CIMIP - Center for Identity Management and Information Protection

October 2011 News Archive

October 31, 2011

FBI Russian Spy Videos Released

ABC News’ Jason Ryan, Pierre Thomas and Jack Cloherty report: The FBI video is remarkable: Russian spies digging up payoff money in New Jersey, handing off a bag in a New York train station and passing information in furtive meetings and “brush bys.” full article

Anonymous threatens to expose Mexican drug cartel

Anonymous said one of its members was kidnapped by the cartel

IDG News Service - Anonymous advised its members to protect their online identities, and not to wear the traditional Anonymous mask in public, or even purchase them online, as a core group decides if it should take on a Mexican drug cartel that is said to have kidnapped a member of the group. full article

California man caught with 300,000 identities

A Southern California man was convicted of identity theft after authorities discovered he had obtained more than 300,000 personal profiles. While not the most authorities have seen, it's a large cache of personal information, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Brown. full article

Attackers Moving to .CE.MS Domain For Attack Sites

Attackers have been making a mess of some of the smaller country-code top-level domains for a while now, registering random domain names en masse and then using them deliver malware and rogue AV. The most infamous example of this is the domain, which had become so infested with malicious domains that Google removed the entire domain from its search results earlier this year. Now the bad guys have moved on to the mountainous West Indies isle of Montserrat. full article

Man arrested for allegedly stealing car, mail

Angels Camp police Sunday morning arrested a Tuolumne County man, who was out on bail and already facing multiple criminal charges, for allegedly stealing a car and pilfering mail from dozens of county residents. full article

‘Smishing’ targets victims with texts

The Montana Attorney General's Office and the Division of Banking and Financial Institutions issued an alert that warns consumers about people or entities engaged in a new scam involving text messages. full article

Teenager's rocky life leads to 3 murders

Sainab Said Osman used to walk a block from her apartment building across busy Franklin Avenue and shop at Seward Market & Halal Meat. full article

Bogus Texas college student, 48, gets prison

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 48-year-old Dallas man who stole an identity and faked being a college student to get loans has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison. full article

Mac OS X Trojan Goes Bitcoin Mining, Steals Files

A new Trojan targeting Mac OS X users is not only after data, but Bitcoins as well. The malware is being detected by Sophos as Miner-D, but is also known as DevilRobber. According to Sophos, the Trojan is hiding inside pirated versions of the Mac OS X image editing application GraphicConverter version 7.4, and is being actively distributed on file-sharing networks and torrent sites like Pirate Bay. Once on the system, the Trojan creates a backdoor for remote access and installs a Bitcoin miner that uses up any spare CPU or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) cycles. full article

October 29, 2011

Scarlett Johansson Hack Suspect Allegedly Stalked Woman for 12 Years

The man accused of hacking email of Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera is also reportedly suspected of stalking another woman — apparently not a celebrity — for 12 years. full article

October 28, 2011

Chinese hackers may have attacked U.S. satellites

Upcoming congressional report highlights attacks on two satellites, Bloomberg report says

Computerworld - Suspected Chinese hackers interfered with two U.S. satellites on four separate occasions in 2007 and 2008. full article

Asheville woman charged with identity theft

ASHEVILLE — An Asheville woman was charged with two counts of identity theft. full article

Ocala Officers Arrested In Identity Theft Scheme

OCALA, Fla. -- An Ocala police officer and several other people were arrested in an elaborate identity theft scheme, police said. full article

Critics say Govt.'s Death File puts dead at risk for identity theft

BALTIMORE - It's the one number you go to great lengths to protect, knowing that if someone learns your Social Security number they could try and get a credit card or a mortgage or even file as you on their taxes. You don’t don't give it to just anybody. But the federal government does, once you're dead. full article

Public Eye: Identity theft hit 1 million Californians last year

Identity theft hit 1 million Californians last year; caution urged. Identity theft: It can happen anywhere and to anyone. full article

Portland police arrest man who claimed to be ID theft victim

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Identity theft investigators with the Portland Police Bureau say an 18-year-old man who claimed to be the victim of ID theft was nothing more than a con. full article Highlights a Growing Problem: College Identity Theft

