A man in
Florida, Scott Levine, 45, has been indicted on 144 charges of
unauthorized access to a protected computer, conspiracy, device fraud,
obstruction of justice and money laundering after hacking into
Acxiom Corp.�s (news
Arkansas-based Acxiom is one of the largest customer data management
services companies in the world, and it manages personal information on
millions of consumers, as well as financial and other internal data for
companies. Coincidently, the firm prides itself as being a leader on
consumer privacy issues.
accused of breaking into Acxiom�s server and downloading more than 8MB
of user data that included personal information of numerous people over
a 16-month period (2002-2003). The estimates of damage exceed seven
said the information wasn�t used for identity theft; rather, it is
believed Levine intended to use the data for his own company,
Snipermail.com Inc., which distributes ads via e-mail and has since been
taken offline. Six other Snipermail employees are cooperating in the
indictment consequently sprung from a separate case last year in which
an Ohio man, Daniel Baas, pleaded guilty to hacking into an Acxiom
server. The breach involved one external FTP server outside Acxiom's
firewall that is used to transfer files back and forth between Acxiom
and its clients. The company said no internal databases were accessed
and no breach penetrated its firewall. It was during follow-up
investigations into that case when the company uncovered a second set of
infiltrations, which came from a different Internet Protocol address,
tracing back to Levine.
David R. Butcher is the assistant editor for
Customer Inter@ction Solutions
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