Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Data breach tied to identity theft

A common response to reports of data breaches is that "that's just the number of people whose data was exposed--there's no reason to believe that the data will be used fraudulently."

ComputerWorld has an article by Robert McMillan reporting on one case where there definitely is reason to suspect fraudulent use.
A data breach at United Healthcare Services Inc. has led to a rash of identity-theft crimes at the University of California, Irvine.

To date, 155 graduate and medical students at the school have been hit by the scam, in which criminals file false tax returns in the victim's name and then collect their tax refunds. The breach affects 1,132 graduate students who were enrolled with the university's graduate student health insurance program in the 2006-07 school year, said Cathy Lawhon, the university's media relations director...

Based in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealthcare is one of the largest health care service providers in the U.S. A company spokeswoman confirmed that some university students' personal information "may have been accessed without authorization," but she could not comment on the source of the breach.
I have frequently posted on this topic. Let's hope there aren't many more such stories to come. The next victim could be you! (Or, even worse, me. :-)

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Comment by Blogger Matt:

Here's to having peace of mind, and stringing up the companies who're dumb enough to get our data exposed.

I'd like to highlight this little story, where a criminal ran an ID theft ring FROM HIS CELL. Ridiculous.


1:55 PM  

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