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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2012

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Rex Mundi, a criminal hacker organization whose name alludes to Judeo-Christian lore, leaked the personal information of AmeriCash Advance customers in a tweet on June 17, 2012.

AmeriCash Advance is a cash advance loans company that provides quick cash to customers with bad credit.

Five days prior to the leak, Rex Mundi faxed a “ransom note” to AmeriCash Advance informing them that their site had been hacked. The hacker organization demanded $20,000 from AmeriCash, for what they called an “idiot tax,” in exchange for not releasing the information retrieved.

AmeriCash Advance reportedly immediately authorities and took steps to protect data that had not been accessed by the hackers. AmeriCash Advance refused to give in to the hackers’ demands and Rex Mundi made good on their threat, leaking customer names, applicant e-mail addresses, loan amounts and partial Social Security numbers.

Rex Mundi claims that an unsecured confidential page gave them access to the company’s servers.

“This page allows its affiliates to see how many loan applicants they recruited and how much money they made. Not only was this page unsecured, it was actually referenced in their robots.txt file (Bad, bad move guys)”, said Rex Mundi on dpaste.

But AmeriCash refuted Rex Mundi’s claims, saying, “The section of the system that the criminals hacked into was the automatic e-mail responder section, the part of the system that sends an auto-reply to an applicant that their application has been received.”

Fearing the leaked data might be used for phishing attacks, AmeriCash Advance warned customers about the security breach and advised them to remain vigilant.

According to the Rex Mundi twitter feed, the hacker organization applied similar tactics in Belgium where they targeted firms AGO-Interim and Dexia Bank. Both firms were given ultimatums to pay Rex Mundi money or have their secure information released to the public.

Interestingly, despite Dexia claiming not to have paid the ransom, Rex Mundi did not make good on their promise to leak data. On the other hand, AGO-Interim felt the full force of Rex Mundi’s wrath when the hackers released the data of roughly 10,000 clients.

Unlike the politically controversial Anonymous hacker group, it seems Rex Mundi is purely profit-driven as noted by their twitter feed, “To answer a popular question: We <3 hacktivists like @AnonymousPress. However, we’re in it for the money, which is also pretty awesome.”

While it remains to be seen if Rex Mundi will continue to focus on lenders of cash advance loans or if other hacker organizations will follow their lead, the cash advance loans industry is showing little sign of disappearing.

Prospective borrowers have a slew of different online and physical cash advance loans lenders available with varied security measures. Obtaining quotes for cash advance loans has never been easier thanks to nearly instant quote generation services.