Max Vision, the security consultant who was first sent to prison in 2001 for messing with the Pentagon, has now been sent to 13 years in prison for “stealing nearly two million credit card numbers from banks, businesses and other hackers,” reports Wired. The FBI took a renewed interest in Vision in 2006 after he successfully made a power grab on several competing black market ID theft websites. “I’ve changed,” Vision wrote in a letter to the court, and although he faced life in prison, he was given the shorter sentence partly because he’d cooperated with the government. With good behavior he’ll be back out in 2018. [More]
Where does spam come from? Well, there are these things called botnets. They’re networks of hijacked computers that secretly do the bidding of their masters. Often, they send out spam. Comcast plans to offer an automated service that will inform you, within your browser, if your computer is behaving as if it has been compromised by malware.
Tucson, Arizona is hosting a community shred-a-thon in October, where private citizens can show up with boxes of sensitive data and have it shredded for free. Back in July, the Wall Street Journal looked at the growing trend of community shredding events as an example of how regular people are taking action to prevent identity theft.
If you’re still not shredding, locking, and canceling, maybe a giant graphic will get the point across. Follow these five tips and you’ll be well on your way to securing your side of things when it comes to ID theft.
Albert Gonzalez, a 28-year-old from Miami who was arrested last year and charged with leading “a worldwide ring that stole more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from major retail chains,” plead guilty today as part of a plea bargain. He faces up to 25 years in prison.
Reader Eric says he got a fairly realistic-looking Facebook phishing email and wanted to warn others not to click.
An employee of Starbucks has filed a class action lawsuit against the company for failing to properly secure employee data. The employee was one of one of 97,000 notified late last year after a Starbucks laptop containing employee names, addresses and Social Security numbers was stolen. [NetworkWorld via Starbucks Gossip]
The Daily News has stolen the Empire State Building, and it only took 90 minutes. They made up some fake paperwork and successfully got the deed to the 102-story landmark transferred to a fake company called “Nelots Properties LLC.” Get it? Nelots? Stolen? The information provided to the city register was laughably fake — King Kong star Fay Wray was listed as a witness.
Here’s a weird story. Chris at PhillyBurbs.com was dealing with some ID theft problems (random charges were showing up on his credit cards) when he got a random credit card in the mail. It was an extra copy of a card he did indeed have. Wondering if someone was trying to get copies of his cards — he contacted the bank:
Christopher Soghoian over at Cnet is reporting that Turkish police may have used violence to get the encryption keys of one of primary ringleaders in the TJ Maxx credit card theft investigation. The suspect, Maksym Yastremskiy, is apparently a “major figure in the international sale of stolen credit card information.”
You know how sometimes in football both teams will screw up on the same play and the penalties will offset? We’ve just found the fraud version of that situation. Three men brought a laptop computer box to Walmart and said that they’d been sold an empty box. Walmart thought they were being scammed, so they called the police. That’s when all hell broke loose.
A new study National Cyber Security Alliance says that you’re probably making one of these 7 stupid mistakes when it comes to your own online security. The study shows that when Symantec, polled 3,000 online users and scanned the computers of 400 of them, 81 percent of respondents said they were using a firewall, but only 42 percent indeed had a firewall installed on their computer. Whoops.
Yesterday, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the police were looking for two men who were posing as Comcast employees as a ruse to steal social security numbers. The men were driving an unmarked car, wandering around a neighborhood knocking on doors and telling residents they needed to fix some wiring issues. One resident refused, claiming that she didn’t have an appointment. She then saw the employees start knocking on other doors and, finding it unlikely that her entire neighborhood could have “wiring issues,” called the police.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Georgia Sends 202,000 Letters Containing Personal Information To The Wrong Addresses
Well, if you’re having a bad day at work, rest assured that someone in Georgia is having a worse one. The Journal-Constitution is reporting that 202,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia customers had their personal information exposed, including (in some cases) their social security numbers, thanks to an error in the computerized mailing system. The system was apparently used before it was tested.
Stein Mart was caught “printing expiration dates and/or more than the last five digits of credit cards on receipts,” and was subsequently hit with a class action lawsuit for exposing sensitive customer data. Now they’ve settled by agreeing to run coupons in local newspapers. It gets better: instead of a flat 20% off coupon, the store is requiring minimum-purchase amounts that reduce the savings if your purchase falls between the arbitrarily set thresholds.
- $10 off a purchase of $50 or more
- $20 off a purchase of $100 or more
- $30 off a purchase of $150 or more
We need a new federal law that says class action lawyers have to be compensated in the same manner as their clients. Give those hard working guys and gals some $30-off coupons, please!
All the security in the world can be rendered useless by human error, it seems. Marko Karppinen, a software designer, says Apple gave his password to someone who simply emailed them and asked for it.