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Chico SSDI Applicants: Was Your SSN Publicly Searchable Online?

Posted on Jun 19, 2013

According to a recent investigative report by Scripps Howard News Service, thousands of applicants for public aid may have had highly sensitive, private information searchable on the internet.

Isaac Wolf, a reporter at Scripps Howard, asserts that through “simple internet searches,” he was able to search, locate, and download the records of individuals applying to Lifeline Assistance—a program that assists telephone companies in offering discounts to subscribers who are disabled or living below the poverty level. 

The breach appeared to be the responsibility of parent company TerraCom and affiliate YourTel America. It is not clear how or why the information was available.

Wolf claims that affected individuals may have had their Social Security number, home address, birth date, and other sensitive information exposed.

However, TerraCom disagrees with Wolf’s report. The parent company issued a statement to National Public Radio, saying that the results of an internal digital forensics investigation determined that Wolf only had access to the files due to the specialized software and information access available to Scripps Howard. 

TerraCom is claiming that only 343 files were breached. They are currently working with federal regulators and law enforcement to determine the cause.

If you’re an applicant to Lifeline Assistance who is concerned that you may have been affected by the data breach, contact TerraCom toll-free at 1-855-279-0243.

If you've recently received a denial decision on your SSDI claim, don't wait—get the knowledge and experience of a North Valley disability attorney working for you today. Call the offices of the Ledgerwood Law Group at 888-761-7383, or fill out the contact form below to set up a no-cost consultation today.

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Thomas Ledgerwood
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