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Home » Hacking News » Minnesota teen suspected of cracking LexisNexis subsidiary

Minnesota teen suspected of cracking LexisNexis subsidiary

by Nikola Strahija on May 23rd, 2005 The teenager is believed to have accessed LexisNexis using phony accounts set up through police departments in Florida and Texas, according to a search warrant.

Authorities have been investigating how hackers obtained Social Security and driver's license numbers belonging to tens of thousands of people. The information came from databases owned by Seisint Inc., a database company bought by LexisNexis Inc. in 2004.

Investigators earlier this week searched computers belonging to Maple Grove High School senior Zachary W. Mann, 18. but he has not been charged.

Someone created unauthorized accounts under the name of the sheriff's department in Denton County, Texas, and the police department in Port Orange, Fla., and used them to log into the Seisint database. Secret Service agents later traced one of the instances where the Seisint data was accessed to Mann. Using the screen name "majestic," he posted a long string of identifying information about an individual in a hacker chat room, apparently to impress other hackers.

Mann's parents took him to Maple Grove police and turned over his computer equipment and handwritten notes, after they discovered he was buying things on eBay with a stolen credit card. In an interview, Mann said he got stolen card numbers through hacker friends he met in chat rooms.
LexisNexis reported the breach in March. It was discovered as part of a review following its acquisition of Seisint, which has databases that include millions of personal records. Records on as many as 310,000 people were involved, and this was the second infiltration at a large database provider in recent months. Rival ChoicePoint Inc. said in February that the personal information of 145,000 Americans may have been compromised by thieves posing as small business customers.

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