By Tim Wilson
Dec 04, 2008
Rene Rebollo was strapped for cash. One day, while working in his office
at the Pasadena branch of Countrywide Home Loan, he noticed one computer
in the building whose USB port hadn't been disabled by the company's IT
department. Then, according to FBI affidavits, Rebollo got an idea.
Every Sunday night for approximately two years, Rebollo went over to
that workstation and downloaded confidential data on as many as 20,000
Countrywide customers to a small USB drive that he could carry out of
the office in his pocket. He then sold the valuable data for as little
as $500 to an accomplice, who fenced it. Over the two-year period,
Rebollo may have sold as many as 2 million records, according to some
Rebollo's case, which caused a nationwide stir and a huge black eye to
Countrywide, was highly publicized but hardly unique, experts say. In
fact, as the global economy worsens and employees become more fearful of
layoffs and financial distress, there already is an increasing incidence
of insider sabotage, espionage, and theft.
In a report scheduled for release later today, IBM's ISS X-Force
research team will reveal that it has detected a 30 percent increase in
network and Web-based security events in the past 120 days, with the
total number rising from 1.8 billion per day to more than 2.5 billion
worldwide. The researchers attribute a significant portion of the uptick
to insider activity motivated by economic fear.
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