Supreme Court Justice Breyer's Identity Compromised by Investment Co.'s Data Breach

A Supreme Court justice's birthday and social security number were exposed on the Internet after a McLean, Va., investment firm employee used an online-file sharing network at his office.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's birthday and social security number, and records for about 2,000 other clients of Wagner Resource Group, were stored in the company's private files. The data breach began late last year and ended shortly after a reader of a blog on discovered the information in June on LimeWire.

Wagner hired Tiversa to repair the breach.

Tiversa's chief executive said these breaches are common since many employees and contractors install file-sharing software on office computers. LimeWire, like other file-sharing networks, allow computer users to share files directly by linking computers. But Robert Boback said users don't realize such networks may make all files available, not just music or movie files users hope to share.

"This case is unique because of the high profile of the targets. The individuals on this list are at a very high risk, almost imminent, of identity theft," Boback said.

More than a dozen LimeWire members, including some in Sri Lanka and Colombia, downloaded the personal records from Wager, according to Tiversa officials. The company was alerted after the blog reader told Security Fix blog employees about the breach and the blog contacted Wagner.