Feeds

Man charged in Acxiom cracking case

Consumer database giant fingers FTP server in attack

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

A 24-year-old man appeared in court last Friday charged with cracking the systems of one of the world's largest consumer database companies.

Daniel J Baas, from Milford, Ohio, is alleged to have illegally accessed and copied information stored at consumer database giant Acxiom last December while working for its partner, Cincinnati-based data-mining firm Market Intelligence Group.

Following his 1 August arrest, Baas has also been charged with "unauthorised use of property" in breaking into Market Intelligence's systems in August 2002. Additional charges are pending, the Cincinnati Post reports.

Baas is being held in custody. He is due to face a grand jury indictment on 18 August. Market Intelligence fired Baas in June, the Cincinnati Enquirer
reports.

Anatomy of a hack

In a statement, Arkansas-based Acxiom admitted that its systems had been comprised through an insecure FTP server.

"Not all Acxiom clients nor all clients using this FTP server were affected, and only a small portion of all the information Acxiom processes for our clients was accessed. No breach of Acxiom's corporate security firewall occurred," the statement said.

"The files that were accessed contained a wide variety of client information, some of which was personally identifiable and some of which was not. Most of the data was non-sensitive, and some of the data was encrypted."

Worryingly, Acxiom only learnt of the unauthorised access when it was contacted by Ohio law enforcement officers involved in Baas' arrest earlier this month.

Acxiom states the incident is the first the company has faced. It is full of apologies. However, its statement only goes part way to reassuring the numerous individuals whose data it held that their information is safe. Acxiom's statement that "law enforcement officials have provided us with no indication that any individuals have been harmed by this unlawful intrusion" is positive but inconclusive.

Acxiom clients include 14 of the 15 biggest credit card companies, seven of the top ten auto manufacturers and five of the top six retail banks.

The company also analyses consumer databases for multinationals such as Microsoft, IBM, AT&T and General Electric. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.