CIMIP - Center for Identity Management and Information Protection

August 2009 News Archive

August 31, 2009

SCAM ALERT: Unofficial web sites for DMV registration renewal

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneida County residents are asked to be on the alert regarding a web site that appears to renew vehicle registrations, but is, in fact, not connected with state or county government offices. full article

Woman Finds Social Security Number in Google Search

Harrisburg, Pa. - The Internet is a great tool for researching what kind of scholarships are available. But if you receive a scholarship, the Web can also be a threat to your identity. full article

Five More Accused in Credit Card Fraud Investigation

The five men operated thousands of miles from Manhattan, under aliases like “the Viver,” “Inexwor” and “DoZ.” And with their true identities obscured on the Web, Manhattan prosecutors said, these men were able to play intimate roles in a cybertheft that resulted in more than 95,000 stolen credit card numbers and $4 million worth of fraudulent transactions. full article

August 28, 2009

Hacker in massive ID theft pleads guilty

Albert Gonzalez plead guilty to charges related to the largest case of identity theft in U.S. history.

BOSTON (Reuters) -- The man accused of masterminding the largest identity theft in U.S. history agreed to plead guilty to related charges, according to court papers filed in Boston federal court Friday. full article

State govs saying ‘No thanks’ to mystery laptops

Officials report receiving three to five laptops their offices never ordered

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Even during tight budgetary times, a growing handful of state governors are proving too wary to accept laptop computers that have shown up at their offices this month, unsolicited. full article

Skype snooping trojan detected

Source code for a new trojan has been released that has the ability to snoop on phone calls over the popular voice over IP (VoIP) program Skype. full article

August 27, 2009

Everett cops arrest suspected ID theft kingpin

EVERETT, Wash. - The suspected kingpin of a sophisticated identity theft ring that victimized hundreds of people has been arrested following a nearly year-long investigation by Everett police. full article

Mass SQL injection attacks still scaling up

The mass SQL injection attacks that gained attention earlier this week are continuing, with some 210,000 pages infected so far. All of the attacks are coming from IP addresses based in China, Amichai Shulman, CTO of database security firm Imperva, told Thursday. full article

August 26, 2009

Bernanke's other banking problem: Identity theft

Some critics of recently reappointed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke argue that he was too slow to realize that the financial system was teetering on the brink of collapse during 2008. But Bernanke might have had another, more personal banking issue on his mind at the time, Newsweek reports: his wife Anna's purse was stolen in August 2008, and the thieves used its contents to access the couple's joint checking account. full article

August 24, 2009

New mass SQL injection attack infects 56,000 websites

Tens of thousands of websites have been compromised with a suite of malware containing backdoors, password stealers and downloaders, according to a security firm. full article

August 22, 2009

New Hartford phone scam has people posing as grandchild asking for money

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - The New Hartford Police department is alerting the public of a phone scam targeting the elderly. full article

August 21, 2009

Health care breach notification mandated

Two new rules were created this week requiring health care organizations, and other entities that interact with personal health records (PHRs), to issue notifications in the event of a data breach. full article

BU reports ROTC information data breach

Boston University officials have confirmed that personal information of thousands of individuals associated with an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program was exposed through a public file transfer program installed on a BU computer, according to a university publication. full article

New York: Debt collectors illegally threatened arrest, assault

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Michele Minton was crying as she listened to a man tell her she'd be arrested within the hour if she didn't pay a $4,400 debt. full article

August 20, 2009

Mail carrier aids ID theft investigation

Women accused of using data on co-workers, job applicants

An alert mail carrier’s suspicions led to charges that two Milwaukee women stole personal information from job applicants and workers at a store one of the women managed and used it to commit identity theft. full article

Identity-Theft Malware Flourishes during Economic Downturn, According to PandaLabs

Of the 37,000 new viruses, worms, Trojans and other security threats that appear each day, 71 percent are Trojans, mostly designed for identity theft

GLENDALE, Calif., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Panda Security, the Cloud Security Company, today announced that PandaLabs, the company's laboratory for detecting and analyzing malware, has discovered that the number of users affected by malware designed for identity theft has increased 600 percent this year compared to the same time in 2008. Most of these variants are Trojans, with many incidents of phishing, worms, and spyware. full article

Radisson Hotels Computers Compromised

A hacker appears to have had access to guest information at a limited number of hotels for several months.

