Dale Russell Looks At Corporate Identity Theft

Dale Russell shows just how easy it is to “take over” a corporation in Georgia using the Secretary of State’s website. To his credit, SoS Kemp responds with a fix. Hopefully, Kemp or whoever the next SoS is will take a serious look at making corporate identity theft harder to do.

ATLANTA (MyFOX ATLANTA) – We have all heard about how devastating it is when you are a victim of identity theft. A FOX 5 I-Team investigation found a new problem of corporate identity theft.

The investigation found criminals who have taken advantage of what some call a security flaw at the Secretary of State’s website.

There are nearly 700,000 companies on file with the Secretary of State.

If you have one, you need to know that police say some identity thieves are not after your name, but your company.

Video below the fold.


  1. PaulRevere says:

    Someone should have spent less time launching new websites and focused on securing the original one business folks use everyday. Could the state be sued?

      • PaulRevere says:

        Has there not been anything sent out to the effected businesses from the SoS? If they’re not signed up for e-mail updates, they need to be pronto! This is a huge breech. People need to know about it so they can take the appropriate steps.

        • BuckheadConservative says:

          What YOU are looking for is real action. What THEY’RE looking for is a Band-Aid it seems.

  2. B Balz says:

    The Law of Unintended Consequences and the Corollary of Blowback strike again.

    Everything is not a political issue. The SoS site is hugely useful in my work, andI bet the new ‘fix’ won’t let me ‘vet’ companies for my clients.

  3. gopgal says:

    Another reactive politician – “thanks for bringing that to our attention.”

    We need someone in state government who understands growing a business and working hard to help small businesses flourish. Advantage: MacGinnitie

  4. Southern Politico says:

    Look I expressed reservation to you guys about voting for Brian for SOS. I said, look Brian is not qualified to…oh wait!

  5. DaleRussell says:

    Buzz, thanks for providing the link to everyone.

    Mr. Kemp told me 16% of the registered companies in Georgia have not given the Sec of State an e-mail address. If you have a company, add your e-mail immediately. The alert is your only defense right now. Also, we’d advise you check your company monthly.

    The number of thieves are small, but growing according to police. We talk to Danny Porter tonight about cases he has prosecuted. He’s quite interesting.

  6. Glen Ross says:

    I’m skeptical of this fix. So it can still be changed, but now you’re just notified that a criminal accessed your data so you can change it back?

  7. Mozart says:

    Great job on ensuring the Corporations division of SOS was (nowhere near) as secure as the Elections, Karen Handel!

  8. Jim Bob says:

    Thank you, Karen Handel!!!!

    Just think of all the things she could screw up as the Gov…….

  9. Jeff says:

    Now, if only Dale had talked to David Chastain – since he is the only one running whose Party HASN’T been implicated in this mess…

    (In your defense, Dale, *I* haven’t yet talked to David either. :D)

  10. Lady Thinker says:

    This is from the backtrack posted at the bottom of the fold on this post. After reading through the article, this is a campaign attack from “Jeff” to push his candidate, David Chastain and it is designed to spread panic through the business community to steer votes away from both the Democrats and the Republicans.

    No system is secure, as our federal Department of Defense has found with several hundreds of thousands of hits a year, and any organizational IT team must be savvy enough to stay figure out where the weaknesses are from a criminal standpoint and correct them. To blame Karen or Brian for this is stupid and non-productive.

    Here is Jeff’s article.


    Fortunately for Georgia, there IS a man who has worked in secure environments and understands the value of security and integrity of personal data. This man DOES understand the value of privacy, and will actively work to ensure that Georgians’ data remains private and secure. This man is David Chastain, the Libertarian nominee for Secretary of State. Voting for a Democrat or a Republican in this race is a vote to compromise your identity and that of your business. Vote to secure your data and your privacy. Vote Libertarian. Vote David Chastain for Secretary of State in 2010! Tags: 2010 Governor Candidates, 2010 Secretary of State Candidates, Brian Kemp, David Chastain, Doug MacGinnitie, Karen Handel May 18, 2010 – 7:46 pm Posted in 2010 Campaigns by Jeff

    • Jeff says:


      Do you deny that this info at a bare minimum should have had a confirmation email sent to the old email address BEFORE a change was made which forced the user to confirm the change – as MANY private websites already do? Or that another EASY solution would be a login page?

      The fact of the matter is, this case is a PERFECT example of BOTH Democrats and Republicans screwing up, and perfectly illustrates that NEITHER is fit to lead this State.

      • Lady Thinker says:

        The hacking problem is not a party issue. It is a failure on the victim side for not having a top notch IT team doing proactive thinking and checking to see if they can hack their own system.

        The second failure is not having the lawmakers and courts pursue aggressive prosecution against the hackers and letting those that are caught, post a bond and get out of jail and run to the closest computer to make up for lost time.

        Lawmakers and courts have to address this issue but in the meantime, our state needs to take proactive measures before doing anything else.

      • B Balz says:

        Why is SoS a political position, Jeff? Seems this relatively simple operational issue could be avoided with a professional manager.

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