Acxiom hack exposes 1.6 billion customer records


In 2004, the US Department of Justice investigated the theft of 8.2GB of personal data from File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers belonging to Acxiom between 2002 and 2003. The case was thought to represent the largest case of data theft at the time. Scott Levine, the owner of the email spamming company Snipermail, was indicated on 144 offences in connection with the attack, and was eventually found guilty of 120 of them and sentenced to jail for eight years. In all, Levine and Snipermail were accused to stealing 1.6 billion customer records in 137 attacks on Acxiom databases, enabled by the combination of a business relationship between Acxiom and one of Snipermail's clients and weak access controls. The breach was discovered by investigators working on an earlier breach in 2003.

Tags: Acxiom, data breaches, hacks, security, data brokers

Writer: AP, John Leyden

Publication: NBC News, The Register

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