Monday, January 11, 2010

Personal data susceptible to hackers

Hackers are to blame for most thefts of credit card numbers, medical records and other information of a million Massachusetts residents, The Boston Globe said.

The newspaper, citing state documents, said all the breaches happened in the past two years.

"Many thousands" of them had been reported from June to November and included confidential information from major institutions such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and JPMorgan Chase Bank, the Globe said

Some of the information ended up in the wrong hands because of the theft of a laptop computer or loss of computer data tape. But most breaches can be traced to hacker breaking into computer networks, the Globe said.

Businesses and other institutions must develop a "culture of security" to protect the sensitive documents they control, said Barbara Anthony, undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation.

All such institutions are required to inform customers and state regulators about any breaches in security that might cause identity theft. Breaches include the leak of names, and numbers for Social Security, driver's license, bank account, and credit or debit cards, the newspaper reported.

"In 60 percent of the cases, the breaches were due to criminal acts. Forty percent were negligence," said Anthony of 807 breach notifications received by the state by November. US News

No comments:

Post a Comment