An anonymous hacker has accessed 70 million phone calls placed by inmates in at least 37 states by breaching Securus Technologies, a prominent telecommunications provider for correctional institutions. Of these, at least 14,000 were confidential conversations between inmates and their attorneys.
The Intercept, an investigative news site, first reported the attack after receiving insider information from the hacker. The site states the telecommunications hack spans a nearly two-and-a-half year period, beginning in December 2011 and ending in the spring of 2014.
Securus records all inmate phone calls to uphold security standards within these facilities; however, they are not allowed to record and store conversations between inmates and their attorneys in many states. The hacker claims they released these records to expose the recordings of attorney-client communications, an act that potentially impedes an inmate’s right to effective assistance of counsel.
This hack comes approximately a year after a group of Texas lawyers sued Securus for illegally recording privileged conversations.
Securus’ protocol is for attorneys to register their phone numbers for exemption; however, unregistered numbers, despite the nature of the conversation, will still be recorded.
Securus is currently cooperating with law enforcement to investigate the incident. In a company statement, Securus suggests the attack was an inside job. The company also claims, “we have found absolutely no evidence of attorney-client calls that were recorded without the knowledge and consent of those parties.”
What should you do?
- Secure any exposed personal data
It is unclear if the hacker plans to release these records publicly. If you have exchanged financial or personally identifiable information via an inmate phone call, you should take measures to secure such data, including changing passwords of accounts discussed and placing a 90-day fraud alert on your credit file.
- Freeze an inmate’s credit
It is also wise to place a freeze on an inmate’s credit file, regardless of whether such information was discussed. A freeze will prevent anyone from opening credit in his or her name for an extended period of time.
- Review financial statements
Fighting Identity Crimes will keep you updated as new information becomes available about the Securus hack. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date with the latest identity theft and fraud news.