Latest Data Leak: First American Financial Corp.

3 min read

Data leaks continue being one of the central sources of privacy invasion and important personal data losses. Until today, we have been informed of the attacks leading to the loss of private information trusted to the central agencies and institutions of more than a billion people due to the security failures. Yahoo, Facebook, Equifax, Marriott Hotels were the highlighted companies of the last few years that confessed to being breached and lost the valuable information of their customers; however, unfortunately the list is still growing each day as new cases of data leaks surface.

 

Latest news came from North America, when a California based title insurance and settlement services provider admitted to having lost the information stack of billions of their customers and people involved. The difference of this leak and the others would be the “visual aspects” and world-wide availability of the said information. According to the sources, a certain website which we deem unnecessary mentioning its name in our blog, posted all the information along with the formal documents and pictures in their webpages, and made it possible for any user to access all the information just by changing the URL address. An ultimate point of recklessness as it was, the worst is probably yet to come. Because, the sources did not really clarify -or possibly unable to do so- how much of the data is leaked to what types of people with criminal intentions. In other words, the data may have been leaked to “more than one” criminal. This is probably a first in the realm of data breaches as we had never seen the devaluation of the important and private data.

 

Another point in the news is the ease of access to the formal documents. Besides the data of today, the documents provided by the website may lead to the forgeries that can lead to people losing more than their holdings in the bank, but also their properties, real estate etc. Availability of such important formal documents can become very dangerous to the people’s earnings that many poured their blood, sweat and tears to acquire. Not so much of an achievement on the part of the company, but it is a first in the history of data breaches.

 

The Corporate and its inertness

 

First American Financial Corporate is a Fortune 500 company with a stock trading in New York Stock Exchange. The company achieved a revenue of 5.7 billion $ with a net profit of 474 million $ in 2018 and is currently employing more than 18000 people. It operates in nearly 70 countries worldwide in addition to their comprehensive services it provides in the US.

 

The reason that we list all these facts about the company is not to make them the target for what seems to be a grand error, but to actually demonstrate a clear pattern that seems to have been affecting the society rather seriously at this point. Similar to the other aforementioned companies, this company also leads a very legitimized operation, it seems perfectly capable of doing its job and provides services to its customers while making sure of matching the profit and revenue targets for their stakeholders. However, being a perfect company and running a large operation does not necessarily mean that the corporate is capable of preventing data breach and the information leaks. On the contrary, as in the example of the other companies, the magnitude only attracts more attention of the people with malintentions. Let’s face it: For a hacker, it is much more lucrative to access the information of millions of people, rather than infiltrating to the computer of an individual. So the question here should be, how should these large companies with extensive sets of information in their servers retaliate to make sure they can’t be attacked once again?

 

The Era of Decentralization and Blockchain

 

An innovative set of protocols and cryptographic methods, Blockchain technology has been used to challenge the existing financial system based on the umpiring of the third party like banks in any transaction activity after realizing the inadequacy of traditional banking system in the financial crisis of 2008.

 

In this technology, a centralized server or monitoring system is completely eliminated, where a concentration of power and control is not needed to validate financial transactions. Any transaction activity can be realized by the algorithms realized with the consensus of the decentralized network existing in the related Blockchain infrastructure. In other words, the network decides and verifies the transactions by the majority of its hashing power to reach the aforementioned “consensus”. Each block is added and stored in the network to keep the network continuously updated and in check. Both transparency, data control and complete privacy is now possible with blockchain and its decentralized networks.

 

Blockchain and decentralization are the rising technology and concepts of our age, and we positively think that it can be a great present we can leave to the next generations. Like the many technologies and innovations we inherited, we can see to making the blockchain infrastructures a success by applying them in wherever they can be of great value to the businesses and the society and leave a brighter future for tomorrow.

 

Sources:

 

1- https://blog.colendi.com/latest-data-leak-state-bank-of-india/

2-https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/05/first-american-financial-corp-leaked-hundreds-of-millions-of-title-insurance-records/

3-http://fortune.com/fortune500/first-american-financial/

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