Data security for 2006 is not looking much better than last year's showing.
In separate incidents this week, the government of Rhode Island reportedly said that Russian data thieves had nabbed tens of thousands of credit-card transactions from the state government's Web site, while Seattle-based Providence Home Services apparently acknowledged that backup tapes containing 365,000 patient records in the states of Washington and Oregon had been stolen from an employee's car.
A spokesperson for the state of Rhode Island confirmed that outside attackers breached a server database and stole encrypted credit card information on as many as 53,000 transactions, according to a story in Federal Computer Week. Meanwhile, home and hospice healthcare provider PHS had begun to change its backup practices after tapes containing 365,000 patient records were stolen from a car, according to NetworkWorld.
The incidents suggest that 2006 will not be much different than 2005, which saw more than 50 million sensitive data records leaked by online breaches and stolen backup tapes. A year ago, data collection firm ChoicePoint revealed that criminals created fake businesses to get sensitive and financial information on 145,000 U.S. consumers. That same month, Bank of America acknowledged that backup tapes containing information on 1.2 million government credit-card holders had gone missing. Topping the year of revelations, Mastercard International told consumers that online attackers managed to compromise the database of a third-party credit-card processor, CardSystems Solutions, leaking 40 million accounts encompassing the four major types of credit cards.
Posted by: Robert Lemos