Large data breaches are becoming a VERY frequent news event! This time only 2.3 million records were stolen, a mere fraction of the amount (45 million plus) TJX lost. In this instance, we are told we have nothing to fear because the information was sold to a data broker.

Ron Word of the AP (courtesy of the Washington Post) reports:

Fidelity National Information Services, a financial processing company, said yesterday that a worker at one of its subsidiaries stole 2.3 million consumer records containing credit card, bank account and other personal information.

This occurred at one of their subsidiaries, Certegy Check Services.

According to the article:

About 2.2 million records stolen from Certegy contained bank account information and 99,000 contained credit card information, company officials said.

Since Certegy verifies check transactions, this probably means a lot of checking account information in addition to some credit and personal information. From a financial crimes perspective, this information could be used to commit a lot of identity theft, check and credit card fraud.

The company claims the information was sold to data brokers, who sold it to direct marketers. Their president, Renz Nichols, “believes” this is the extent of the damage.

Not sure, if I can “believe” that no one is at risk. The last time I checked, identity thieves normally shy away from revealing exactly, who they intend to compromise next. It’s bad for business. Besides that, is this based on the word of someone, who stole the information and sold it in the first place?

Interestingly enough, the data broker is unnamed at this point. The AP article does say they are claiming they didn’t know the information was stolen. I wonder how this data broker verifies the information they get, and who they are getting it from?

Data brokers and credit bureaus sell information all the time. Recently, a data broker (InfoUSA) was caught selling direct marketing information to spammers, who commit lottery fraud schemes.

The sad thing is that once the information starts getting sold, it becomes available to more and more insiders, who might sell it to the wrong person, assuming it hasn’t been already.

And there is so much information to be sold, no one is ever sure exactly where it came from. Criminals are even selling it via the Internet to other criminals.

AP Story (courtesy of the Washington Post), here.

Attrition.org is tracking data breaches, here. The amount of them that happen is pretty scary!

I’ve written a lot of about how data brokers make billions buying and selling our information, which can later used against us, here.

They don’t believe they are enabling a worldwide problem, either.

At least that’s what I keep hearing, whenever a new data breach is announced.

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