home subscribe advertise reprints e-mail help RSS about us LOG IN

Mortgage News


Mortgage News

HOT Topics









site map

twitter linkedin
facebook google+

Mortgage News

News by Subject
Complete list of specialty news sections.

Purchase Subscription
Subscribe to MortgageDaily.com and get immediate access to all news, statistics and archives.

Mortgage Advertising
Reach mortgage executives, loan originators and other people tied to mortgage industry.

Consumer Mortgage News
Free mortgage news for prospective borrowers.

Mortgage Newsletter
Free e-mail newsletter with the latest headlines from MortgageDaily.com.

Mortgage News Reprints
Put entire MortgageDaily.com stories in your online or printed newsletter or publication.

Mortgage Feedget RSS code
Condensed MortgageDaily.com stories free on your Web site or for your RSS reader.

News Archives
Archive of MortgageDaily.com stories by month going back to 1999.

Press Releases
Reports and announcements from MortgageDaily.com.

Mortgage Statistics
Data and statistics for real estate finance.

Mortgage Directories
Directories of lenders, branch operators and mortgage service providers.

Mortgage Graphs
Directories of lenders, branch operators and mortgage service providers.

Mortgage Technology news
Technology news for originators, executives and servicers. Coverage of LOS systems, loan product and p r i c i n g engines and other technology offered to the mortgage industry.

P2P Network Exposed Private Borrower Data

5,200 ABN AMRO borrowers' data breached

September 25, 2007


The social security numbers and other personal information of more than 5,200 ABN AMRO Mortgage Group borrowers were inadvertently opened to access by anyone using an online file sharing network as a result of actions by a former employee.

Although the computer was taken off-line after the security breach was discovered, "the information could still be out there" because of the sharing, MortgageDaily.com was told by Chris Gormley, chief operating officer at Tiversa Inc., a Pittsburgh area company that provides technology and investigation services regarding data breaches. Tiversa found the breach after a caller raised questions indicating a security breach.

The breach also included mortgage types and loan amounts for each borrower, he said.

While file sharing, also know as peer-to-peer, should be limited to items in a specially created separate shared folder, "it's not easy to do that," Gormley said, and in this case every file on the computer, including the mortgage files on 5,204 mortgage borrowers were "viewable by anyone" using the BearShare P2P file sharing network. Viewers can then copy and pass on the information, which is what often happens after a security breach is closed, he explained.

Tiversa didn't take the time and expense to track any sharing that may have taken place because ABN AMRO is not one of its clients, Gormley said.

ABN AMRO's parent, Citigroup Inc., said in a statement e-mailed to MortgageDaily.com that it has retrieved the customer information from the source computer and is now "taking appropriate steps to identify, notify and protect the customers involved, including offering complimentary credit monitoring services.

"Protecting customer information remains a priority at Citi," the statement stressed, "and we remain fully committed to physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect personal information."

While the BearShare file sharing network is intended to be used by consumers who want to find others from whom they can download specific music recordings or movies by title or artist, participants in the P2P program can inadvertently open their entire document files to users, Gormley explained. Thus while most persons type in the name and artist of a specific recording being sought for download direct from other users, identity thieves can type in requests for personal information.

"People are out there trolling all the time," he said, pointing out that in a recent two week period there were 118,000 searches beginning with the word "credit," including 56,000 searches using the term "credit cards." Why would such searches take place on a file sharing network devoted to music and movies except for identity theft, he said.

In file sharing network exchanges, files do not go through any central computer server in the middle of the exchange, Gormley explained. However, Tiversa can observe such activity, even determining where this information goes once it is opened to sharing, he said. Thus it can see what inadvertent file sharing is taking place.

Finding files with such personal information as social security and credit card numbers, "comes down to what are the files named," he said, pointing out that the initial files in the ABN AMRO case related to commissions. Once identity thieves access one such file, they can locate the computer and gain access to all unprotected files on that computer, Gormley noted.

Jerry DeMuth is an award winning journalist who has been reporting for four decades.

e-mail Jerry at [email protected]

Privacy News and Privacy Policy
Stories about privacy regualtion, actions and issues. MortgageDaily.com's privacy policy.

SUBSCRIBERS: Edit Subscription | Subscription Help | or call 214.521.1300

Subscribe Contact Us Site Map

Copyright © 2017 Mortgage Daily, D a l l a s
Subsribers Only:

AMC directory

ARM indexes

mortgage company directory

mortgage regulations

net branch directory

p r i c i n g engine directory

wholesale lender directory

More Mortgage News Resources (full site map):

advertising news

appraisal news

bank news

biggest lenders

commercial mortgage news

corporate mortgage news

credit news

FHA news

financial regulation news

foreclosure news

GSE news

jumbo mortgage news

interest rates

loan modification news

loan originator survey

LOS Newsletter


mortgage associations

mortgage-backed securities

mortgage books

mortgage brokers

mortgage compliance

mortgage conferences

mortgage directories

mortgage education

mortgage employment

mortgage employment index

mortgage executives

mortgage fraud

mortgage fraud blog

mortgage fraud local news

Mortgage Fraud Index

Mortgage Graveyard

mortgage insurance news

mortgage lawsuits

mortgage leads

mortgage lender ranking

mortgage licenses

mortgage litigation

Mortgage Litigation Index

Mortgage Market Index

mortgage mergers

mortgage news

mortgage politics

mortgage press releases

mortgage production

mortgage public relations

mortgage rates

mortgage servicing

mortgage statistics

mortgage technology

mortgage video

mortgage Webinars

net branch

net branch directory

nonprime news

origination news

originator tools

real estate news

refinance news

reverse mortgage news

secondary marketing

social media

servicing news

subprime news

wholesale lenders