Feeds

Spammer charged in huge Acxiom personal data theft

Hack to spam indictment

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

A Florida man has been charged with stealing a vast quantity of personal information from Acxiom, one of the world's largest database companies. Scott Levine, 45, of Boca Raton, Florida, was this week indicted for 144 offences in connection with the alleged attack including "conspiracy, unauthorized access of a protected computer, access device fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice".

The US Department of Justice said the case involves what might be the "largest illegal invasion and theft of personal data to date". Federal investigators charge that Levine and staff at Snipermail stole 8.2 gigabytes of data from Acxiom's FTP servers between April 2002 to August 2003 during the course of 137 separate intrusions. The purloined data was allegedly used in email spamming campaigns by Snipermail, a Boca Raton-based company allegedly controlled by Levine.

Although investigators allege the intrusion and theft of personal information at Acxiom resulted in losses of more than $7m there is no suggestion this data was used in the more serious offence of identity fraud. The DoJ said six other people associated with Snipermail are cooperating in its investigation.

Double jeopardy

Evidence of Snipermail's alleged assault was discovered by investigators probing a separate security breach at Acxiom. Daniel Baas, 25, of Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded guilty to that attack last December.

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.

Arkansas-based Acxiom has overhauled security since the attacks were uncovered. ®

Related stories

Man charged in Acxiom cracking case
Chats led to Acxiom hacker bust
Online fraud, ID theft soars

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.