Experian Customers Unsafe as Hackers Steal Credit Report Data

Jordan Robertson reports:

When hackers broke into computers at Abilene Telco Federal Credit Union last year, they gained access to sensitive financial information on people from far beyond the bank’s home in west-central Texas.

The cyberthieves broke into an employee’s computer in September 2011 and stole the password for the bank’s online account with Experian Plc, the credit reporting agency with data on more than 740 million consumers. The intruders then downloaded credit reports on 847 people, said Dana Pardee, a branch manager at the bank. They took Social Security numbers, birthdates and detailed financial data on people across the country who had never done business with Abilene Telco, which has two locations and serves a city of 117,000.

The incident is one of 86 data breaches since 2006 that expose flaws in the way credit-reporting agencies protect their databases.

Read more on Bloomberg.  Jordan’s report was inspired by data compiled on DataLossDB.org, some of which we obtained under Freedom of Information requests. He also cites a complaint I filed with the FTC in April about all the Experian-related incidents, a complaint I have not discussed previously on this blog.  I’ll issue my own statement on his report and my complaint in a separate blog post.

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