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Social Security Number Hacked!!

9 July 2009 No Comment

social_security_626_article2 One of the first rules about your social security number is never give it out either online or to some stranger.  Well it won’t matter anymore because some computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, have found a very distinct pattern between a person’s social security number, where they were born and what year they were born.

With this program they created, these CompSci were able to guess, correctly, 60% of the social security numbers of the deceased born between 1989 and 2003.  On top of that they were able to guess all nine digits 8.5% of that deceased list as well.  To add fuel to the fire, some social security numbers are easier to guess then others depending on were one was born based on the size of the population, meaning that if you were born in a small town your at risk.

Now my question is, has this program been leaked to the public yet?  Cause if that source code or program got leaked out to the underground, the social security system is pretty much done.  Right now though hackers have to do it the old fashion way and hack into hospitals, banks, federal buildings, SSN offices, credit card companies or even online stores to get those social security numbers.  Heck all it takes now is a credit/debt card to be able to track down the social security number and so if those researchers were smart they destroy that program and all traces of it before some curious mind finds the files.

Odds are though that school has been busy in recent days in people attacking the computer systems to get in there.  So do the world a favor and destroy that program, but as for solution to fix this problem, it was suggested to randomize the numbers and that would at least break that algorithm.  However, the other problem is that random number generators follow their own algorithms and what not.  So maybe a solution would be to add another number to SSN or for a secondary level of protection add a pin number to it or something.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/06/AR2009070602955.html?hpid=topnews

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/07/predictingssn/

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