Delaware City, DE (PRWEB) October 28, 2011, a leading provider of online public records and people search, hopes to raise awareness of a new and rapidly growing form of identity theft that targets college students. Today, in addition to worrying about managing their studies and extracurricular activities, students have a new concern – protecting their identity., hence becomes perfect to enhance personal security and safety via people find, background checks, and more. full article

Massive Swedish hacks leak details on 400K user accounts

Users repeatedly using the same password makes matters worse

IDG News Service - The details of more than 400,000 user accounts have leaked onto the Internet in Sweden, following a series of attacks that have affected about 60 websites. full article

October 27, 2011

Social engineering: My career as a professional bank robber

Today's criminals aren't stealing money -- that's so yesterday, according to Jim Stickley. It's sensitive data he's after.

CSO - Jim Stickley got his first computer at age 12, and he was chatting with other computer "nerds" on bulletin board sites by the time he was 16. A wannabe hacker, Stickley said his first foray into playing the system was with free codes -- codes that would exclude his phone and computer time from racking up charges that would incur the wrath of his parents. full article

Grand Jury Indicts 6 People in Identity Theft and Real Estate & Welfare Fraud

Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth A. Egan announced on Wednesday the filing of an indictment alleging 180-count felony real estate fraud case against Fresno residents: 37-year old Justin Dee Linder, 32-year-old Kelly Jo Linder, 37-year-old Gregg Borchardt, 68-year-old Hector Secco, 30-year-old Ryan Leffingwell, and 27-year-old Amy Leffingwell. The indictment included felony counts of grand theft, recording of false documents, false notarizing, identity theft and welfare fraud charges. full article

Vernon Housekeeper Swindles Nearly $3,000 From Employer, Police Say

VERNON — A 60-year-old woman previously convicted on charges of identity theft, larceny and forgery was arrested Wednesday amid allegations she swindled nearly $3,000 from an elderly woman who had hired her as a housekeeper, police said. full article

Microsoft Releases First Annual Computing Safety Index

Trustworthy Computing Group introduces online tool to help Web users gauge how well they protect their online information

Microsoft is introducing an online tool to help Web surfers gauge how well they are protecting their online content and surfing experience, and it turns out consumers are doing an even better job of protecting info than they know, though work remains to be done. full article

The Identity Theft Council Warns Of Increased Risk Of Identity Theft To Small Businesses

National cybersecurity awareness month calls to small businesses to prevent, detect, and remedy identity theft threats

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), the Identity Theft Council (ITC), an award-winning non-profit grassroots movement dedicated to bringing more effective ways to combat identity theft, is warning small businesses across the country to pay more attention to the very real and costly threats posed by identity theft. A recent Javelin Strategy & Research study found that fraud suffered by Small Business Owners (SMBO) totaled an astonishing $8 billion. Banks, merchants and other providers absorbed at least $5.43 billion of that loss, while the cost to victims was $2.61 billion. full article

NSA Director Says U.S. Working to Push Attack Data to ISPs

WASHINGTON--The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command said that the federal government is working on a system now that would allow it to work with ISPs and others to help stop ongoing attacks against government and private networks by pushing intelligence and attack signatures to them. full article

October 26, 2011

Japan foreign offices, parliament hit by virus attack

Some government computers were infected by a virus via email, but Tokyo's top spokesman says no critical data was lost.

IDG News Service - Computers at Japan's diplomatic offices abroad and its House of Representatives were infected by viruses during cyberattacks over the last several months, the country's top spokesman said. full article

Mitsubishi Hack May Have Yielded Defense, Nuke Secrets

A report claims the recent hack of Japanese Defense Contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries may have led to the theft of sensitive data related to weapons systems and nuclear reactors. full article

VA: Identity theft scam targeting local veterans

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- The Grand Junction VA Medical Center is warning local veterans about an identity theft scam targeting them. full article

Identity thief nabbed with over 300,000 victim profiles

A California man was sentenced to eight years in prison for identity theft after federal police GPS-tracked his phone and discovered a hard drive with over 300,000 victim profiles during a raid of his home. full article

Wayne County woman charged with identity theft, misuse of food stamps

A Wayne County woman is charged with identity theft, after police say she used another person's food stamp benefits. full article

