Social security flaw leaves way open for cyber-theft – tech – 07 July 2009 – New Scientist
Think you’re safe from identity theft because you are careful with your personal information? If you have a US social security number (SSN), think again – because that personal identifier can be guessed from publicly available information.
Tech-savvy thieves could obtain publicly available names and dates of birth of, say, 18-year-olds born in West Virginia. Then, armed with a "botnet" consisting of thousands of computers infected with rogue code, these stolen identities could be used to obtain around 4000 credit cards in a couple of hours before the accumulating incorrect SSN guesses caused the computers to be locked out.
"It’s possible that criminals are already using this,"