil and criminal charges in the near future.

4 July 2007

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