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Over 147 million US Social Security Cards listed for sale on the Dark Forums

Hackers accessed the personal data of US residents, and they want to get big money for it

Published: September 15, 2021 By Darina Shramko

Title image for 147 million US Social Security Cards listed for sale on the Dark Forums

Image source – freepik.com

Two hours earlier, we discovered that an unknown hacker had posted a message in one of the dark forums about the sale of USA Social Security Cards.

The cybercriminal gained access to such important data as:

  • Personal information
  • Bank data
  • Addresses, etc.

Thus, it's a serious threat to the safety of US residents.

Let's see what happened and what are the consequences of this leak.

What data was hacked?

So, we're talking about hacking and data theft of 147 million US Social Security Cards.

Hacker’s post about hacked US Social Security Cards data

The data for sale is relatively old − for 2018; however, the information provided in this leaked database can still cause serious harm to the safety of US residents.

The hacker provided a fragment of the leaked database to inspire confidence in the buyer and prove the authenticity of the information.

Fragment of the leaked database

We have checked this file and made sure that the database does indeed contain all the detailed information about the citizens of the United States, namely:

  • Salary
  • IP addresses
  • Bank accounts
  • Email
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers, etc.

The offender did not name the exact price for the goods and invited everyone to discuss the cost in the personal messages of Telegram, leaving a contact for communication.

Hacker’s post


How disastrous are the consequences of what happened?

The black market for confidential data is replenished with new information every day, and the resale of information to third parties is one of the main types of income for fraudsters.

However, the leakage of US social security cards is a very serious problem because a wide range of people took possession of your information, which means that your data can be used for gain.

For example, fraudsters can apply for a loan knowing the details of your salary and bank accounts, or, on the contrary, they can fraudulently seize your money by withdrawing all funds from the cards.

Knowing your address and phone number, cybercriminals can threaten you, extort money, or use other forms of blackmail.

Criminals know a myriad of ways to morally pressure a victim, and being aware of your life, work, and money further corrupts fraudsters.

If your data hacks and you become a victim of scammers − don't panic! I know how to help you.


Personal Information Security Tips

The first thing you need to do if you are threatened, blackmailed, or extorted money is to contact the Inspector General's Office Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or send a message online.

When filing a fraud report, include the following details of the alleged suspects or victims:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Social security numbers

If your information was used to obtain credit, loans, phone bills, or other goods and services, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Commission collects complaints about identity theft from those whose identity has been stolen. You can call the FTC hotline toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or visit the website. After your application, immediate measures will be taken to ensure your safety.

These tips are first aid in emergencies. However, I want to remind you once again about the preventive security measures that will help you save your data:

  • Don’t leave your addresses, phone numbers, and other data on the Internet, and do not share this data with unfamiliar people
  • If you received a call supposedly from a social service to obtain confidential information − immediately hang up! Social workers never ask for your personal information over the phone.
  • Use VPN services to surf the Internet
  • Use the TOR browser to anonymize your traffic

These simple tips will help you stay safe. Also, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the recommendations for ensuring security from Social Security.

Tips to your data protection

 Image source – ssa.gov

Tags: 
Leaks
Author
Darina Shramko
Cybersecurity specialist and researcher.

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