Feds accuse bank insider of massive data heist

Feds accuse bank insider of massive data heist
Feds accuse bank insider of massive data heist 

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
The Register
4th August 2008

A financial analyst for Countrywide Home Financial, one of the world's 
biggest and most troubled mortgage lenders, has been arrested and 
charged with stealing personal information concerning a breathtaking 
number of the company's customers.

Rene Rebollo, 36, of Pasadena, California, downloaded 20,000 customer 
profiles including names and social security numbers just about every 
week for about two years, according to documents filed in federal court 
in Los Angeles. He would then sell the purloined information for about 
$500 per 20,000 profiles to various buyers. He netted as much as $70,000 
through the scheme, prosecutors alleged.

Although Countrywide had technology in place to disable flash drives on 
employee computers, Rebollo was able to circumvent the safeguard by 
making use of a PC that didn't have it installed. Countrywide is one of 
the biggest providers of subprime mortgages, which offered people with 
bad credit housing loans. In many cases, the loans came with low 
introductory interest rates that would eventually reset to much higher 
rates. Attorneys general from Illinois and California have sued the 
lender for practices that were allegedly unfair and deceptive.


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