A federal investigation into a LexisNexis data breach resulted in search warrants and the seizure of evidence this week, according to a Washington Post report yesterday.
LexisNexis on March 9 said personal information of 32,000 consumers had been accessed through misappropriation of legitimate customer identifications and passwords from its Seisint database. After an internal investigation, it announced April 12 that another 280,000 consumers were at risk.
Though LexisNexis executives have acknowledged cooperation with law enforcement since the breach came to light, this is the first legal action reported.
According to the Washington Post, an unnamed senior federal law enforcement official told the paper that nine individuals were served with search warrants. Reportedly, the paper confirmed that three individuals were served including one minor, an 18-year-old and a 23-year-old, and that computer equipment was seized from at least two.
The paper's source said the LexisNexis breach was linked to the February hacking of hotel heiress and reality television star Paris Hilton's T-Mobile cell phone.
The law enforcement source and the minor also told the Washington Post that access into the LexisNexis and T-Mobile systems was acquired through spam e-mails containing virus files letting the hackers record the recipients' keystrokes, thus allowing for the theft of identifications and passwords.
Seisint, which provides background check data to businesses, government and law enforcement, was acquired by LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Group, in September for $775 million. Reed Elsevier Group is owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. Reed Elsevier's main offices are in New York, London and Amsterdam. Seisint is based in Boca Raton, FL.
Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters