Saturday, March 14, 2009

Norm Coleman Donor List Data Breach - click here 4 link

Did you ever give money to a political candidate or a charity on line with your credit card? Have you given your cell phone number to any vendor, bank, political campaign? Then you won't like this story.

Norm Coleman is the Republican incumbent Senator from Minnesta who is in a disputed election ballot recount with his opponent Al Franken.

This week, a whistle-blowing web site, published a list of donors to the Coleman campaign, as well as the street and e-mail addresses of 51,000 voters who supported Mr. Coleman. Later 467 cellphone numbers of people who has signed up for his SMS "alert" service were also made public. It was also discovered that the campaign retained the security code numbers from the credit cards of donors longer than 48 hours which is prohibited by MN law and the credit card payment council.

Furtherore, the campaign did not inform the donors whose credit card and other data had been breached because, as usual, they said there was no evidence that the information had been illegaly used.

How many #@!%^&*(? times do I have to remind you that when sensitive information is beraches and exposed on the Internet you may not knwo if it will be used illegally for a long time because crime organizations obtain such information and slowly put it to work.

This story is another of an endless lesson in bad behavior by data base managers. That's why anyone who handles sensitive personal information such as this MUST get training in secure data management and responsible ID protection.

On the other hand it is also why so many people choose to have ID Theft insurance so that they can get timely alerts or help fixing any problems that result from data breaches.


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