Another Massive Data Breach Under Investigation

Another Massive Data Breach Under Investigation

April 14, 2014         Written By John H. Oldshue

A data breach that may have exposed the personal information of over 200 million Americans–over twice the size of the Target breach–is not getting nearly the attention of other recent data breaches.

Hieu Minh Ngo, a Vietnamese national, posed as a private investigator in Singapore and became a customer of Court Ventures, a court records firm that allows its customers to have access to a database of information on Americans through a partnership with U.S. Info Services.

He allegedly used information obtained through Court Ventures to secure this personal information and sell it on two identity fraud-enabling websites, and

According to the transcript of Ngo’s guilty plea proceedings obtained by KrebsOnSecurity, his scheme attracted more than 1,300 customers who paid at least $1.9 million between 2007 and February 2013 to look up the personal information on more than three million Americans, including their birthdates, addresses, email addresses, home addresses and Social Security numbers.

In February, the 24-year-old was tricked into visiting the U.S. territory of Guam, thinking he was signing a significant business deal. He was arrested and plead guilty to fraud charges in a New Hampshire federal court in March.

Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the United States, purchased Court Ventures in March 2012. The breach began before Experian bought Court Ventures and, according to court documents, continued after they owned it.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 14, 2014. For up-to-date
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About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
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