8.5 million reasons to worry

If there's any truth to a number of online posts that the Certegy breach actually does involve fraud and not just some annoying direct marketer solicitations, then the St. Petersburg, Fla. check verification company and its parent Fidelity National Information Services are in some deep doo-doo.

A number of people who received letters from Certegy following the announced breach earlier this month are now reporting they have become victims of identity theft. While nobody seems to be sure this is definitely a result of the breach - in which a former database administrator at Certegy sold 8.5 million consumer records to a handful of direct marketing firms - the revelations seem too coincidental.

To be fair, Certegy stands by its original claim that none of the stolen records have been used to perpetrate crime. But, the company noted, its investigation continues. And the last time Certegy said that, a few weeks later, it raised the number of exposed records by some six million.

It certainly wouldn't be surprising to learn that this breach is much more malicious in nature than initially believed. After all, that's a lot of precious data, surely worth A LOT of money if it fell in the right, er wrong, hands.

Stay tuned. So far, Certegy hasn't gotten back to SC Magazine's request for comment.

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