FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Like many technology-oriented blogs and websites, we've mentioned the risk of cellphone hacking before. Now it's finally happened in a way that's made national news.

By now you've surely heard about Paris Hilton's T-Mobile Sidekick cell phone being hacked, and the numbers of her celebrity friends being posted on the Internet for all to see... and dial. Some of the victimized celebritites reported receiving hundreds of calls.

UPDATE: While the Hilton hack remains under investigation, speculation abounds about how it might have been pulled off (Hint: It's deceptively simple, and offers some lessons in personal online security).

Gaining less attention was a similar story of much greater consequence to average people. The data aggregator ChoicePoint had said that some of its confidential data had been compromised, affecting as many as 500,000 people in all 50 states. Among the information types at risk are Social Security numbers, birth dates and drivers license numbers, putting them at risk of identity theft. ChoicePoint has said that it will notify all affected individuals by mail.

Sources: MSNBC, Computerworld