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Ameritrade "knew about data leak for ages"

Legal trouble beckons after punters get swamped with spam
Thu Sep 20 2007, 11:35
AMERITRADE IGNORED repeated warnings from an IT insecurity expert starting January 9, 2006, that its systems were being hacked.

According to Network World, the outfit allowed data to be leaked for more than a year before telling its six million users that they might have been victims.

E-mails obtained by Network World show that Ameritrade's security might have been wide open since 2005. However the company ignored the fact that its punters were getting swamped with stock related spam.

Last Friday Ameritrade publicly acknowledged that unauthorised code on its systems had allowed certain information stored in one of its databases, including e-mail addresses, to be retrieved by an external source. The security expert who wanted Ameritrade, Joshua Fritsch sent Network World copies of the emails he sent to Ameritrade on January 2006 which warned of the hack.

In return, he got a patronising email from Ameritrade back insisting that there was nothing wrong.

Ameritrade spinners are still claiming that the outfit did not know that they were being hacked or the scale of the problem. µ


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