David Szpunar: Lead Engineer, PC Help Services

David's Church Information Technology

April 18th, 2008 at 9:25 pm Print This Post Print This Post

Security Breach by ID Theft Hits Close to Home

A server was stolen from a debt-collection agency in Indianapolis last month, which meant 700,000 names, addresses, phone numbers, and of course, social security numbers are out there. It’s supposedly the largest computer security breach in Indiana history. Given the fact that it’s a debt-collection agency that lost the records (which were supposedly “protected by two passwords, but was not encrypted…[and] had been stored behind three locked doors.”), if you live in Indiana but never had late bills go to collections, you shouldn’t be directly affected, although there’s a hotline you can call to verify. Original details and report are available at the Indy Star, at least for the time being (they tend to lock up articles after a certain amount of time and make you pay for them).

This is just one more step in the growth of identify theft, which is becoming more and more of a problem (I won’t bore you with the details of other theft cases, if you’re in the IT field I you probably know about them already!). I hope they figure out a better way to protect this stuff before it gets as common as spam as gotten. But I know the technical sophistication required by every single business to make that a reality, and I don’t think the problem is going away any time soon.

On the personal front, I’m in Ohio this weekend for my brother-in-law’s wedding, and I only have one week of schoolwork left for this semester before being freed to spend some more time blogging; I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things! I have managed to stick around the #citrt Freenode IRC channel on a consistent basis, and I’ve stayed reasonably active on Twitter since MinistryTECH and the Roundtable, which I’m still catching up from at work (but getting close to the normal level of “behind” :-)