Your best source for news, video, blogging and information about identity theft and data breaches - updated every day. We intentionally chose .info for our name because this is an informational web site about identity theft.
FTC may sue Pre-Paid Legal Services Thursday, November 19, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info The FTC sent Pre-Paid Legal Services (NYSE: PPD) a draft of a potential lawsuit
Bernanke’s ID thief sentenced Friday, November 13, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info Clyde Austin Gray Jr. was sentenced to prison/restitution as ringleader of nationwide ID theft ring
Potentially Large Identity Theft data Breach at Mercy Wednesday, November 11, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info police are looking into a security data breach at the Mercy Medical Center which may affect a large number of patient’s records at that facility
Women, Data Breaches and ID Theft Tuesday, September 29, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info 163,000 women at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had their data breached.
NY Man Sentenced, Part of ID theft Ring Thursday, September 24, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info Man guilty of ID theft gets 11+ years in a prison and $3.2 million restitution fee
Utah AG's Office Begins ID Theft Tour Thursday, September 24, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info Utah AG Mark Shurtleff and ID theft expert Scott Morrill raise public awareness.
Bernanke ID Thief Pleads Guilty Monday, September 21, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info Zanders most prominent victim was Anna Bernanke whose purse was stolen.
ID Thieves Love Kids Monday, September 21, 2009 Phillip Britt - IdentityTheft.info Correspondent As much as children know about technology, they are largely unschooled in the dangers of identity theft. They tend to be too trusting of the world at large, put too much information out on social networking sites and are too trusting of e-mails from unknown sources.
Unborn ID Theft Victims Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info Many unborn children have already had their SSN's stolen.
ID Theft and the Powerful Friday, September 11, 2009 Phillip Britt - IdentityTheft.info Correspondent The wife of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was recently snared by an identity theft ring. A doctor’s receptionist pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in the scheme where, according to published reports, the fraudsters stole more than $2 million from 10 different banks.
ID Theft, Illegals & E-Verify Wednesday, September 09, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info Yesterday the federal government began implementing a system which orders federal contractors to use the online E-Verify system. Two unintended side effects of this legislation will be increased money flowing into the black market from identity theft and more US citizens becoming aware that they are victims of ID theft.
Identity Theft Carder Ring Convicted Tuesday, September 08, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributor - www.IdentityTheft.info Three caught using a credit card skimmer and encoder were convicted.
Poor Security and Social Networkers Phillip Britt - IdentityTheft.info Correspondent A pair of reports released at the end of August highlight the lack of care that a large percentage of people take when engaging in online social networking. Poll participants indicated concern over growing phishing, spam and malware attacks and nearly half of those surveyed are very concerned about their personal identity being stolen in an online community.
Working With Banks As An ID Theft Victim Monday, August 31, 2009 Karen Lodrick - author - www.IdentityTheft.info If your bank doesn’t automatically provide you with a new account number, insist that they do so. In order to get any money reimbursed, you will need an account number that has not been compromised
Bernanke’s Victims of ID Theft Monday, August 31, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Contributer - www.IdentityTheft.info shocking and telling of the larger problem that Bernanke carried her SSN card
About www.IdentityTheft.info IdentityTheft.info staff Our staff of identity theft experts strives to present the latest and most relevant identity theft articles, identity theft news, commentary and ID theft videos.
Our staff (under the guidance of Rob Douglas) follows and presents ID theft related legislation, identity theft services, scams, credit card fraud and security breaches / data breaches. We additionally offer ways to protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of identity theft.
We take identity protection seriously, as a theft of identity can result in not only great financial loss and loss of time in order to repair the damage done, but could end in permanent medical damage or death (see our medical identity theft section).
We are proponents of the credit freeze / security freeze option available to consumers at the three major credit bureaus as a way to prevent identity theft. Although the credit freeze is not a total identity theft prevention method it does prevent many types of ID theft and our identity theft experts believe it is the best option available to consumers at this time.
If you are already a victim of ID theft our identity theft experts provide tips on how and where to report identity theft as well as important other steps you should consider taking.
All of the ID theft research and content at www.IdentityTheft.info is written or compiled by identity theft experts for consumption by journalists, lawmakers, and consumers and is edited by Rob Douglas our chief editor and identity theft expert.
International phone hacking ring busted Tuesday, June 16, 2009 Phillip Britt - IdentityTheft.info Correspondent A federal grand jury has indicted a ring for allegedly breaking into the phone systems of more than 2,500 firms in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe in order to route calls through hacked networks. According to the indictment, the hackers stole 12 million minutes of phone service, valued at $55 million.
Hello GovernmentCare, goodbye personal privacy Monday, June 08, 2009 Rob Douglas, Editor - www.IdentityTheft.info In addition to the increased risk of medical identity theft that the rush to government controlled health care and the mandate for electronic health records will bring as previously noted on this blog, there are significant privacy issues that are not currently being addressed sufficiently.
Identity Theft Fraud Alert implementation by LifeLock illegal Tuesday, June 02, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Publisher - www.IdentityTheft.info The practice of implementing and renewing fraud alerts by several companies selling identity theft prevention/recovery products may stop. A court case involving identity theft protection service LifeLock and credit bureau Experian ended in LifeLock being ordered to stop implementing fraud alerts on behalf of third parties (Lifelock’s customers) at Experian. Irregardless of the court’s opinion and the impact on commercial identity services, individuals would be wise to consider a security credit freeze as a more powerful alternative to a fraud alert.
