Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

FTC Orders ChoicePoint To Pay $275,000 For 2008 Data Breach

Agency alleges that data broker didn't do enough to protect information after massive breach in 2005

ChoicePoint, which became a poster child for data breaches when it lost data on 163,000 consumers in 2005, has agreed to pay a penalty for a subsequent breach that compromised more than 13,000 identities last year.

According to an announcement by the Federal Trade Commission, ChoicePoint agreed to settle the FTC's charges that the company failed to implement a comprehensive information security program to protect consumer data, as required by a court order following the 2005 breach.

"This failure left the door open to a data breach in 2008 that compromised the personal information of 13,750 people and put them at risk of identify theft," the FTC says. The modified court order requires ChoicePoint to modify its data security assessment and reporting duties -- and orders ChoicePoint to pay $275,000.

In April 2008, ChoicePoint (now a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier) turned off a key electronic security tool used to monitor access to one of its databases, and for four months failed to detect that the security tool was off, according to the FTC.

"During that period, an unknown person conducted unauthorized searches of a ChoicePoint database containing sensitive consumer information, including Social Security numbers," the FTC says. The searches continued for 30 days. After discovering the breach, the company brought the matter to the FTC's attention.

The FTC alleged that if the security software tool had been working, ChoicePoint likely would have detected the intrusions much earlier and minimized the extent of the breach. The FTC also alleged that ChoicePoint's conduct violated a 2006 court order mandating the company institute a comprehensive information security program to protect consumers' sensitive personal information.

Under the agreed-on modified court order, filed on the FTC's behalf by the Department of Justice, ChoicePoint also is required to report to the FTC -- every two months for two years -- detailed information about how it is protecting the breached database and certain other databases and records containing personal information.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Commentary
What the FedEx Logo Taught Me About Cybersecurity
Matt Shea, Head of Federal @ MixMode,  6/4/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
A View From Inside a Deception
Sara Peters, Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/2/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31811
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an OutOfMemory-Exception while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.
CVE-2021-31812
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an infinite loop while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.
CVE-2021-32552
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
It was discovered that read_file() in apport/hookutils.py would follow symbolic links or open FIFOs. When this function is used by the openjdk-16 package apport hooks, it could expose private data to other local users.
CVE-2021-32553
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
It was discovered that read_file() in apport/hookutils.py would follow symbolic links or open FIFOs. When this function is used by the openjdk-17 package apport hooks, it could expose private data to other local users.
CVE-2021-32554
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
It was discovered that read_file() in apport/hookutils.py would follow symbolic links or open FIFOs. When this function is used by the xorg package apport hooks, it could expose private data to other local users.