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    Washington Post: Service Offers to Retrieve Stolen Data, For a Fee

    The Washington Post’s Brian Krebs reports on a new company that sells the service of retrieving individuals’ stolen data.

    A former cyber cop in the United Kingdom is heading up a new online portal that claims to offer a searchable database of about 120 million consumer records that have been phished, hacked or otherwise stolen by computer crooks. Visitors who search for their information and find a match can verify which data were stolen — for a £10 ($16.50) fee.

    Colin Holder, a retired detective sergeant with the Metropolitan Police, said the idea for became obvious shortly after he resigned from the U.K. fraud squad in 2004. […]

    The service works like this: You search by your e-mail or street address, and the site will tell you whether your personal details are among the records on an estimated 40 million unique victims […]

    If the database finds a match, it will report the type of data found, be it credit card, bank account number, Social Security number, date of birth, etc. […]

    Consumers in the United States are rarely — if ever — held liable for losses due to stolen credit or debit cards, so paying to recover these credentials may not make much sense. However, I can see the attraction of people wanting to know how or where their data might have been compromised. If my Social Security number and other personal information was located in the database, I would probably be curious enough to spend $16 in the hopes of finding out why.

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