The digital world has made mincemeat of coincidence. The attacks on Michaels and Fox are part of the suddenly obvious zeitgeist of exploiting data vulnerability—for whatever purpose. And everyone who does it helps everyone else to do it, sooner or later, for better or worse. Right now, the only countermeasure we have is to remain cautious and vigilant, individually and as a society. If you check your bank account online every day, you can't be too harmed at an ATM machine, given the ubiquitous daily limits on cash withdrawals. And Michaels, which no doubt has a security department, needs to get on the stick and work with law enforcement to prevent further compromises, and to design systems and procedures to more effectively protect their customers from problems like this in the future.
As another favorite fictional character of mine once said: "Keep watching the skies."
Note: Regarding the moniker LulzSec—I've spent all week trying to figure out the meaning of that abstruse name, and all I know is that "lulz" is Internet slang for laughs, and according to the group's twitter page, LulzSec stands for "The Lulz Boat." Maybe Gavin McCloud is behind this?
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Adam Levin Chairman and cofounder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.