AntiSec stole thousands of personal records, analysis shows
A massive data cache posted on the Internet by hacker group AntiSec over the weekend contained thousands of Social Security numbers, dates of birth, passwords and telephone numbers, among other personal information, according to an analysis by a developer of identity theft prevention software.
AntiSec, a group made up of members from the hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec, posted 10 gigabytes of data that it said it had obtained after hacking into websites of more than 70 law enforcement agencies in the U.S.
AntiSec's data included nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers, more than 2,000 dates of birth, more than 4,600 passwords, about 17,100 phone numbers and 7,165 postal addresses, according tot Idenity Finder, which makes software for fighting identify theft.
The analysis also found 1.5 million email addresses, but because of the huge volume, the company was unable to distinguish how many of those were unique. Identity Finder Chief Executive Todd Feinman estimated there could be 50,000 to 100,000 unique email addresses.
"This is one of the biggest postings of personal information," he said. "We'll see breaches happen, but you won't typically see 2,000 different Social Security numbers posted."
The analysis also found 53 driver's license numbers, 57 bank account numbers and eight credit card numbers.
"There's a lot of fraud that you can do with a Social Security and a name, and unfortunately, these files had a lot of that information," Feinman said. "These files could lead to the worst kind of identity theft."
AntiSec's posting should remind everyone that if they are going to post sensitive information online, they need to keep it secure, Feinman said.
"Whether it's viruses, Trojan horses, worms, phishing attacks, losing your laptop or if you're targeted by an organization like AntiSec, the only way to make sure they don't get through to your confidential data is make sure your confidential data isn't lying around," he said.
-- Salvador Rodriguez
Image: A screen shot of the Identity Finder software's results after scanning AntiSec's data posting. Credit: Identity Finder