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  CERT Alerts
  100,000,000 and counting
Location: BlogsLee's Blog    
Posted by: Lee Drake 12/18/2006

According to a recent NY Times article over 100.000,000 personal information records have been stolen or compromised - in released data.  This, of course, doesn't even touch the real total, since most identity theft at the personal level goes uncounted, and many corporate identity theft victims either never know, or never report the breach.

UCLA, Aetna, and Boeing all released announcements lately that they have been victims of data theft - in some cases physical theft of laptops or tapes, in others victims of hacking.

This of course calls into question your own practices.  If someone stole your laptop - what kind of data would they find, and how easy would it be to get that information.  Do you store passwords to your corporate VPN  on that box?  If so, once the thief has the laptop - they own your data too.

Do you collect personal information on your corporate website?  Is it protected from SQL Injection and other attacks?  If so - do you purge it once you're done.

Copyright ©2006 Lee Drake
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Re: 100,000,000 and counting    By LeeDrake on 9/2/2008

In most cases the cardholders are contacted with the information that their cards have been compromised, once the card company finds out. There have been many additional breaches since these occurred. Your best defense is good bookkeeping. Be sure you retain all your credit card receipts and cross check them against your statement. Typically when an account is breached they don't just try to max out your account. They'll charge smaller (usually under $1000 purchases) to your credit card in hopes they'll be missed or slip under the radar. If you ever detect a charge to your account that you cannot track back to a receipt, purchase or subscription, call the credit card company to investigate it. If you don't dispute the charge reasonably quickly you can be held responsible for it - even if you detect it later.

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