Feeds

Credit report resellers settle charges over data breaches

1,800 reports exposed

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Three resellers of credit information have settled federal charges they didn't do enough to prevent security breaches that exposed sensitive consumer information to hackers.

The companies – Washington state-based ACRAnet Inc. and SettlementOne Credit Corporation and Statewide Credit Services of California – have agreed to obtain independent security audits every other year for the next two decades and develop comprehensive security programs designed to protect the confidentiality of the consumer data they sell. The companies buy credit reports from the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies and combine them into special reports used by mortgage brokers.

The companies collectively exposed more than 1,800 credit reports via compromised client networks, the US Federal Trade Commission said in a statement. Even after learning of the compromises, the companies failed to take reasonable steps to prevent future breaches, the FTC added.

SettlementOne, for instance, allowed “end users with unverified or inadequate security to access consumer reports” through the company's portal, according to a complaint (PDF) submitted in the case.

“As a direct result of these failures, between February and June 2008, hackers were able to exploit vulnerabilities in the computer networks of multiple SettlementOne end user clients, putting consumer reports in those networks at risk,” FTC officials wrote. “In multiple breaches, hackers accessed at least 784 consumer reports without authorization.”

The FTC alleged the shortcomings violated several federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the FTC Act, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Safeguards Rule. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.