Caller ID Spoofing aided international identity theft ring Monday, June 01, 2009 Joanne Palmer - IdentityTheft.info Correspondent Until you lose your identity, you may not realize just how precious it is. Some 6,000 people were jolted by this shocking reality when they fell victim to one of the largest international identity theft and credit card fraud rings in recent history. The unraveling of this multi-million dollar scam began in September, 2007 when a package delivered to an employee of a real estate office was opened by the owner of the office. Upon finding 60 valid credit cards inside the package, the owner reported the find to law enforcement authorities who - with aroused suspicions - began a nearly two year investigation, involving electronic eavesdropping, physical surveillance and the translation of thousands of conversations and e-mails.
Safe Internet Alliance commends administration’s cybersecurity effort Monday, June 01, 2009 The Safe Internet Alliance today applauded President Barack Obama’s announcement of a major new comprehensive U.S. cybersecurity program. Leveraging both civilian and military capabilities, the program’s initiatives will better enable public and private partnerships to, as President Obama said, “find technology solutions that ensure our security and promote prosperity.”
Do clouds mean a stormy future? Friday, May 29, 2009 Rob Douglas - Exclusive to Computer Technology Review The use of the word cloud as a metaphor for computing services that are accessed via the Internet may be more apropos than originally intended. Depending on their configuration, clouds in nature can presage a range of meteorological events from benign, to threatening or even devastating weather with unforeseen consequences and damages. Arguably, cloud computing offers an equally challenging array of possibilities from a security perspective.
The Presdent’s Cyberspace Policy Review Friday, May 29, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Publisher - www.IdentityTheft.info The architecture of the Nation’s digital infrastructure, based largely upon the Internet, is not secure or resilient. Without major advances in the security of these systems or significant change in how they are constructed or operated, it is doubtful that the United States can protect itself from the growing threat of cybercrime and state-sponsored intrusions and operations. Our digital infrastructure has already suffered intrusions that have allowed criminals to steal hundreds of millions of dollars and nation-states and other entities to steal intellectual property and sensitive military information.
If the Feds can’t update anti-malware software? Wednesday, May 27, 2009 Rob Douglas How can we as citizens trust the federal government to run our financial, auto and health care industries if they can’t even install run-of-the-mill security patches on computers?
Union settles lawsuit alleging retaliatory identity theft Tuesday, May 19, 2009 National Right to Work Foundation attorneys have successfully negotiated a settlement with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 1103 union for Patricia Pelletier, a worker who was targeted by CWA operatives for a vicious campaign of retaliatory identity theft after she attempted to remove the union from her workplace.
Enterprise data security in the cloud Monday, May 18, 2009 Rob Douglas "For a business of any size, moving any portion of IT operations to a cloud provider means you’re putting your data in its hands. Can it protect your data from criminals and accidents as well as or better than you can? A thorough examination of both your own operation and your prospective provider should be undertaken before jumping to the cloud.”
International identity theft ring dismantled Thursday, May 14, 2009 The ring - which was comprised of three separate identity theft and forged credit card groups that employed multiple cells - is alleged to have been responsible for stealing the credit cards and personal credit information of thousands of American and Canadian consumers, costing these individuals, as well as financial institutions and retail businesses, more than $12 million in losses over the past year alone.
.INFO domain safest from phishing attacks Wednesday, May 13, 2009 “The .INFO registry is at the forefront of protecting Internet users from online identity theft across the world,” said Greg Aaron, Director of Key Account Management and Domain Security at Afilias, and a co-author of the study. “Identity theft and fraud are important issues for anyone who goes online, and criminals are using vulnerable top-level domains and registrars to steal identities and money,” said Ram Mohan, Executive Vice President and CTO of Afilias. “The new data demonstrates the effectiveness of active, self-regulated domain name anti-abuse programs in improving the safety of Internet users against those who steal from them.”
Cybersecurity report delayed due to Swine Flu Tuesday, May 05, 2009 Rob Douglas There will always be competing emergencies on multiple fronts that the Obama administration will have to juggle. Cybersecurity can no longer take a back seat to any other priorities. To do so, is to imperil this country even more than it already is.
One in five online consumers victims of cybercrime Monday, May 04, 2009 It continues to be a boom time for cybercrime according to the latest Consumer Reports National Research Center “State of the Net” survey. Consumer Reports found that one in five online consumers have been victims of cybercrime in the last two years to the tune of an estimated $8 billion.
NJ Supremes block Social Security numbers Wednesday, April 29, 2009 Rob Douglas In a small but significant victory in the battle to regain control of Social Security numbers, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this week that a data broker seeking 8 million pages of real estate documents is not entitled to the Social Security numbers contained within the documents and that the broker must pay for the redaction of the numbers from the documents.
Small breaches can have big consequences Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Rob Douglas Over the course of the last year, the fact that many - perhaps most - data security breaches are going unreported by the majority of data breach reporting organizations and web sites has become very apparent.
Fraudulent Email Claiming To Be From U.S. Customs Monday, April 27, 2009 A spam e-mail claiming to be from former CBP Assistant Commissioner, Thomas S. Winkowski, is currently being circulated. This attempt to defraud is the typical e-mail scam using the name and reputation of a federal government official to create an air of authenticity.
FTC Proposes EHR Breach Rule Monday, April 20, 2009 The Federal Trade Commission announced that it has approved a Federal Register notice seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would require entities to notify consumers when the security of their electronic health information is breached.
Rise in Data Breaches, Organized Crime Involved Wednesday, April 15, 2009 Recently, while attending a security conference in Dallas, Texas, I had the pleasure of meeting members of the Verizon team that compiles the now annual Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report. Their presentation at the conference was one of the best and most informative sessions and was full of useful data for the analysis of data breaches.
