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Justice's data breached in file-sharing

Justice's data breached in file-sharing
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speaks as the U.S. Mint launches the Chief Justice John Marshall Silver Dollar at the Supreme Court on May 4, 2005, in Washington. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- Unwise use of peer-to-peer file-sharing software resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court justice's personal data being leaked, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said that when an employee of a McLean, Va., investment firm used the file-sharing software LimeWire to trade personal files with other users, he exposed the Social Security numbers and birth dates of 2,000 of his clients, including that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, that were stored on his computer.

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The security breach wasn't discovered for six months until it was discerned by a Washington Post reader and brought to the newspaper's attention.

People looking to share music, movie or other kinds of files use peer-to-peer networks to link computers directly without the need of a central Web site to manage the exchange. Computer security experts, however, say many users aren't aware that some such programs allow access to a portion, if not all, of a user's documents, the Post said.

"To me, this was devastating," said Phylyp Wagner, founder of the investment firm, Wagner Resource Group. "I didn't even know what peer-to-peer was. I do now."

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