It’s just been revealed that 145,000 people have had their personal information has been stolen from a company called ChoicePoint. This company is one of those that gathers info from phone books, court records, motor vehicle departments, etc. and then resells that personal information to companies who want to know.
What happened was that any number of identity thieves, using “social engineering” techniques quite common among hackers and crackers, convinced CheckPoint that they were legitimate client companies. This happened not once, but numerous times over the last year.
Personally, I doubt that the “Deep Phishing” expeditions were limited to the last year. The company, now that it has finally figured out that they were had, is busy informing the victims that their collective virtual butts are hanging in the breeze. Since the victims never paid CheckPoint to gather this info in the first place, my guess is that the only possible retribution involves a class action suit. Of course if George Bush gets his way, that avenue will be out, too, leaving these poor people to wonder where to turn if the government turns on them, too.