Conficker Eye Chart Test: Is Your Computer Infected with Conficker Malware? Tuesday, April 14, 2009 With the recent infection of over 700 computers at the University of Utah, many people are asking, “How do I know if my computer is infected with Conficker?” For those who want to know if their computer (this does not currently apply to Apple products) is infected, there is a simple test called the “Conficker eye chart test.
Afilias Takes Action Against Conficker Tuesday, March 31, 2009 Afilias’ role has been to help deprive Conficker of its command-and-control network by deploying registration policies and processes, for the TLDs that we support, that prevent the registration of domains that Conficker had targeted for possible use. The belief is that if we prevent the registration of these domains, we will deprive Conficker’s creators of Internet resources that they could potentially use to control and update their botnet. We have deployed this strategy across relevant TLDs immediately and have readied the same solution should our other customers be affected.
Leibowitz Pushes for Privacy Tuesday, March 17, 2009 Corporations must protect their back doors from hackers, malware, spyware and other high-tech intrusion mechanisms and protect their front door by properly storing and disposing of consumers’ data, Leibowitz said, noting that the FTC is “not shy about knocking on anyone’s door.”
Stolen Data Offers Look Inside a Botnet Monday, March 16, 2009 Getting hacked is like having your computer turn traitor on you, spying on everything you do and shipping your secrets to identity thieves. Victims don’t see where their stolen data end up. But sometimes security researchers do, stumbling across stolen-data troves that offer a glimpse of what identity theft looks like from criminals’ perspective.
Heartland on Probation Over Data Breach Friday, March 13, 2009 Heartland Payment Systems is finally being called to the carpet for the apparent lapses in Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) that contributed to the largest data breach of 2008, perhaps even the largest breach ever considering the full extent of the exposure has yet to be determined.
Coleman Donors’ Credit Cards Breached Thursday, March 12, 2009 Republican Norm Coleman’s campaign notified donors Wednesday that at least 4,700 had their personal financial data compromised, a potential blow to his ability to continue raising money for his costly Senate election fight.
Obama Needs To Get Cybersecurity In Gear Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Some of the nation’s top cybersecurity experts today told a congressional subcommittee that the United States isn’t ready for a major online attack, and called on the White House and the rest of the federal government to get their acts together.
FTC Spoofs FreeCreditReport.com Tuesday, March 10, 2009 You’re the federal agency charged with protecting consumers. You have a $250 million annual budget, subpoena power and the ability to refer cases to the Justice Department for prosecution. So what do you do when one of America’s biggest companies continually flouts the law?
Do Breach Notification Laws Work? Monday, March 09, 2009 Although most states now have laws requiring companies to warn breach victims, some serious breaches are still showing up on customer credit and bank statements before any official warning has been issued. It all begs the question: are the notification laws working?
Impact of Identity Theft Grows Wednesday, March 04, 2009 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info While chatting with Gartner analyst Avivah Litan last November, she mentioned that she had just received the raw statistics back from a survey she had designed to examine identity theft, data breaches and financial fraud. We huddled over Avivah’s laptop in a side room at the conference and quickly reviewed some of the numbers. It was immediately obvious - even with just a cursory look - that this new Gartner study would break ground. Indeed it did.
Steamboat Springs Stumbles Over Data Breach Tuesday, March 03, 2009 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info Former school district employees have every right to be dismayed. The school district should provide credit monitoring for all impacted employees regardless of whether they are current or former employees. It goes without saying that identity thieves don’t differentiate based upon job status.
Identity Theft is Top Consumer Complaint Monday, March 02, 2009 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info I first got involved in the battle against identity theft in 1998 when I testified in July of that year before the United States House of Representatives about the growing threat of information brokers stealing and selling citizens’ financial information. In 1999, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported for the first time that identity theft was the crime that Americans complained about the most as a consumer issue. Since that year, identity theft has remained at the top of the list.
CitiBank Employee Sentenced For Identity Theft Saturday, February 28, 2009 Prosecutors said that in her position, she used a computer to access both credit card account numbers and the personal identification information associated with CitiBank credit card accounts.
Stolen Laptop Brings Identity Theft Risk Friday, February 27, 2009 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info This week, in my hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a laptop containing the Social Security numbers of 1,300 past and present school employees was stolen. This is a column I wrote for my local paper about the event and what steps the school district and employees should consider.
Data Breaches 100 Times Worse Than Believed Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Public opinion and debate have been intense over government economic recovery spending, estimated to exceed one trillion dollars. Yet few appreciate that the cost of sensitive consumer information that is lost, stolen or inappropriately accessed exceeds a trillion dollars annually.
Data Breach Rumor Mill in High Gear Tuesday, February 24, 2009 For the past few weeks, some of us have been in communication about reports about a second big processor breach. The good folks over at Open Security Foundation (OSF) went public on February 13 that they were getting multiple tips about the breach. This site was also hearing some of the same reports (perhaps from some of the same sources), but we were all pretty much stuck without actual confirmation that we could cite.
Supreme Court and Illegal Alien Identity Theft Monday, February 23, 2009 The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on prosecutors’ aggressive use of a new law that was intended to strengthen efforts to combat identity theft. In at least hundreds of cases last year, workers accused of immigration violations found themselves facing the more serious identity theft charge as well.
Three Ways Twitter Security Fails Sunday, February 22, 2009 The popular micro-blogging platform Twitter continues its explosive growth. Despite the popularity, Twitter still has a lot to do when it comes to securing the platform.
