- Aug 17, 2017
An American university founded in 1833 is facing a bunch of class action lawsuits after the personal data of nearly 100,000 people was stolen from its tech infrastructure. And because the data includes the identity fraud goldmine of the victims' names and social security numbers (SSNs), one of the lawsuits claims the danger to those affected could continue throughout "their lives."
SSNs are assigned at birth, and never change, and they allow US government agencies to identify individuals in their records and "businesses to track an individual's financial information." With just an SSN, name, and address, criminals can take out a credit card or loan in the victim's name. It can also be used to obtain medical care (and rack up bills) in the person's name, or the criminal can identify themselves using it when arrested - giving the victim a criminal record.
Attackers spent 12 days rummaging through servers and posted the personal details they found on the dark web. According to the data breach notice by Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, 93,512 people were affected.