Monday, May 23, 2005

Identity theft: almost hopeless

Data at Bank of America, Wachovia, others compromised - May. 23, 2005
Account information on the customers was illegally sold by bank employees to a man identified as Orazio Lembo, whom police said was doing business by illegally posing as a collection agency.

When police in Hackensack, N.J., first announced arrests in the case on April 28, they estimated that more than 500,000 people were affected. That number was raised to 676,000 Friday. Because some people have more than one account, Hackensack Police Chief Charles "Ken" Zisa says the number of accounts breached may top 1 million.

"As this gets going, these numbers are going to go up and up," Hackensack Detective Capt. Frank Lomia told CNN earlier Monday, adding that more arrests may be coming in the case.
One of the most interesting thefts of this kind involved a legal purchase of such information through a legal "front" bank. This is crude by comparison.

It does emphasize, however, how hopeless the situation is. It is not coincidental that fingerprint scanners are being integrated into some supermarket checkouts.

If they were smart, the feds would hire Bruce Schneier to devise a solution.

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