Radisson Hotels & Resorts' chief operating officer Fredrik Korallus on Wednesday said in an open letter to company customers that the computer systems at some Radisson hotels in the U.S. and Canada had been accessed illegally. full article

August 19, 2009

Facebook Security: Inside a Hacker Chat

Below is the transcript of a real Facebook Chat conversation between a savvy user, Derek, and a scammer who has gained access to Derek's friend's account and is trying to trick Derek out of money. full article

Hacker Accesses Berkeley J-School SSNs

Breach affects nearly 500 applicants

Here’s some investigative fodder for budding reporters at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism: How did a hacker manage to break into what student newspaper The Daily Cal describes as “a private segment of the journalism school's primary public web server” to steal Social Security numbers and other private data? full article

August 18, 2009

Prosecutors say man stole 130M credit card numbers

A former government informant known online as "soupnazi" stole information from 130 million credit and debit card accounts in what federal prosecutors are calling the largest case of identity theft yet. full article

August 17, 2009

How were Social Security numbers given away?

CONCORD, N.H. – When Tropical Storm Chata'an struck the Federated States of Micronesia in 2002, the U.S. government sent 1,300 blankets, 4,000 disposable diapers, 30 cases of sardines — and my Social Security number. full article

Stolen ID Ordeal: Theft years ago left lasting pain for Lowell man

LOWELL -- It seemed so insignificant at the time, Hung Kim Te doesn't even remember the date: Someone broke into his pickup truck as it was parked on Franklin Street, and stole some paperwork from his glove box. full article

Hackers Stole IDs for Attacks

WASHINGTON -- Russian hackers hijacked American identities and U.S. software tools and used them in an attack on Georgian government Web sites during the war between Russia and Georgia last year, according to new research to be released Monday by a nonprofit U.S. group. full article

August 15, 2009

Wells Fargo employee accused of fraud, theft

A Wells Fargo call center employee accused of accessing the bank's computer system and using customers' information to pay off debts and obtain credit and ATM cards was arrested Friday in Sacramento on numerous federal allegations of bank fraud. full article

August 14, 2009

2 arrests in SoCal $678K Medicare fraud case

Two women are under arrest for allegedly participating in a scheme to bilk $678,000 from the Medicare program, money that was later used to purchase a gold Hummer and other luxury items. full article

Tustin man sentenced for identity theft

TUSTIN, Calif. -- An Orange County man who fled to Mexico has been sentenced to 31 years in state prison for stealing the identities of more than a dozen people and using them to buy property. full article

Private-eye team each gets 6 months in ID theft case

TACOMA — A couple who ran a private-investigation firm have been sentenced to six months in prison and two years supervised release for using illegal methods to dig up dirt on people who were involved in court cases or litigation. full article

Florida officer gets 8 years for identity theft scam

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A Florida officer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for using official databases in an online identity theft scam. full article

Staten Islanders beware: You may be the victim of identity theft

Some Staten Islanders may be the victims of identity theft and not even know it yet. American Express card members are now learning that their accounts may have been compromised by an employee's recent theft of data. full article

August 13, 2009

Utah man sentenced in identity theft case

A man who pleaded guilty to identity theft in federal court has been sentenced to four years in prison.

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who pleaded guilty to identity theft in federal court has been sentenced to four years in prison. full article

August 12, 2009

Man gets 3 years in prison for stealing IDs over LimeWire

A Washington state man who admitted using the LimeWire file-sharing program to steal tax returns and other sensitive documents has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison. full article

LimeWire ID Theft Case Raises P2P Concerns

Do users understand what they're sharing on P2P networks?