Morris County ID theft charge at issue in court

A Belleville woman is testing New Jersey’s law on identity theft by claiming it doesn’t apply to her alleged creation of a Facebook profile in the name of an ex-boyfriend who is a Parsippany police detective. full article

3 Accused Of Identity Theft

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Bakersfield Police Department is asking for the community’s assistance in identifying and locating three people accused of identity theft, burglary, and unauthorized use of an access card. full article

ID theft parolee gets 8 years in federal prison

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A California parolee has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for his second identity theft scheme. full article

Report: Hacks From China Shuttered UK Firm, Cost Economy $43 billion

The head of the UK Ministry of Defence's Cyber Security Program says that targeted attacks have already caused the premature demise of a UK wind turbine maker, and has cost the country $43 billion in lost economic growth already. full article

October 25, 2011

Spammers create their own URL shortening services

The strange development may be an attempt to get around filtering software that checks the destination domains

IDG News Service - Spammers have created their own services to shorten URLs (uniform resource locators) in an apparent attempt to circumvent security measures in place at well-known shortening websites, according to Symantec. full article

Floyd woman accused of stealing gas cards from former employer

FLOYD, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Floyd woman has been charged with grand larceny after State Police say she stole more than $2,000 in gas cards from her former employer. full article

ID theft ring tied to Emory patients

DULUTH, Ga. — Channel 2 has learned thousands of potential victims of an alleged identity theft ring have something in common: they're all patients at Emory Healthcare's Orthopedic Clinic. full article

Dozens become victims of identity theft in part of the Arklatex

What you can do to protect your personal information

Nearly thirty people in the small Louisiana town of Springhill have had their identities stolen this year. full article

Anonymous tipster claims Internet security breach at Pan American Games

Journalists covering the Pan American Games, including about two dozen Canadians, could be at risk of identity theft or fraud. full article

Police: Woman Uses Craigslist For Scams

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Bakersfield Police Department is asking for the community's help in identifying a woman accused of theft by fraud. full article

US to seek extradition of man held in Ireland

THE US is to seek the extradition of an Algerian-born man currently in custody in Ireland after he was charged in a Pennsylvania court with conspiring with a woman known as “Jihad Jane” to recruit people online for terrorist plots. full article

Inmate slain in Aberdeen had minor record

ABERDEEN, Wash. — The fleeing jail inmate who was shot and killed Friday when he threatened a woman in Aberdeen, Wash., had been jailed in an identity theft case. full article

New DOS tool overloads SSL servers with ease

The tool takes advantage of a feature in SSL that can be maliciously exploited

IDG News Service - A newly released denial-of-service (DOS) tool can be used to bring down SSL servers using an average laptop computer and a standard DSL connection. full article

October 24, 2011

Wrongly jailed woman seeks action against Atlanta cops

Atlanta (CNN) -- When Teresa Culpepper called Atlanta police to report her car stolen, the last thing she expected was to land behind bars for 53 days in a case of mistaken identity. full article

Obama issues order aimed at preventing federal data leaks

Computerworld - President Obama has issued an executive order aimed at better securing data stored by federal agencies. full article

Woman allegedly drained checking account of Gig Harbor couple

Authorities say a 32-year-old woman used a fake identity and phony checks to drain nearly $330,000 from a Gig Harbor couple’s checking account earlier this year. full article

Penn Hills woman pleads guilty to identity theft

A Penn Hills woman pleaded guilty last week to one count of identity theft, according to federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh. full article

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office falls victim to computer hack

The Sheriff's Office was notified late Friday, October 21, 2011, that the department was part of a broad scheme to hack into law enforcement databases and release publicly the personal information of law enforcement personnel in many areas of the country. full article

Homebuyers can protect their credit in many ways

Keep credit card balances below 10%, send mortgage applications in 14-day span

That golden window right before you sign for a mortgage is one of the times when your credit is the most vulnerable. You're submitting applications for loans, putting personal data on forms for real estate agents and mortgage brokers and, if you're also selling a home, inviting in strangers. full article

State senator introduces bill to modify Real ID law

TALLAHASSEE -- If you've had to renew your driver's license in the past year, you probably had to bring a pile of papers with you to prove your identity. full article

Super IT blunder risked $23m contract

The federal government has been in daily contact with the company responsible for the First State Super security failure and has demanded immediate changes to its systems as the company revealed that three other superannuation funds it administers were also affected. full article

SCAMwatch warns travellers of fake flight booking sites

Victims have reported losses of more than $1000 for fake international flight bookings and instances of identity theft.

