Exposed Medical, Mortgage Data Set Stage for Synthetic ID Fraud, ATO

Exposed Medical, Mortgage Data Set Stage for Synthetic ID Fraud, ATO

June 6, 2019

After reports that its website had exposed 855 million records related to mortgage deals, First American Financial Corp. hired a third-party security firm to investigate a weakness that allowed external access to sensitive documents, according to KrebsonSecurity.

Only days later, a one of the largest blood-testing providers in the U.S., Quest Diagnostics, announced that nearly 12 million of its customers may have had personal, financial and medical information breached due to an issue with one of its vendors, the Wall St Journal said. The breach at billing provider AMCA Systems may also have exposed the same kind of information from nearly 8 million more customers of another blood-testing company, LabCorp.

This trove of exposed data is invaluable to cybercriminals who are evolving their fraud tactics. Fraudsters winnow through the stolen data and create new identities that enable them to use synthetic ID fraud for nefarious card-not-present transactions.

Krebs noted there was no information on whether the leak was known to fraudsters, “nor do I have any information to suggest the documents were somehow mass-harvested (although a low-and-slow or distributed indexing of this data would not have been difficult for even a novice attacker).”

“Today, more than ever, hackers are exploiting weak and stolen credentials to gain unauthorized access to sensitive systems and data,” said Dana Tamir, VP market strategy, Silverfort.

“The best way to prevent unauthorized access is by enforcing multi-factor authentication (MFA): Requiring users to authenticate with a second factor (via a mobile app, smart card, one-time-password, etc.) ensures that only authorized users can access sensitive systems. Yet most of our sensitive systems still rely on password-only authentication mechanisms, which can be easily bypassed.”

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