Hacker releases ISP customer data

A hacker angry at the outside activities of GlobalCentral.com, a Casper, Wyo., Internet service provider, has released customer information to Computerworld.

On Dec. 12 and 13, Computerworld received e-mails containing detailed information about customers signing up for Internet access through GlobalCentral. The e-mails included such personal information as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, bank routing numbers, as well as the clients’ names, addresses, telephone numbers and the terms of their contracts with GlobalCentral.

Although the e-mails appear as if they originated from Netmart.com, a Web-hosting company in Miami, a spokesman said his company isn’t involved with the release of the customer data.

“At the request of GlobalCentral, we do not control their e-mail services,” spokesman Jack Edery said. “These services are handled by a third party. Further, Netmart is not involved in setting up order forms for clients.”

Rick Koerber, president of GlobalCentral, in an e-mail said the hacker was angry at the company’s support of the Anchor and the Sofaith.org programs. The Web site lists Koerber as the director of the Sofaith project, which appears to support traditional family values.

“[We] identified the problem. It was an isolated problem specifically related to someone who was causing mischief because of our support of the Anchor program and the Sofaith.org project,” Koerber wrote.

Koerber didn’t return numerous messages asking for more information about the hacking incident. It couldn’t be determined whether the hacker was an employee of GlobalCentral, how the hacker gained access to the system and how much information was stolen. It is also unknown why the hacker chose to send the customer data to Computerworld.

According to information at its Web site, the Sofaith (Society of Families Anchored in Truth and Honor) project is an “organization of individuals committed to further the common objective, traditional morals, values and truths that will help strengthen and maintain the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

The Anchor program was started to promote Sofaith’s agenda, which is to protect society against assaults on the family, including assaults by “militant ideological homosexuality.”

The GlobalCentral.com Web site also includes a link to the Sofaith.org Web site. The Sofaith Web site offers members unlimited 56K dial-up Internet access for US$14.95 a month, which includes a $5 donation to Sofaith.

Christine Mata, the daughter of a Scottsbluff, Neb., woman whose personal information was sent to Computerworld, said she advised her mother to cancel her credit card after learning of the security breach from a Computerworld reporter. She then immediately called the company to find out what had happened.

“They called me back and said [the hack] was done intentionally and the information was only sent to Computerworld,” she said. “They told me that they were installing a new encryption system to make sure it didn’t happen again.”

Mata also said her mother is still a customer of GlobalCentral because it is the only Internet service provider offering local dial-up access to the Internet in her town.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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