A federal court on Tuesday sentenced a Washington man to 39 months in prison for using P2P file-sharing service LimeWire to obtain personal information from unsuspecting users' tax returns and other documents stored on their PCs. full article

Widespread Harassment from Phony Debt Collectors Raises Concerns of Mass Data Breach, Warns BBB

Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Scammers may have Social Security and bank account numbers, home addresses and employer information Chicago, IL - August 5, 2009 - The Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert about phony debt collectors that are calling consumers nationwide and claiming that they have defaulted on a payday loan and will be arrested if they don't pay immediately. Claiming to be lawyers, the scammers say they are with the "Financial Accountability Association" or the "Federal Legislation of Unsecured Loans" and are equipped with a disconcerting amount of personal information about their potential victims. full article

August 10, 2009

Mexican Drug Trafficker Convicted of Aggravated Identity Theft

LAREDO, TX—Mexican citizen Jose Guadalupe Ramirez Ortiz, 33, has been convicted of falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen and committing aggravated identity theft during his attempted illegal entry into the country earlier this year, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Ortiz pleaded guilty to both federal offenses today before United States Magistrate Judge Diana Saldaña. full article

August 9, 2009

7 Expensive Mistakes College Students Make

Every August, millions of parents nationwide load up minivans and head out to drop off their high school grads at college. But while college freshman may be academically prepared for school, they often still have a lot to learn when it comes to managing money. Most new college students have little to no experience handling money on their own, and they end up paying dearly for that inexperience by making costly mistakes. Here we look at some of the most common money mistakes college students make, and provide some tips on how to mitigate or avoid them. full article

August 5, 2009

Man Charged With Web Name Theft, Sale on eBay

Daniel Goncalves, 25, who works for an online research firm, hacked into an online account belonging to one of the owners of the domain name, New Jersey police said. He allegedly shifted ownership to himself and resold the Web site address on eBay to Mark Madsen, a Los Angeles Clippers forward who did not know the name was stolen. full article

Online Scammers Prey on the Jobless

When Claude Vera responded to the customer-service job opening he saw on the online-classified site back in February, it seemed like one of a hundred small acts that might get him back to work. Most of his e-mail messages to prospective employers were going unanswered, so he was relieved when Penguin Express Inc. replied the next day with a work-from-home job. full article

Mozilla Store Security Breached

GatewayCDI, which operates the Mozilla Store, suffered a security breach affecting an undisclosed number of customers.

Mozilla on Wednesday disclosed that a security breach had occurred at a third-party vendor that operates the backend infrastructure of the Mozilla Store. The breach occurred at GatewayCDI, a distributor of promotional products based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Mozilla Store sells various items of clothing, software, and other merchandise related to Firefox and other Mozilla projects. full article

August 4, 2009

Identity Theft Attempt at Defcon

Criminal hackers hacked hackers at the annual Defcon conference in Las Vegas. Defcon is a conference of hackers of all breeds. Hackers come in white, black, grey and law enforcement. That’s the Good, Bad, Bi-Hacker and Government. People of all kinds with an intuitive sense for technology and inventiveness descend on Las Vegas to learn and explore and…hack. full article

IRS Alerts Public to New Identity Theft Scams

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds consumers to avoid identity theft scams that use the IRS name, logo or Web site in an attempt to convince taxpayers that the scam is a genuine communication from the IRS. Scammers may use other federal agency names, such as the U.S. Department of the Treasury. full article

Army Guard to Inform Members of Data Loss

ARLINGTON, Va. – Members of the Army National Guard who could be affected by the theft of a laptop containing their personal data, will be notified through an official letter, Guard officials said here today. full article

Prosecutor Denies Violating Rights in ID Probe

DENVER -- Colorado authorities say they did not violate anyone's privacy rights when they seized thousands of tax documents to investigate undocumented immigrants for identity theft. full article


Contact Information

Center for Identity Management and
Information Protection
Dr. Donald Rebovich,
Executive Director
Utica College
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502