Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) provides financial IT solutions, software, and technology to clients across the globe. In 2007, this Jacksonville-based company became the victim of a serious security breach, perpetrated by a database administrator employed by one of FIS’s subsidiaries, a company called Certegy Check Services Inc. Millions of customers were affected by this breach, with the number of affected clients rising from an initial estimate of 2.3 million to an eventual 8.3 million consumers, whose data was stolen and later sold.
The Stolen Information
On July 3, 2007, Fidelity National Information Services learned that client information had been illegally obtained and sold by a database administrator working for one of the company’s subsidiaries. This information, which consisted of names, birthdates, and financial information such as checking account and credit card details, was then sold to an unidentified data broker. The broker, in turn, sold several subsets of FIS client contact information to marketers for targeted advertising purposes. Although the company originally stated that approximately 2.3 million customers were affected, this number was later raised to 8.3 million affected customers.
Employee Trial and Class Action Suit
The database administrator responsible for the theft, William G. Sullivan, pled guilty to charges of federal fraud. He was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, as well as a $3.2 million fine. In July of 2008, approximately one year after the data breach occurred, a class action settlement entitled each affected client a payment of up to $20,000 for identity theft losses between August 24, 1998 and December 31, 2010. Furthermore, Certegy Check Services Inc. donated $125,000 to the Attorney General’s Seniors vs. Crime Program and paid $850,000 to cover costs incurred by the state during the investigation process.
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This article is part of our collection of WORLD FAMOUS SECURITY BREACHES!