Sony Hack Exposes Social Security Numbers
- By Matt Holden
- Dec 05, 2014
According to a report, the Sony Pictures hack has revealed sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, of more than 47,000 current and former Sony employees. The Social Security numbers appeared more than 1.1 million times in the 601 publicly-posted files stolen by hackers.
Other data has also been confirmed to be exposed, including full names, dates of birth, and home addresses.
"The most concerning finding in our analysis is the sheer number of duplicate copies of Social Security numbers that existed inside the files," Identify Finder CEO Todd Feinman said in a statement. "In this instance, some SSNs appeared in more than 400 different locations, giving hackers more opportunities to wreak havoc.”
As the investigation continues, the FBI recently issued a warning to U.S. businesses about malicious software like the kind that took down Sony's internal network. The "flash" warning provided technical details about how the attack was pulled off, as well as advice on how to respond to similar malware.
"As we have seen from the myriad data breaches this year, every organization is vulnerable to an attack," Identify Finder's Feinman said. "Security technologies are an important shield, but minimizing the target and reducing the footprint of sensitive data is more critical than ever."
Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.