One of the most accredited forms of validation for a citizen’s identity is a Social Security Number. A Social Security Number is a significant piece of government-issued identification in the United States. When this information is compromised, it can lead to serious problems where an individual to impersonate someone.
A citizen may never know that their Social Security Number has been compromised, but even if they do, it can still take several months (or years) to obtain a new one. When a Social Security Number is compromised, whether it’s known or not, a malicious entity can leverage it to impersonate them to achieve various goals including utilizing their health care and opening credit lines.
The most important steps to take once it is believed that a Social Security Number has been compromised is to first file an identity theft report with the local police. Secondly, place a fraud alert on your credit file indicating that a potential identity theft has occurred. This can be done by contacting a credit reporting agency such as Equifax, TransUnion or Experian.
Identity fraud is more common than many citizens believe. A study done by Javelin Strategy and Research in February of 2018 revealed that the rate of fraud victims per year is increasing.
Many incidents of identity fraud can be traced back to data breaches of major companies that deal with and store sensitive information of citizens. A recent example of a large amount of Social Security Numbers being leaked is the Equifax data breach discovered in July of 2017. In this breach, 145.5 million were reportedly affected. Due to this breach, digital attackers might have sold victims’ Social Security Numbers online and/or shared freely by malicious entities.
When hackers and identity thieves look to share information or advertise information they’re looking to (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Tripwire Guest Authors. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/featured/scraping-social-security-numbers-on-the-web/