As the ‘silly season’ approaches fast, SCAMwatch has advised expectant travellers to check the authenticity of flight booking websites before making any reservations for domestic and international travel. full article

3 G.I. men face federal charges

One Grand Island man has been charged with providing false information for federal benefits, while two others have been charged with illegally re-entering the country. full article

October 21, 2011

US teen charged in 'Jihad Jane' terror plot

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A high school honors student helped the American terror suspect dubbed "Jihad Jane" plot to kill a Swedish artist and used the Internet to raise money and recruits for overseas terrorists, federal prosecutors charged in an indictment Thursday. full article

Broomfield woman pleads guilty to identity theft in check forging case

Josephine Pacheco, the Broomfield woman arrested earlier this year on multiple charges related to a large-scale check forging scam police say she masterminded, on Thursday pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft. In exchange, 12 other felony charges against her in the case were dropped. full article

Pair accused of using Internet to aid in terror

(CNN) -- Two foreigners, including one who was a legal resident of the United States, have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in an indictment from Pennsylvania. full article

Abandoned Modesto aluminum plant poses identity theft threat to former workers

MODESTO - The former employees of an abandoned aluminum manufacturing plant fear their personal files may be swiped by scrap scavengers. full article

Ex-insurer gets 14 years for fraud

A former insurance agent was sentenced Thursday to 14 months in federal prison after she pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to wire fraud and mail fraud. full article

Report: NASDAQ Hackers Spied On Corporate Directors

The hackers who compromised systems belonging to the NASDAQ stock market last year were able to install monitoring software that allowed them to spy on the doings of corporate directors, Reuters is reporting. full article

Skype lets hackers track your BitTorrent downloads

Scientists have devised a stealthy and low-cost way to track the internet protocol addresses of tens of thousands of Skype users, and link the information to their online activities such as the sharing of specific files over BitTorrent. full article

Drive By Download Sites Using New Tricks To Avoid Detection

Amid an increase in defacements of legitimate websites over the past few weeks, Fraser Howard, a researcher from Sophos, has discovered that the groups behind the attacks are increasingly using sophisticated filtering and dynamic content to avoid detection by search engines and web filtering firms. full article

October 20, 2011

Stuxnet Clone 'Duqu': The Hydrogen Bomb of Cyberwarfare?

If the Stuxnet virus was the atom bomb of cyberwarfare, then the discovery this week of the "Duqu" virus is the hydrogen bomb, security experts are warning. full article

Identity Theft Led To Victim's Arrest

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Terria Myrick spent a night in jail when she was accused of shoplifting at a Westside Walmart in a mistaken identity case because of identity theft. full article

Eau Claire woman accused of swindling $50,000 from grandma

An Eau Claire woman is accused of spending more than $21,000 from her grandmother's checking account without permission, authorities say. full article

Man Pleads Guilty to Aggravated ID Theft and Bank, Mail & Credit Card Fraud

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Matthew Gene Ballard, 32, of Manteca, plead guilty to mail fraud, bank fraud, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft. full article

Man accused in VA benefits fraud

A Harrison County man is accused of using another person's identity to fraudulently receive more than $90,000 in benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. That's according to U.S. District Court records. full article

Probe at Edge Hill University after student data breach

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after personal details of nearly 800 Edge Hill University students were sent out in an email. full article

Phishing page hacked, turned into PSA on the dangers of phishing

Here's something you don't see very often. Someone - perhaps the recipient of the below phishing mail while having a Falling Down style day at the office - decided enough was enough and set out to hijack the phishing site they were sent to. full article

Identity theft victims dragged into serious trouble with the authorities

KUALA LUMPUR: A 25-year-old gave his MyKad to his boss on his first day of work. Now, he is facing 85 police reports for cheating involving RM180,000 worth of IT goods. full article

