Experian sells personal information to hacker posing as a private investigator
In 2013, detailed personal information being sold by the fraudster-friendly underground service Superget.info was found to have been bought from CourtVentures, a public records aggregator bought by Experian in 2012. In late 2013, Superget.info's operator, 24-year-old Vietnamese national Ngô Minh Hiếu, was indicted by the US Department of Justice for hacking into company databases and selling the stolen information on US residents; he posed as a private investigator in Singapore in order to buy information from Court Ventures. In hearings on the data broker industry before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Experian acknowledged it had failed to do due diligence and said it had not learned of the issue until it was advised by the Secret Service. In 2015, Ngô was sentenced to 13 years in prison; he is believed to have stolen personal information pertaining to nearly 200 million people and earned $2 million from these crimes. In 2014, court cases were brought against several customers who bought Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other personal information from Ngô, including one who ran an identity theft and credit card ring of at least 32 people, who used the information to steal millions of dollars from more than 1,000 victims across the US.
tags: Experian, credit scoring, hacking, data breaches, identity fraud, theft
Writer: Brian Krebs, James Eng, Alyssa Bereznak
Publication: Krebs on Security, NBC News, Yahoo Finance