Identity Theft: P2P Networks Invite Online Thieves—Identity Theft Expert and Speaker on Personal Security

(BOSTON, Mass. – May 21, 2007 – Robert Siciliano, a personal security and identity theft expert, has demonstrated on television how file-sharing programs can render the contents of a computer’s hard viewable to online thieves. A new study has now shown that peer-to-peer network users may be inadvertently contributing to security breaches.

“Parents should beware when their children share music and other files over the Internet,” said Siciliano. “But a corporation should also be leery of employees doing likewise; they may be unwittingly inviting cyberthieves into the company’s proprietary databases.”

CEO of and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients in workshops that explore consumer education solutions for security issues. A longtime identity theft speaker and author of “The Safety Minute: 01,” he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, on NBC’s “Today Show,” FOX News, and elsewhere.

As reported in InformationWeek, researchers from Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business released findings on May 15 suggesting that corporate data breaches trace back to peer-to-peer (P2P) network usage by employees.

According to the study, the number of P2P users, already at 4 million in 2003, has more than doubled since. Furthermore, the researchers said efforts by officials to surveil, monitor, and dissuade the use of P2P networks in the workplace have failed to keep pace with these networks’ ever-evolving, decentralized nature.

In April, Siciliano was on “FOX 25,” the network’s Boston, Mass. affiliate, to demonstrate how P2P networks allow criminal to obtain the information needed to commit identity theft. Viewers may view his appearance below:
Meanwhile, high-tech and low-tech security holes have continued to plague industry and government:

On May 17, the Associated Press reported that the Georgia Department of Human Resources had informed 140,000 parents of newborns that medical staff in the state had failed to shred documents containing personal information including Social Security numbers.

According to the May 16 edition of, data tapes belonging to IBM Corp. and containing current and former employees’ identifying information went missing as an unidentified vendor transported the files to IBM’s headquarters.

“Sensitive data is everywhere,” said Siciliano. “We must do a better job of protecting and securing it. Unless we constantly improve our countermeasures, thieves will find and use our identifying information—whether they find it on a computer or in a wastebasket.”


Identity theft affects us all. Robert Siciliano, CEO of and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients.

A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, “FOX News,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Suze Orman Show,” “The Montel Williams Show,” “Maury Povich,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” “The Howard Stern Show,” and “Inside Edition.” The Privacy Learning Institute features him on its Website. Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft. These include Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others.

Visit Siciliano’s Web site,; blog,; and YouTube page,

The media are encouraged to get in touch with Siciliano directly:

Robert Siciliano
Personal Security Expert
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)

The media may also contact:

Brent W. Skinner, President
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557