Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw’s office has known for three years that social security numbers and other sensitive information is readily available via her website. Ready for the picking by everyone (okay, by every thief) on these internets. And she’s done nothing about it.
That’s kind of a big deal.
LEO’s Stephen George takes Holsclaw, a Republican, to task for doing little to remedy the security nightmare on her hands. And we hear from our own sources that Holsclaw has repeatedly said that it’s not a big deal, that it’s already been hashed out, it’s old news, etc. Hoo boy. Wonder if she smells like turnips since she obviously just fell off the truck.
Anyway. Have a read of Stephen’s story this week.
It is at least curious, if not downright alarming, that there are thousands upon thousands of Social Security numbers available for free, through the unsecured Web site of the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office. They are there among scads of notarized documents viewable in handy PDF format, things you’d probably be surprised to learn are actually public record: Your will might be there, for instance, or a mortgage agreement or the deed to your house. Your signature could appear in multiple formats.
Perhaps even more disconcerting, however, is the fact that thousands of perfectly valid Social Security numbers currently being used by actual people show up on pages of search results — there is no need to download an actual document. The numbers are right there, along with names and addresses. They show up only when certain search criteria are selected; however, it is not difficult to imagine a would-be identity thief with a few drops of Internet savvy figuring out how to piece together a name, date of birth, Social Security number, home address and signature.