Concerns Over ID Theft Mount / LexisNexis Breach Widens

Concerns over ID theft mount LexisNexis breach widens; GM credit
accounts at risk
By Bruce Mohl, Globe Staff | April 13, 2005
Identity theft concerns mounted yesterday as LexisNexis said a
security breach at one of its subsidiaries may have been 10 times more
severe than an earlier estimate, and GM MasterCard rushed to replace
the credit cards of customers affected by a breach at an unidentified
national retailer.
GM MasterCard sent letters to customers late last week telling them
that "a national retailer's computer system has had a security breach
and your credit card account number may be among those that were
compromised." A copy of the letter was provided to the Globe by one
local GM MasterCard customer.
Officials at General Motors had no immediate comment and referred
questions to Household Bank, which issues the GM card. Household Bank
could not be reached for comment.
The GM MasterCard letter said the company had not been informed of the
merchant involved and probably would not be informed. "Due to the
serious nature of this situation," the letter said, GM MasterCard was
advising customers to have their credit cards replaced as soon as
LexisNexis, a provider of legal and business news, said yesterday that
a review of data search activity at its Accurint subsidiary over the
past two years has indicated that 59 times unauthorized persons had
gained access to such personal-identifying information as Social
Security numbers or driver's license numbers.
Last month the Dayton, Ohio, company had said it was notifying 30,000
individuals whose personal information may have been improperly
acquired. Yesterday, the company increased that number to 310,000. Of
the 310,000 individuals, 6,078 reside in Massachusetts.
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Monty Solomon
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