Feds Propose Storing Internet User Data for 2 Years Saturday, February 21, 2009 If approved, everybody from employers to ISPs to coffee shops and universities would be required to keep logs of all data associated with IP addresses assigned randomly to individual users - from e-mail logins to search queries to sites visited, legal experts said.
Another Major Data Breach? Friday, February 20, 2009 Banks around the country are reportedly receiving warnings, and perhaps even new lists of cards to replace. This is apparently regarding another credit card processor, unrelated to Heartland Payment Systems, having a significant breach.
Security of Electronic Medical Records Thursday, February 19, 2009 So what exactly is an Electronic Medical Record and what does this new direction mean for security and privacy professionals?
Obama’s Electronic Health Records Initiative and ID Theft Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Your complete medical records may be available to over 600,000 healthcare providers, payment processors, and government health agencies without your consent. And no, HIPAA will not protect you from this. This kind of pervasive access to anyone’s health records screams of privacy and security concerns.
National Media Ignoring Heartland Data Breach Tuesday, February 17, 2009 Rob Douglas While President Obama continues to revel in the adulation of a fawning press, Heartland’s inability to thwart the hackers who planted malware in order to steal valuable credit card information from millions of Americans has been - for the most part - ignored by the national media.
Is Javelin’s ID Theft Report Misleading? Monday, February 16, 2009 A new report from Javelin Research is getting attention for its extraordinary claim that data breaches are responsible for only a tiny minority of identity theft cases, compared to lost wallets and other low-tech exposures. But a closer look at Javelin’s numbers casts serious doubt on the company’s conclusions.
Thwarting an Internal Hacker Sunday, February 15, 2009 Insiders are a perennial problem. They have access, and they’re known by the system. They know how the system and its security works, and its weak points. They have opportunity. Bank heists, casino thefts, large-scale corporate fraud, train robberies: many of the most impressive criminal attacks involve insiders. And, like Makwana’s attempt at revenge, these insiders can have pretty intense motives - motives that can only intensify as the economy continues to suffer and layoffs increase.
‘Don’t Click’ Attack Strikes Twitter Saturday, February 14, 2009 Using the simplest of social engineering hacks — an enticing message with a link, labeled “don’t click” — a “clickjacking” exploit of the Twitter microblogging service flooded its network, hijacking users’ status to spread itself before the link could be shut down.
Thousands of Banks at Risk From Heartland Breach Friday, February 13, 2009 In January, Heartland announced that it had found malicious software in its processing system, potentially compromising the card data of millions of people. ICBA, which represents the interests of some 5000 community banks, conducted the online poll in late January. Of the 512 responses, 60% reported debit card exposure, two per cent credit cards, and just over a fifth had problems with both debit and credit. While 12% did not yet know whether they had been affected by the breach, only four per cent claimed not to have had any cards compromised in the incident.
Storm Botnet Morphing Valentine’s Malware Thursday, February 12, 2009 One of Waledac’s latest attacks comes in the form of a puppy love e-card with a Valentine’s-related link, as well as other warm and fuzzy-looking email. Subject lines include the usual “a Valentine card from a friend” and “you have received a Valentine E-card,” but once you click the URL to retrieve the message, Waledac’s malware is downloaded onto your machine. Another attack uses a phony pop-up that appears to be from Microsoft stating the machine is infected with spyware. That leads to a fake antispyware site that not only infects the machine, but also tries to sell the victim its scareware, according to Patrick Murray, director of product management for Marshal8e6.
Heartland Breach Affects 135 Banks and Credit Unions Wednesday, February 11, 2009 At least 135 banks and credit unions are reporting that their customer credit and debit cards were among those breached by intruders who hacked Heartland Payment Services last year.
FAA Data Breach: 45,000 at Risk of Identity Theft Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Hackers broke into the Federal Aviation Administration’s computer system last week, accessing the names and Social Security numbers of 45,000 employees and retirees.The agency said in a statement Monday that two of the 48 files on the breached computer server contained personal information about employees and retires who were on the FAA’s rolls as of the first week of February 2006.
Identity Theft Up Monday, February 09, 2009 Identity theft has become more prevalent, with nearly 10 million American victims losing $48 billion in 2008, but the average loss is falling as consumers and businesses detect fraud faster, a new study shows.The number of victims rose 22 percent to a record 9.9 million in 2008 from 8.1 million a year earlier, with about one in 23 U.S. adults becoming victims, according to the fifth annual study by Javelin Strategy & Research, released Monday.
The Cybercrime Wave Sunday, February 08, 2009 If you’re in the market for a bunch of stolen credit card numbers, then ccarder is your man. Or woman. It’s not clear what ccarder’s gender is, but this much is certain: Around 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on a recent Friday, someone using that handle hung out a shingle in cyberspace and offered to verify, free of charge, the authenticity of stolen credit card numbers.
Kaiser Data Breach Results in Identity Theft Saturday, February 07, 2009 Kaiser Permanente is notifying its 29,500 Northern California employees that their data may have been exposed in a breach, the company said on Friday. It is unknown exactly how many workers have been affected, but a handful of workers have reported identity fraud as a result of the breach, Kaiser said.
Identity Thieves Beat Obama to Stimulus Package Punch Friday, February 06, 2009 Although the U.S. government’s economic stimulus package hasn’t even gotten out of Congress, scammers aren’t waiting; they’ve launched multiple campaigns that tempt users into revealing personal information, a security researcher warned today.
Fraud Incidents Tied to Heartland Data Breach Thursday, February 05, 2009 The fraud against 16 credit cards of CU Community Credit Union members over one weekend last November puzzled the credit union’s staff. The Springfield, MO-based credit union discovered nearly $11,000 in fraudulent charges against those cards.
