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LexisNexis acknowledges more ID theft
Personal info on 310,000 people possibly stolen, 10 times more than what was disclosed last month.
June 2, 2005: 5:14 PM EDT
By Caleb Silver, CNN Business News Producer
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LexisNexis is acknowledging that personal information on 310,000 people may have been stolen. CNN's Daniel Sieberg reports.
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NEW YORK (CNN) - LexisNexis, which compiles and sells personal and financial data on U.S. consumers, said Tuesday that personal information on 310,000 people nationwide may have been stolen.

That number is nearly 10 times higher than the figure LexisNexis disclosed last month when it first reported that its databases had been breached.

LexisNexis said in March that 32,000 people had been potentially affected by the breaches.

In a press release on its Web site, the company said it will notify an additional 278,000 individuals whose data may have been stolen, adding that it is working with law enforcement authorities to see if any of the stolen data has been misused.

Letters will be sent this week to people who may have been affected by the security breach. To date, none of the individuals who were notified that some of their information was accessed last month have experienced any form of identity theft, according to the company.

The firm's Anglo-Dutch parent Reed Elsevier said the identity thefts relate to the misappropriation of IDs and passwords from customers of its Seisint division, which provides information on consumers to third parties like collections companies and federal agencies.

Today's disclosure comes just after an investigation by Reed Elsevier determined that its databases had been fraudulently breached 59 times using stolen passwords.

The thieves, who obtained information including addresses and Social Security numbers, did not hack into the computer system and although they were able to get ahold of sensitive password information, the company says it is not certain how the passwords were acquired.

ChoicePoint (up $0.53 to $40.35, Research), an information clearinghouse similar to Seisint, was a victim of a similar scheme earlier in the year. Thieves posed as real estate agents and the company then gave them access to personal information in its database.

How safe is your computer? Click here to find out.

If you think you are a victim, click here.

NewsNight with Aaron Brown (10 p.m. ET): Find out how to protect yourself from scams to steal your identity.  Top of page

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