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GLOBAL CONSUMER DATABASE HACKED

Source: Informatica

Posted on August 16, 2003

      A computer hacker gained access to private files at Acxiom Corp., one of the world's largest consumer database companies, and was able to download sensitive information about some customers of the company's clients, the company confessed last Thursday.

      "The data on the servers was a wide variety of information, some of which was personal, some of which was not," Jennifer Barrett, said the company's chief privacy officer.

      The Associated Press was notified of the intrusion by an anonymous caller who would not identify himself or his connection with the company. Barrett said the company did not know about the breach until a law enforcement agency from Ohio contacted it last week.

      Barrett said both the hacker and the stolen information are in police custody. She said about 10 percent of the company's customers were affected and that, "it would include some of our larger customers."

      The company's Web site boasts that it serves 14 of the top 15 credit card companies and manages consumer databases for a variety of companies, including several Fortune 500 firms. Among its clients are Microsoft Corp., IBM, Sears Roebuck and Co., AT&T, General Electric and Bank of America




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