FBI Warning on Work at Home Scams and Identity Theft Wednesday, February 04, 2009 Job scams often provide criminals the opportunity to commit identity theft when victims provide their personal information, sometimes even bank account information, to their potential “employer.” The criminal/employer can then use the victim’s information to open credit cards, post on-line auctions, register websites, etc., in the victim’s name to commit additional crimes.
Phishing Scam Targets Missourians with ‘Card Services’ Calls Tuesday, February 03, 2009 Attorney General Chris Koster is warning Missourians of a phishing scam disguised as an offer to lower their credit card interest rate. Consumers have contacted Koster’s office saying a caller claims to be from a company called Card Services, asking them to enter their credit card number to see if they qualify for a better rate. This is simply an attempt by thieves to steal credit card numbers.
The Fallout of the Heartland Breach Monday, February 02, 2009 CU Community Credit Union in Springfield, Mo., said 16 compromised cards that it had issued were used to make about $11,000 worth of fraudulent purchases. “I haven’t spoken to one financial institution that hasn’t been affected by the breach,” said Jenny Reynolds, the credit union’s vice president of marketing.
Cybercrime Sees Sharp Increase Sunday, February 01, 2009 Meeting at Davos in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, a panel of experts discussed the ways in which internet crime has changed in the last year. According to the panel, internet crime, including fraud and identity theft, are no longer the purview of bedroom-based hackers, but instead of large, well organized criminal gangs; cybercrime has changed from vandalism to ‘organized criminality’ and that internet theft costs $1 trillion a year.
83% Use Date of Birth or Pet Name for Security Question Saturday, January 31, 2009 Research from a leading people search website has revealed that 83% of Brits use either their pet name, date of birth or maiden name as their security password for private email accounts or online banking but only 37% are aware of the dangers of disclosing this information online.
OmniTech Worker Set Malware Bomb At Fannie Mae Friday, January 30, 2009 A former IT contractor at Fannie Mae, angry at being terminated in October, has been thwarted in his attempt to crash all 4,000 servers at the mortgage services institution and wipe out all of their data. The malicious code, which was set to execute on Jan. 31, was designed to propagate throughout the Fannie Mae network and destroy all of the company’s data.
Heartland Sniffer Hid In Unallocated Portion Of Disk Thursday, January 29, 2009 The sniffer malware that surreptitiously siphoned tons of payment card data from card processor Heartland Payment Systems hid in an unallocated portion of a server’s disk. The malware, which was ultimately detected courtesy of a trail of temp files, was hidden so well that it eluded two different teams of forensic investigators.
Identity Theft Assistance Center Hits Milestone Wednesday, January 28, 2009 The Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC), helped its 50,000th consumer in January. ITAC’s victim assistance service - which helps consumers recover from identity theft - is available at no cost to the millions of consumers who have an account at an ITAC member company.
ACLU Sues in Greeley Illegal Immigrant ID Theft Case Tuesday, January 27, 2009 In a legal brief, the ACLU lawyers argue that the deputies illegally searched the confidential files of thousands of taxpayers when they had individualized suspicion implicating only one of them. “This was the equivalent of a house-by-house search of innocent homeowners in order to find a suspect believed to be somewhere in the neighborhood,” Silverstein said. “The constitutional right of privacy protects us from such blanket general searches.”
Fighting Identity Theft on the Web Monday, January 26, 2009 Security consultant Rob Douglas, who has testified in front of Congress about privacy issues, recently launched an identity-theft-protection Web site called InsideIDTheft.info. “We’re trying to position ourselves as a news, commentary, video and blogging site,” said Douglas, co-founder of the site with Keith Lubsen. “We feel that there’s a need for both consumers and even more so the business community confronted with cyber-crime issues to get straight information.”
Thirty Year Identity Theft Career Ends Sunday, January 25, 2009 A 53-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison Friday for his role in an identity theft and mail fraud scheme that affected more than 250 victims and lasted nearly 30 years, the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office said.
Jonesboro School Shooter Steals Debit Card Saturday, January 24, 2009 One of the shooters involved in the 1998 Jonesboro school murders faces six more years on his prison sentence because he used a stolen debit card to pay $7.99 for breakfast at Burger King in Fayetteville.
Law Enforcement Closing In On Heartland Breach Perpetrator Friday, January 23, 2009 The Secret Service has identified the prime suspect in the Heartland Payment Systems security breach, and the case has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a news report issued today.
Three Years Undercover with Identity Thieves Thursday, January 22, 2009 DarkMarket was what’s known as a “carder” site. Like an eBay for criminals, it was where identity thieves could buy and sell stolen credit card numbers, online identities and the tools to make fake credit cards.
Cyber Attack On US Banking System More Dangerous Than 9/11 Wednesday, January 21, 2009 A top US intelligence official has said that a cyber attack on the US banking system could be several times more damaging to the country’s economy than Twin-Tower attack by terrorists on September 11, 2001.
Heartland Admits to Large Data Breach Tuesday, January 20, 2009 See our Vlog. Heartland Payment Systems, a company that processes debit and credit card transactions for 250,000 businesses, announced today that it was hacked late last year and that intruders may have compromised more than 100 million accounts.
Hackers Break Into STAR and ATM Network Monday, January 19, 2009 Forcht Bank disabled 8,500 customer debit cards this week after learning they could have potentially been hacked into by persons creating duplicate cards. The cards were comprised when a retail merchant’s computer system was hacked. The breach affected customers of multiple banks whose cards are processed by the STAR Debit and ATM Network.
