August 28, 2007

Threatwatch: US-SSNs melt for $50 in MacArthur Park

So, having read the HBR case I just wrote about ("nobody else reads the original material they quote, why should I?"), I discovered this numbers gem on the very last page:

Perhaps the most worrying indicator is that the criminal industry for information is growing. I can go to MacArthur Park in Los Angeles any day of the week and get $50 in exchange for a name, social security number, and date of birth. If I bring a longer list of names and details, I walk away a wealthy man.

$50 for ID sets seems very high in these days of phishing, but that may be the price for hand-to-hand delivery and a guarantee of quality. Either way, a data point.

What also strikes is the mention of a physical marketplace. Definitely a novelty! The only thing I know about that place is that it melts in the dark, but it could be that MacArthur Park is simply too large to shut down.

Posted by iang at August 28, 2007 06:20 AM | TrackBack
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