Social Security Numbers are predictable, Carnegie Mellon researchers find

Algorithm created based on SSNs of the deceased

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created an algorithm that can predict Social Security Numbers based on publicly available information from government sources, social networks and other data repositories.

"In a world of wired consumers, it is possible to combine information from multiple sources to infer data that is more personal and sensitive than any single piece of original information alone," said Project lead Alessandro Acquisti, associate professor of information technology and public policy at Carnegie Mellon's H. John Heinz III College and a researcher in the Carnegie Mellon CyLab.

More from IDG News Service on a study published in a journal Monday. The researchers' work will also be discussed at the BlackHat conferencing upcoming in Las Vegas this summer.

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