Quantum Nanotechnology is the Next Great Hope to Stop ID Theft Saturday, January 17, 2009 Online identity and credit-card theft make headlines every day, yet few people would guess that a little known science called quantum nanotechnology could offer a solution. New research shows that nanotech can offer “future proof” online security across public networks such as the Internet.
US Terror Watchlist Database Security Breach Friday, January 16, 2009 A New York City Police Department sergeant has admitted he illegally obtained a name contained in an FBI terrorist watchlist and gave it to an acquaintance to use in a child custody case.
Dumpster Diver Finds Medical Records Thursday, January 15, 2009 It is information no one would want scattered on papers in a parking lot, much less thrown away in a dumpster for anyone to find. Medical records were found behind a 99 Cents store in southwest Houston putting people’s identities at risk.
Should U.S. Discontinue Identity Theft Charges Against Illegal Aliens? Tuesday, January 13, 2009 The Guatemalan Immigrants’ Movement (”MIGUA”) requested the president elect of the United States, Barack Obama, to suspend eight policies which the American government carries out against undocumented aliens, among them round-ups and massive deportations, the accords which obligate local authorities to support the work of the Office of Immigration and Customs and the crime of identity theft.
Stupid Store Clerk Duped by Credit Card Fraud Tuesday, January 13, 2009 While I hate to see any business victimized by fraud, if the employees are trained so poorly as to fall for this scam, it’s hard to feel bad for the company. You've got to read this one to believe it.
Hacking Godfather Gets 30 Years from Turks Monday, January 12, 2009 Maksym Yastremski is alleged to be “Maksik,” well-known in the underground as a top online seller of stolen credit and debit card information. In a U.S. indictment unsealed in August, prosecutors alleged Yastremski earned more than $11 million selling stolen credit and debit card numbers and magstripe swipes from 2004 to 2006 alone.
Employee Jailed For Stealing Identities From Medical Facilities Sunday, January 11, 2009 According to her guilty plea, Norwood used her temporary employment at two medical facilities to steal the names, dates of birth, social security numbers and other identifying information of at least 49 individuals. She and her co-conspirators used the stolen identities to purchase goods at retail stores and a Maryland car dealership, where some of her co-conspirators worked.
Massive Credit Card Scam Investigated Saturday, January 10, 2009 It’s a money laundering scheme,” Shearer said. “Each of those debit cards was imprinted with someone’s credit card information. So, it looks like a simple pre-paid card, but in reality every time it’s swiped it accesses someone else’s account. So, when she takes the balance off that card and puts it on a gift card, she’s not only getting rid of primary evidence, she’s also getting cash from that account.”
Illegal Immigrant’s Identity Theft Crime Spree Ends in Jail Time Friday, January 09, 2009 Over $787,000 in loans, two vehicles, and a job illegally obtained using one SSN. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew P. Thomas’ Office announced that Adan Guerrero, 37, has pleaded guilty to Taking Identity of Another, a class two felony, and one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a class four felony.
‘Cybergeddon’ Fear Stalks US Thursday, January 08, 2009 According to the FBI, cyber attacks pose the greatest threat to the United States after nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction. Shawn Henry, of the FBI's cyber division believes computer attacks pose the biggest risk "from a national security perspective, other than a weapon of mass destruction or a bomb in one of our major cities."
Hacked - Britney Spears & Obama twitter Accounts Wednesday, January 07, 2009 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info Sunday night 1/4/2009 home alone and bored; a hacker (a.k.a., GMZ) accessed a twitter admin account by successfully running an automated password guessing script known as a dictionary attack (i.e., it tries every word in the dictionary). Twitter allowed unlimited fast paced log-in attempts and to compound the problem, the target, "Crystal" a twitter staffer had foolishly picked the very weak password "happiness."
CheckFree Warns 5 Million Customers After Hack Wednesday, January 07, 2009 Rob Douglas CheckFree is notifying more than 5 million customers after criminals took control of several of the company’s Internet domains and redirected customer traffic to a malicious Web site hosted in the Ukraine.
Illegal Immigrant Identity Thief Subject to Deportation Tuesday, January 06, 2009 Rob Douglas A Madison man who was illegally in the country since 1997 and worked seven years at a Madison motel was sentenced Monday in federal court to time served and is subject to deportation for Social Security fraud and identity theft.
States Push To Encrypt Donor and Client Info Tuesday, January 06, 2009 Rob Douglas Fred Schultz, CEO and founder of the Foundation for Positively Kids (FPK) in Las Vegas, deals with a lot of confidential information in his program for medically-dependent children. The organization stores names, addresses, medication, family information and donor credit card information.
Credit Card Fraud Factory Video Monday, January 05, 2009 Rob Douglas Kevin Poulsen over at Wired posted a great video of Detective Bob Watts of the Newport Beach Police Department demonstrating how forged credit cards are created.
Has Your Credit or Debit Card Been Skimmed? Friday, January 02, 2009 Rob Douglas Have you been a victim of credit or debit card skimming? In conjunction with a major media organization, InsideIDTheft.info is seeking victims of credit or debit card skimming. Specifically, if you live in the New York City metropolitan area and have been victimized, we would like to hear from you.
Identity Theft and Cybercrime Will Rise in 2009 Wednesday, December 31, 2008 Rob Douglas Early in 2009, InsideIDTheft.info and IdentityTheftBlog.info will demonstrate that the actual number of data breaches harming Americans is much higher than reported by organizations like the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the Identity Theft Resource Center. The methodologies used by those organizations and others are flawed and result in a significant number of breaches going unreported.
