Major data aggregators have been compromised “for months”, according to prominent security blogger Brian Krebs, including Lexis-Nexis and Dun & Bradstreet.
Writing at Krebsonsecurity, Krebs says the ID theft invasion of the brokers' servers dated back at least as far as April this year, and that “the miscreants behind this ID theft service controlled at least five infected systems at different U.S.-based consumer and business data aggregators.”
His work started with an attempt to investigate the data sources of a service called ssndob.ms (which has since gone offline), which provided lookups for Americans' social security and other background-check data. An attack on Ssndob put a copy of its database in front of Krebs, which while not revealing its data sources, indicated that multiple sources existed for its data.
However, Krebs writes, “But late last month, an analysis of the networks, network activity and credentials used by SSNDOB administrators indicate that these individuals also were responsible for operating a small but very potent botnet” – a botnet with access to the aggregators Lexis-Nexis, Dun & Bradstreet, and Kroll Background America.
While admitting that its servers were compromised, Lexis-Nexis claimed to Krebs that there was no evidence that customer or consumer data were compromised. D&B and Kroll's owner Altegrity declined to comment on the potential compromise of customer data, reverting to canned “security is our priority” statements and promising investigations. The companies are also in touch with federal authorities, Krebs said.
Whether or not Krebs has discovered a new breach at Lexis-Nexis, The Register notes that the broker has fallen prey to data thieves before. Back in 2005, its systems were rooted, and while it initially stated that 32,000 records were copied, the final count ended up at 310,000 individuals affected.
Back then, Lexis-Nexis ultimately admitted to Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that data breaches were routinely covered up since no law required disclosure. ®