More ChoicePoint

MSNBC has more on the ChoicePoint story. I’m using their link because they’ve really been in the lead with this one.

This gives me an opportunity to add what I think is the irony in this whole sordid mess. ChoicePoint didn’t get hacked¹, they sold this information within the normal course of their business. They were scammed into believing they were dealing with legitimate businesses by people who used techniques that ChoicePoint’s data is often sold to prevent! Oops.

Though this information, the most personal of data on all of us, was sold to criminals, I’m just as upset that it can be aggregated and sold at all.

Expect a lot of smoke but little fire as congressional hearings get underway. As a matter of political realism, strict reform in the data mining and sales business would seem to be an unlikely outcome right now.

¹ – Speaking of not getting hacked, there’s a rumor at Motley Fool that Paris Hilton’s Blackberry wasn’t hacked… someone just guessed the password.

It is unclear exactly how Paris’ bejeweled electronic organizer was compromised — whether T-Mobile’s servers, where information is stored, were breached or whether someone accessed her actual device using her password (“Tinkerbell,” her Chihuahua’s name, perhaps?). The latter is what those in the technology field call an “end user error.” Or in non-techie parlance: shooting yourself in the foot.

Matt Drudge, reporting on a new theft of Fred Durst’s home video, writes:

A site hosting the hack reads: ‘I’M SORRY, U SELLOUT :)’

“The previous information was obtained using social engineering tactics.”

Law enforcement officials believe the video comes from the same source who presented Paris’s Sidekick diary.

“Social engineering” means someone got in through guile, not technology.

2 Responses to “More ChoicePoint”

  1. Jim says:

    I’m pretty sure Paris’s blackberry’s password was guessed as well – which technically is still “hacked” – although the fault lies more with the use r then the provider… it was probably something as simple as “password” – but, then again – is it her fault, or theirs for not enforcing strong passwords?

  2. Mike says:

    New Crime! http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/25/news/fortune500/bank_america/index.htm?cnn=yes

    Absolutely amazing that in this day and age, that our information can be so readily stolen, and accessed by people! Really makes me mad!

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