Wells Fargo: Identity Theft Stories & ATM Skimmers Tuesday, December 30, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info Over the last two weeks, I went to my local Wells Fargo bank branch twice to place electronic wire orders. These wires usually take a little time to complete and I was in the branch for approximately 20 minutes each time I visited. The banker did all the work of inputting the information I provided from a print out while I was left staring at the back of the banker’s Dell monitor. My mind, searching for something to do, focused on the goings on in the bank.
FTC Issues Consumer Advice for the New Year Friday, December 26, 2008 Rob Douglas The Federal Trade Commission released advice for consumers this week on how to be safer in 2009. The press release contains nine consumer tips. The first four are particularly relevant to protecting yourself from identity theft.
Credit Card Skimmers and Common Sense Monday, December 22, 2008 Rob Douglas As I update the news about identity theft each day at insideIDtheft.info, I am coming across more and more stories about credit card skimmers being used to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting consumers.
FTC’s Report on Social Security Numbers and Identity Theft Wednesday, December 17, 2008 Rob Douglas The report recommends five measures to help prevent Social Security numbers from being used for identity theft. Principal among the report’s recommendations is that Congress consider taking action to strengthen the procedures that private-sector organizations use to authenticate their customers’ identities.
Are Data Breach Notices Breaching Privacy? Tuesday, December 16, 2008 Rob Douglas Dissent, over at PogoWasRight.org, has published an original piece, When Breach Notifications Breach Privacy, questioning whether those who file mandatory breach notices with various state attorney generals around the United States may, at times, be including personal information that only furthers the exposure of the breached data.
Identity Theft & Retail Crime Is Rising Monday, December 15, 2008 Rob Douglas Tim Wilson over at DarkReading has a piece titled Study: Identity Theft, Organized Retail Crime On The Rise that should serve as a wake-up call for everyone working on security issues in the coming year.
Lessons From a Bank Heist Friday, December 12, 2008 Rob Douglas In addition to my work as editior of insideIDtheft.info and IdentityTheftBlog.info, I write a weekly column for the Steamboat Pilot & Today in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. As today’s column focuses on a local bank heist in Steamboat Springs by two bank employees of more than a million dollars, I thought I’d share the column with readers here.
Are You Running Hacker-Friendly Outdated Software? Monday, December 08, 2008 Rob Douglas One of the great advantages of editing a web site about identity theft, digital crime and information security, is the luxury of reading almost everything written about the topic on a daily basis. From reports about unfolding criminal cases to the methods used to combat cybercrime, I get a gander in real time as the stories break.
DMX Medical Identity Theft and Arrest Warrants Sunday, December 07, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info DMX (a.k.a Earl Simmons) failed to appear last Friday morning at a court hearing in Maricopa County, Arizona, for the second time. As a result, a bench warrant for his arrest was issued. DMX is charged with medical identity theft (i.e., providing someone else’s identity to avoid paying for medical services), animal abuse (17 malnourished and 3 dead dogs found in his home near Phoenix) and drug and drug paraphernalia charges.
It’s Your Identity Defend It - If Not Yours - Your Children Tuesday, December 02, 2008 Rob Douglas Today, I was a guest on CyberHood Watch Radio hosted by Dave Ballard and Bill Wardell of CyberHood Watch. We discussed identity theft with a focus on the increasing threat to families and children. You can listen to an archived recording of the show at "It’s Your Identity Defend It - If Not Yours - Your Children."
Rob Douglas on CyberHood Watch Radio Monday, December 01, 2008 Rob Douglas Tomorrow, December 2nd, at 1 pm EST, I will be a guest on CyberHood Watch Radio hosted by Dave Ballard and Bill Wardell of CyberHood Watch. We’ll be discussing identity theft with a focus on the increasing threat to children.
Identity Theft, Pretext Calling and Caller ID Spoofing Used to Rob Banks Friday, November 28, 2008 Rob Douglas In a case that demonstrates what I’ve been warning Congress, the financial services industry and the telecommunications industry about for more than a decade, an international organized crime ring has been caught stealing millions of dollars from Americans’ home equity lines of credit (HELOC) across the nation.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thursday, November 27, 2008 Rob Douglas Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers from insideIDtheft.info. We hope you enjoy the day and we remind you to be safe with your identity and your credit cards during this holiday shopping season.
Gilmerton Bridge 1; Identity Thief 0 Monday, November 24, 2008 Rob Douglas Identity thief Michael Mills officially passed his audition for stupid criminal tricks. His potential prize is seventeen years in jail and a $750,000 fine. While it’s doubtful he’ll get the full sentence, Mills has demonstrated he’s both dangerous enough and a big enough moron to deserve the maximum sentence and much more.
Utah Attorney General's Economic Crime Conference (Part 7) Saturday, November 22, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info Jeff got caught up in an international identity theft crime ring and would have continued unknowingly aiding criminals unless Chris and his team exposed Jeff to the truth. There was no Wendy and Jeff was out all of the money he had spent.
‘Dshocker’ Hacks America For Three Years Wednesday, November 19, 2008 Rob Douglas "Court records said [Dshocker] gained access to corporate computer systems, including the networks of Charter Communications, Road Runner, and Comcast, and would steal information about customers."
Data Breach Leads to Extortion Tuesday, November 18, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info Now several large groups of customers of Express Scripts have received similar letters of extortion.
FTC & EPIC Take Action Against Spyware Monday, November 17, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info Today, the FTC - in response to a complaint filed by our friends over at the Electronic Privacy Information Center(EPIC) - obtained a temporary restraining order “halting the sale of keylogger spyware. According to the FTC’s complaint, the Florida-based CyberSpy Software, LLC marketed and sold RemoteSpy keylogger spyware to clients who would then secretly monitor unsuspecting consumers’ computers.”