October 19, 2011

'Son of Stuxnet' virus could be used to attack critical computers worldwide

A powerful new computer virus that some are calling the "Son of Stuxnet" has been discovered, and researchers are concerned about its potential for attacking critical infrastructure computers around the world. full article

8.1 million people were victims of ID theft last year

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- More than 8 million people fell victim to identity theft last year, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. full article

Inmate church says identities were stolen

A United Methodist congregation made up of inmates at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville said an Indianola woman and former inmate used its volunteers’ personal information to steal 40 identities full article

Immigrant jailed in case of officer's stolen ID

HOLIDAY, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Mexican immigrant is accused of using the stolen identity of a Texas police officer for more than a decade. full article

Cops: Couple caught with 5 fake IDs, stolen credit cards

STAMFORD -- A man and woman from Queens, N.Y., were arrested Tuesday afternoon when they opened store accounts under fake names and tried to buy $3,300 worth of clothes and gift cards. full article

Two men plead guilty to ID theft ring that targeted restaurant patrons

Two Maryland men have pleaded guilty to running an identity theft ring that targeted more than 250 people in the D.C. area. full article

Identity Theft Cashing Fake Checks in York County

Carroll Township, York County— Police in York County release a surveilance photo in hopes of catching a theft. Carroll Township Police say a woman has been using the identity of two women that are in their 80's and 90's to cash fraudulent checks totalling $2,500 from the ACNB Bank in Carroll Township back on September 30, 2011 and the ACNB Bank in Gettysburg on the same day. full article

Team Swastika group hacks 10,000 global Facebook account details

Security experts are warning web users to ensure they use strong passwords and vary their credentials from site to site after a new hacking group published log-in details of what it claimed to be more than 10,000 Facebook users. full article

October 18, 2011

US companies pushed to disclose cyberattacks

New guidelines from US regulators throw a spotlight on disclosure of cyber-incidents

IDG News Service - Public companies may need to look more closely at their exposure to cyberattacks after new guidelines were released this week by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. full article

Attorney General: Massachusetts Won't Investigate iTunes Fraud

It looks as if Apple iTunes users who have been the victim of identity theft will have to look for a new knight in shining armor to wring answers from the notoriously close-lipped Cupertino technology giant. full article

Hacktivists pose growing threat to industrial computing

DHS warns nation about Anonymous

Members of the Anonymous hacking collective are increasingly interested in attacking industrial control systems used to automate machinery used by factories, power stations, water treatment plants, and other facilities critical to national security, the Department of Homeland Security warned last month. full article

Defense Dept. hit with $4.9B lawsuit over data breach

Proposed class action suit involves TRICARE, seeks $1,000 per victim

Computerworld - The U.S. Department of Defense has been hit with a $4.9 billion lawsuit over a recently disclosed data breach involving TRICARE, a healthcare system for active and retired military personnel and their families. full article

Hackers expose Citibank CEO's privates

Revenge strike against cuffing of Occupy Wall St protesters

Hacktivists have published a dossier of personal information on the head of Citigroup in retaliation for the cuffing of protesters at an Occupy Wall Street demo. full article

Inside a Hacker Forum

Hacker forums function as a kind of combination training academy, social network and central bazaar for attackers looking for new tools, methods and techniques. They're also often patrolled by law enforcement agents and security researchers, but it's rare that any of the information that those people gather ever makes it into the hands of the public. One security company is now laying out some of the details of a year-long observation of a large hacker forum. full article

U.S. Debated Cyberwarfare in Attack Plan on Libya

WASHINGTON — Just before the American-led strikes against Libya in March, the Obama administration intensely debated whether to open the mission with a new kind of warfare: a cyberoffensive to disrupt and even disable the Qaddafi government’s air-defense system, which threatened allied warplanes. full article

Identity Theft Victim Speaks Out

(West Seneca, NY) Buffalo State College student, Madeline Tuft, doesn't know who they were, or how they did it. full article

Wine fraud through identity theft on the rise

Some £600,000 of wine has been obtained through identity theft in the UK over the past six months, police have warned. full article

New Information In Identity Theft Case

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A group that helps women in prison said they know how a woman charged in dozens of identity theft cases got private information. full article

