Sony Data Breach Worse Than Expected

Sony Data Breach Worse Than Expected

December 9, 2014         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Last month’s data breach at Sony continues to become more concerning.

Hackers originally leaked five unreleased movies online and some employees’ Social Security numbers.

But now, security firm Identity Finder has found the hack that occurred on November 24 exposed over 47,000 Social Security numbers, including over 15,000 current or former employees. In addition, these numbers appeared more than 1.1 million times on 601 publicly-posted files stolen by hackers.

A significant number of files containing the Social Security numbers were accompanied by other personal information, such as full names, dates of birth and home addresses, increasing the chances of identity fraud.

Some analysts feel hackers in North Korea known as Guardians of Peace may be behind the data breach. One of the movies released online was “The Interview,” in which two Americans are recruited by the CIA to kill North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

The hack was expected to only affect Sony employees, but it actually reaches as far as anyone who has recently applied to work with the company and any ex-worker who recently left the company. Any potential immigrants have to include information about their families on their applications, which makes even more people vulnerable during the breach.

“The most concerning finding in our analysis is the sheer number of duplicate copies of Social Security numbers that existed inside the files. In this instance, some SSNs appeared in more than 400 different locations, giving hackers more opportunities to wreak havoc,” Todd Feinman, President and CEO of Identity Finder, said in a statement.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 9, 2014. For up-to-date
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About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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