Internet Cybercriminals Prowl for Corporate Info Wednesday, November 12, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info The wide-spread success of identity thieves is pushing organized crime to attack corporate databases in search of proprietary information to exploit.
Utah Attorney General's Economic Crime Conference (Part 5) Sunday, November 09, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info As the second day of the conference got underway, attorneys from the law firm Parr Waddoups Brown & Loveless told how notes are currently the most prominent area of securities fraud, specifically unregistered notes and oral notes.
President-Elect Obama and Family Already Gone Phishing Saturday, November 08, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info I received another phishing email this evening from "NEWS Sensation" with the subject line "Michelle Obama died." Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to take the bait and become victims of these recent phishing scams.
Utah Attorney General's Economic Crime Conference (Part 4) Friday, November 07, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info Perfect Home Living’s goal is to “eliminate existing and emerging patterns of real estate fraud." Michael effectively demonstrated how widespread real estate fraud is in the state of Utah. According to the MARI Index, the state of Utah ranks #1 in the nation for mortgage fraud.
Utah Attorney General's Economic Crime Conference (Part 3) Thursday, November 06, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info FBI Special Agent Jensen also made a clear connection between various terrorists, identity theft and related crimes. As these terror organizations need funding, many have turned to economic crimes to fund their operations.
Utah Attorney General's Economic Crime Conference (Part 2) Wednesday, November 05, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info A cybercriminal takes comparably little risk by remotely gaining access to just one wealthy users account and can steal hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. This fact makes it very clear how important online banking security has become.
Utah Attorney General's Economic Crime Conference (Part 1) Wednesday, November 05, 2008 Keith Lubsen, Founder - InsideIDTheft.info Linda Criddle’s specialty is knowledge about how criminals profile their victims. She demonstrated how quickly and easily a criminal can build a profile on a victim. Using social networking sites, public records and other profiling techniques Linda quickly amassed enough data about a female teenage example to send a chill down the spine of audience members.
Ram Mohan Named to ICANN Board Tuesday, November 04, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info InsideIDTheft.info congratulates Ram Mohan on being named to the ICANN Board of Directors. Ram Mohan, Executive Vice-President & Chief Technology Officer of Afilias Global Registry Services, has been selected by the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to serve as its non-voting liaison on the ICANN Board of Directors.
‘Sinowal’ Trojan Steals Bank & Credit Accounts Monday, November 03, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info “A single cyber crime group has stolen more than a half million bank, credit and debit card accounts over the past two-and-a-half years using one of the most advanced strains of computer spyware in existence, according to research to be published today. The discovery is among the largest stolen data caches ever recovered.”
MAAWG Leads Industry in Fighting Botnets Thursday, October 30, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info “Bots” and “zombies” are computers infected with malicious code spread via contaminated emails, instant messages or Web sites and installed without the user’s permission. The bots often are coordinated into covert networks used to send spam, or “botnets” that can entail hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting computers.
IRS Hotline for Identity Theft Victims Wednesday, October 29, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info The All Consuming Blog at the Washington State Office of the Attorney General has an entry today titled IRS Opens Hotline for Identity Theft Victims reporting that the IRS has opened a hotline for identity theft victims.
Are Internationally Outsourced Call Centers A Security Threat? Tuesday, October 28, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info I’m always amazed that most businesses entrust critical customer account information to those with the least experience, the lowest pay and the highest turnover. Not exactly the best way to secure the lifeblood of any business.
Did ‘Joe the Plumber’ Get Plumbed Monday, October 27, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info For an individual to have their records pulled - merely because they dared to ask a question of a political candidate - strikes at the heart of American values and denigrates the principles this country was founded upon.
A Tip of the Hat to The Breach Blog Saturday, October 25, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info Thank you to Evan Francen over at The Breach Blog for listing insideIDtheft.info as one of his favorite web sites. At insideIDtheft.info and IdentityTheftBlog.info, we feel the same way about Evan and the great job he does staying abreast of the latest data and security breaches around the world.
Inside The Minds of Cybercriminals Friday, October 24, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info Over time, I've realized that what I saw as audacity on the part of many criminals in their view of why their actions were not unlawful, or even wrong, was actually the workings of the mind of a sociopath.
President’s Identity Theft Task Force Report Thursday, October 23, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info The Identity Theft Task Force created by President Bush in May of 2006 and co-chaired by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and Federal Trade Commission Chairman William E. Kovacic, released a progress report this week.
FTC Delays ID Theft Red Flags Rules Wednesday, October 22, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info The FTC announced today that they are suspending the implementation of the Identity Theft Red Flags Rule. Originally, the rule was to be enforced as of November 1, 2008, but the six-month extension moves the date to May 1, 2009.
Illegal Immigration, Identity Theft and the Supremes Tuesday, October 21, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court announced it will step into the issue of illegal immigrants and their use of fraudulent identities when securing employment. No matter the outcome, the decision is certain to be controversial.
Gambling with Your Identity Tuesday, September 23, 2008 Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info If you gamble online and off-shore, you may be throwing more than just your money away.
Welcome to InsideIDTheft.info Rob Douglas, Editor - InsideIDTheft.info Thank you for visiting InsideIDTheft.info. We hope you'll come by on a regular basis to obtain the latest news, commentary, video and blogging concerning all types of identity theft. InsideIDTheft.info is updated throughout the day to keep you informed about the latest identity theft threats and trends.