We write a lot about data loss at American companies and financial institutions. Some of you might wonder why we spend so much time on Verizon losing the occasional CD, or the occasional Citibank security breach. Maybe you’re wealthy, with a million dollars in credit and a shimmering Porsche. Maybe you’ve got 75 bucks in your checking account and need to eat beans and rice until your next paycheck. Either way, cyber-crime tends to seem faceless, not really a threat to you personally.
It’s surprising how many people we talk to who aren’t particularly concerned with identity theft or cybcer-crime, who view a lost Verizon CD as just that… a lost CD, not a big deal. So we invite you to check out this report by the New York Times on cyber-crime. It’s a fantastic summary of the reasons why we tend to report these stories.
The summary? No matter who you are, a hacker in the Ukraine probably already has all of your bank details, and he’s making a living selling them for a price. American authorities are impotent to stop these guys, so they instead focus on American hackers and identity thieves, whom are described in the NYT article as “the lowest hanging fruit… middling rubes or barely post-adolescent power-trippers.” Arresting these local hackers doesn’t dent the problem at all. Meanwhile, billions of dollars are being stolen from people just like you and me every year, usually by criminals in ex-Soviet-Bloc countries who are virtually ignored by local authorities.
We get upset when companies lose our data or compromise our financial security because a company’s security is literally the first and last line of defense in preventing your bank account and credit cards being drained.Everyone should be concerned and every consumerist should take these companies to task when they betray our trust.
Den Of Uncatchable Thieves [New York Times]