Feeds

Fraudster bought names and address from Experian, says Krebs

Data broker duped

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Brian Krebs alleges a subsidiary of data aggregator Experian was duped into selling personal information about millions of Americans by a scammer.

Detailing his investigations here, Krebs accuses a Vietnamese national indicted in New Hampshire, Hieu Minh Ngo, of using the handle “hieupc” to operate Superget.info, which marketed itself as allowing lookups of individuals' social security numbers, drivers' license records, and financial information.

The link to Experian, Krebs reports, came via its acquisition of a company called Court Ventures. He writes that Superget.info gained access to Court Ventures' databases by posing as a private investigator. He claims that a third party, Marc Martin, CEO of Info Search (which had a data sharing arrangement with Court Ventures), says payments for access to the datasets came as transfers from Singapore.

Experian told Krebs it has worked with authorities on the arrest of Ngo, via this statement: “Experian acquired Court Ventures in March, 2012 because of its national public records database. After the acquisition, the US Secret Service notified Experian that Court Ventures had been and was continuing to resell data from US Info Search to a third party possibly engaged in illegal activity. Following notice by the US Secret Service, Experian discontinued reselling US Info Search data and worked closely and in full cooperation with law enforcement to bring Vietnamese national Hieu Minh Ngo, the alleged perpetrator, to justice. Experian’s credit files were not accessed. Because of the ongoing federal investigation, we are not free to say anything further at this time.”

Krebs says Ngo operated a second similar site called findget.me, and along with Superget.info, he held and offered access to data on “more than half a million people”.

Meanwhile, data aggregators – in particular, their control over who they sell data to – is bound to come under the spotlight even more than it already has, with hints that the Federal Trade Commission is becoming more active in the field. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
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
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
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
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
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.