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Davidson’s Database Falls Prey to Hackers

A financial services firm based in Montana, Davidson Companies, announced on January 30, 2008 that their database containing some confidential information about past and previous clients of Davidson has been accessed through a sophisticated network breach by a third party.

The company officials of Davidson are worried that the hacked database which contains personal information along with social security numbers can be misused by hackers to carry out identity theft or online fraud.

The D.A. Davidson & Co. and its investment subsidiary took a very swift move by taking their public Website offline as soon as they came to know about the hacking incidence. Three credit reporting agencies - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - along with law enforcement and regulatory officials and contracted out the evaluation of entire situation to a technology security and forensic firm.

The President and CEO of Davidson Companies, William A. Johnstone, said, as reported by InformationWeek on January 30, 2008, that a hacker hacked the database of the company illegally with sophisticated hacking software in spite of their efforts to protect the database.

Johnstone further said that all officials at Davidson are well aware of the troubles and tribulations, uncertainty, and the stress and anxiety caused when personal information is hacked. He further added that the officials aim at helping their clients when they are prone to an unfortunate hacking event, and help them in handling the mishap as quickly as possible. He also affirmed that the company is adopting new measures to enhance and strengthen network security measures.

Jacquie Burchard, the spokeswoman of Davidson companies, said that the hacker got an access to the company's database in the late December, and stole personal data of the company's clients like birth dates, addresses, and account numbers. However, she further confirmed that the hackers were not able to penetrate into the operating system of the company which contained details of recent trade done or asset, as reported by missoulian on January 31, 2008.

However, the company has informed all its clients about the hacking incident by mail and telephone, and has told them the steps needed to safeguard their identities.

Related article: Davidson County Facing Spam Forced to Overhaul E-mail

» SPAMfighter News - 2/7/2008

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