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Attacks/Breaches

3/12/2014
08:11 AM
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Experian ID Theft Exposed 200M Consumer Records

ID theft ring sold database with 200 million consumers' private data to 1,300 criminals

A Vietnamese identity theft ring allowed criminals to conduct searches on an Experian-owned database containing information on 200 million consumers.

That information was revealed in a March 3 federal court hearing in which Hieu Minh Ngo pleaded guilty to running a business from his home in Vietnam that provided access to US consumers' personally identifiable information (PII), security journalist Brian Krebs first reported.

According to the Justice Department, Ngo sold "fulls," referring to bundles of PII that can be used to commit bank fraud, credit card fraud, and to file fraudulent income tax return requests. The fulls were advertised via a number of underground cybercrime sites, including Superget.info.

Just how big was the data breach involving the Experian database? US attorney Arnold H. Huftalen told the court that Ngo had provided 1,300 criminals with access to 3.1 million US consumers' PII over an 18-month period, according to a transcript of the hearing.

Read the full article here.

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Mathew Schwartz served as the InformationWeek information security reporter from 2010 until mid-2014. View Full Bio

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