Mother of All Data Breaches Shows Need for Layered Security

An identity theft service has hacked several data broker behemoths, according to a seven-month investigation by KrebsOnSecurity, and yes, it may be the mother of all hacks.

Here's the backstory: For the past two years, SSNDOB.ms marketed itself on underground cybercrime forums as a reliable and affordable service that customers can use to look up Social Security numbers, birthdays and other personal data on any U.S. resident, Krebs reports. The price: from 50 cents to $2.50 a record and from $5 to $15 for credit and background checks. The subscription-based service accepted anonymous virtual currencies like Bitcoin and WebMoney.

Late last month, Krebs reports, network analyses uncovered that credentials SSNDOB admins used were also responsible for operating a botnet that apparently tapped into the internal systems of large data brokers. LexisNexis confirmed that it was compromised as far back as April 10. Krebs reports that a program installed on the server was designed to open an encrypted channel of communications from within LexisNexis's internal systems to the botnet controller on the public Internet.

Five Data Brokers Breached

"Two other compromised systems were located inside the networks of Dun & Bradstreet, a Short Hills, New Jersey data aggregator that licenses information on businesses and corporations for use in credit decisions, business-to-business marketing and supply chain management," Krebs explains. "According to the date on the files listed in the botnet administration panel, those machines were compromised at least as far back as March 27, 2013."

According to Krebs, the fifth server compromised as part of this botnet was located at Internet addresses assigned to Kroll Background America. Kroll, which is now part of HireRight, provides employment background, drug and health screening. Altegrity owns both Kroll and HireRight. Krebs says files left behind by intruders into the company's internal network suggest the HireRight breach extends back to...

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