Identity Thieves Are Stealing Social Security Numbers From Dead Children

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) --- A family whose four-year-old daughter died in January is finding this week that the theft of her social security number by identity thieves is not a rarity. full article

Legislation would fight Medicare identity theft

There's a new effort to crackdown on criminals who use Medicare cards to steal identities. full article

Woman changes plea to guilty for role in fraud scheme spanning 21 states

An Indianapolis woman accused of working with a national identity theft ring allegedly led by a Gary native changed her plea to guilty Monday. full article

100 private documents accidentally published on police website

Privacy breaches by the Metropolitan Police have left more than 100 documents online which contain confidential information. full article

Bank gaffe shows info of wealthy customers

A bank blunder has revealed the personal email details of scores of HSBC's high-income customers for the second time in two years. full article

October 17, 2011

Medical identity theft a growing problem

With 1.5 million victims in the U.S., physicians can take a few simple steps to ensure that patients aren't using someone else's name to get care. full article

‘Operation Swiper’ takes down largest ID theft ring in U.S. history

It was the largest identity theft takedown in U.S. history. full article

Alleged sex offender gets prison on identity theft charge

An alleged sex offender who eluded police for five years after he was granted a new trial in Fond du Lac County has been sentenced to prison. full article

SpyEye banking malware continues to plague computers

The tricky trojan hides itself on computers and can be hard to detect full article

Britain, America Unite Against Identity Theft Trends

In an attempt to reverse the growing trend of identity fraud in Britain, Experian UK brought identity theft thought leaders from around the world to the 2011 Identity Theft & Fraud Forum. Keynote presenters included American identity theft expert John Sileo. full article

College campuses often targets of Internet hackers, officials say

In August, the sensitive information of thousands of patients at Stanford University Hospital in California was illegally posted on the Internet, putting more than 20,000 people at risk of identity theft and misuse. full article

Judge decries 'same conduct,' imposes stiffer sentence on repeat offender from Mobile

MOBILE, Alabama -- A Mobile man appeared in court last week for sentencing on his latest federal fraud conviction — his 5th— with a promise that a newfound devotion to Jesus has changed his ways. full article

Thousands of Social Security Numbers Leaked Yearly

The Social Security Administration (SSA) puts thousands of Americans at risk of identity theft each year by accidentally leaking their Social Security Numbers, names and dates of birth, according to an investigative report by the Scripps Howard New Service . full article

Suspected hacker in Hyundai Capital incident arrested in Philippines

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- A suspected hacker wanted on suspicion of stealing customer data earlier this year from Hyundai Capital, an affiliate of South Korea's top automaker, has recently been arrested in the Philippines, police here said Monday. full article

US man charged in hacking case ordered to LA

Jacksonville, Florida: A man charged with hacking into email accounts of celebrities including actress Scarlett Johansson was ordered on Friday to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Nov. 1. full article

North Vancouver man admits faking currency

A Crown prosecutor is asking a B.C. Supreme Court justice to send a man caught by the North Vancouver RCMP with more than $165,000 in counterfeit money and $50,000-worth of marijuana to jail for five years for his crimes. full article

Survey: '4 million' Brits stung by ID theft

Consumers continue to be complacent about identity theft despite growth of the crime, which has claimed four million victims in the UK alone. full article

October 13, 2011

Raytheon's cyberchief describes 'Come to Jesus' moment

A rash of attacks following missile sales to Taiwan prompted a major cybersecurity review

IDG News Service - After Raytheon began selling missiles to Taiwan in 2006, the defense company's computer network came under a torrent of cyberattacks. full article

Guy Who Stole Scarlett Johansson's Nude Photos Faces 121 Years in Jail

Following a year-long investigation--codename "Operation Hackerazzi"--the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicted the suspected celebrity email hacker Wednesday afternoon on 26 counts of identity theft, unauthorized access to a computer and wiretapping. The suspect, Chris Chaney, is believed to be responsible for breaking into the email accounts of as many as 50 celebrities and leaking information about their private lives, including some nude photos of Scarlett Johansson. Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera, Simone Harouche and Renee Olmstead were also listed along with others identified only by their initials in the court filings, which also lists the email providers of the victims and dates of the hacks. (ScarJo uses Yahoo! mail.) Chaney faces up to 121 years in jail for the charges. full article

