Security Experts:

Cybercrime Service Hacked Data Aggregation Firms: Report

Cybercrime is a business, and in the case of the SSNDOB service, business is booming.

According to a seven-month investigation by security reporter Brian Krebs, an identity theft service known as SSNDOB [SSNDOB.MS] has compromised computers at some of the largest consumer and business data aggregators in the United States.

For the past two years, the website has sold its services on cybercrime forums, hawking itself as a business that can help customers look up social security numbers, birthdays and other sensitive data for any U.S. resident, Krebs reported. For as little as 50 cents per record, customers can get their hands on confidential information.

While the sources of the site's information had long been a mystery, an analysis of a botnet interface controlled by the minds behind the service indicate that they control at least five compromised systems at LexisNexis, Dun & Bradstreet and Kroll Background America, Inc. Kroll Background America is now part of HireRight, which is owned by Altegrity.

"The fact that these companies were owned for a long time without knowing it points to the need for greater detective controls after a breach has occurred,” said Gary Alterson, senior director of risk and advisory services at Neohapsis. "And they’re not unique in this problem -- it’s a problem in many enterprises. They spend a lot of time preventing a breach, but not in detecting a successful breach and the data exfiltration that comes with it – nor in fully cleaning up afterwards."

Earlier this year, SSNDOB had its database compromised by multiple attackers. A copy of the database reviewed by Krebs revealed that the site's 1,300 customers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting information on more than four million Americans.

As of this afternoon, the SSNDOB site appears to be down.

"Any organization in the business of hoarding data, especially data that rightfully belongs to others has an obligation to monitor for these types of attacks," said Chet Wisniewski, senior security advisor for Sophos. "Without the public's permission these organizations have been entrusted with all of our personal details and to some degree control our financial futures. Along with that information comes great responsibility which clearly has not been fulfilled."

view counter