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ID theft

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File-sharing software poses risks for government

This post is a sort of update to my Feb. 27 post regarding file-sharing software and the associated risks. I wrote about a New York family whose personal and financial information was accessed and stolen via their daughters’ use of a P2P software program for downloading and sharing music.

A lot has happened or come to my attention since that post that illustrates much larger risks and incidents that jeopardize national security.

  • The same day I wrote about the dangers of peer-to-peer software, Tiversa, a P2P security consulting firm in Pittsburgh, announced they’d discovered that an American defense industry executive inadvertently leaked blueprints and avionic details about President Obama’s helicopter. The contractor apparently had the documents on a home computer or laptop that also had the file-sharing software used for music and movie sharing.
  • M. Eric Johnson, director of the Center for Digital Strategy at Dartmouth College was able to access information on tens of thousands of patients at hospitals with P2P software on their hard drives. The information include names, addresses, Social Security numbers, insurance account information and diagnostic codes. Twenty thousand such files were from a single unnamed hospital. The revelation was part of a paper he presented at a Feb.23 conference.
  • June 2008: The names, Social Security numbers and medical records of more than 1,000 Walter Reed Army Medical Center patients were accessed through a peer-to-peer network.

These are only a few of the most recent and relevant examples of the startling dangers of file-sharing software.

Published Mar 03 2009, 02:23 PM by IdentityTheft
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