Hacked data boots identity theft to critical issue

    Date11 Mar 2005
    Posted ByBenjamin D. Thomas
    The computer breach at consumer data broker Seisint raised identity theft in the United States to crisis proportions Thursday, a day after the second major data broker disclosed that its database containing a plethora of private information on virtually every American was compromised. LexisNexis' Seisint division and rival ChoicePoint, each with large computer centers in Boca Raton, sell consumers' addresses, Social Security numbers, driver license numbers and other personal information stored in electronic databases. These firms operate free from government regulation. That's almost certain to change as Congress is asking why this sensitive consumer information is not secured from computer hackers who are intent on stealing people's identities.

    The Internet provides fertile ground for a new breed of identity thieves who are buying and selling personal consumer data in cyberspace. With your personal information in the wrong hands, someone else can cause you headaches by opening credit cards and taking out loans in your name.

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