Feeds

Man charged in Acxiom cracking case

Consumer database giant fingers FTP server in attack

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.