Identity Theft of Over 2,000 Car Accident Victims At Florida Hospital

Recently, Florida Hospital in Orlando discovered an electronic privacy breach that saw the personal, medical and financial information of 2,252 patients stolen over a 20-month period. What is more tragic is that the criminals involved targeted the ER medical records of car accident victims. These criminals took advantage of people in their most vulnerable state directly after a traumatic incident. full article

Woman speaks out as identity theft ring nears 9,000

DULUTH, Ga. — Duluth police tell Channel 2 Action News the number of victims of a local suspected identity theft ring has reached 8,965. full article

Lexington Man Sentenced for Fraud, ID Theft at DMV Office

LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP)— A Lexington man who operated the North Carolina DMV tag office in Thomasville received three years ans nine months in prison last week for multiple federal counts of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. full article

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs hacked, includes access to ‘private’ photos

What could be one of the biggest celebrity hackings to date apparently has zapped entertainment powerhouse Sean “Diddy” Combs. full article

Quincy man charged with identity theft

BRAINTREE — A 30-year-old Quincy man faces identity-theft and false-document charges after allegedly using a fake ID to make a purchase, police said. full article

Operation “SAFE SCARE”

Van Buren, AR – Operation SAFE SCARE is a joint agency focus to validate the addresses provided by registered sex offenders. Halloween is a time when many children are on the streets going door-to-door trick-or-treating and are vulnerable to sexual predators. The aim of SAFE SCARE is to keep our kids safe so they can enjoy Halloween and being a kid. SAFE SCARE allows law enforcement to validate information provided by sex offenders during the registration and periodic re-registration requirements under Arkansas State Law. Normally, sex offenders’ addresses are verified only during initial registration and on a case by case basis after that. Experience tells us that often times, registered sex offenders will periodically re-register as required, but will use an address where they are not actually residing anymore. full article

October 12, 2011

Feds: Philly Cop Used Prisoner Debit, Credit Cards

Federal authorities say a Philadelphia police officer tasked with protecting the belongings of jailed suspects instead used their debit and credit cards to treat himself to gasoline and other items. full article

Cybercriminals Use Facebook, Bitcoin to Steal Digital Currency

Sophisticated cyber criminals are increasingly using malware and smartphones to snatch digital currency from unsuspecting victims, Internet security experts report. “Cyber criminals are looking to use mobile phones to take money from users because if you can get users to transact with you through their mobile phone, then you can extract money from user in this way,” says Tony Anscombe, senior security evangelist for website security company AVG. full article

Sony suspends 93,000 online accounts after illicit logins

Sony says unauthorized logins were attempted across several networks but only a small portion were successful.

IDG News Service - Sony suspended 93,000 user accounts on several of its gaming and entertainment networks after unauthorized login attempts on those accounts, it said Wednesday. full article

As Kids Go Online, Identity Theft Claims More Victims

Imagine learning that your ten-year-old child owns a home somewhere across the country or that your toddler owes thousands of dollars in income taxes for a job he or she has never held. If those scenarios seem unfathomable, they’re all too real for families whose children are victims of identity theft. full article

Carroll County loan officer charged with identity theft

VILLA RICA, Ga. — A popular Carroll County bank employee is scheduled to go before a judge Tuesday. full article

Missouri Inmates May Be Committing ID Theft Behind Bars

BOONVILLE - The Missouri Department of Corrections confirmed Tuesday it's investigating several cases of identity theft. full article

Many websites 'leaking' personal info to other firms

Websites are sharing usernames and other personal information with advertising partners, a Stanford study says

IDG News Service - Many top websites share their visitors' names, usernames or other personal information with their partners without telling users and, in some cases, without knowing they're doing it, according to a new study from Stanford University. full article

October 11, 2011

Anonymous may have slowed down NYSE site

The slowdown may have been the result of a half-hearted attack by Anonymous

IDG News Service - The website of the New York Stock Exchange slowed down significantly twice on Monday afternoon, the day when the hacker group Anonymous was scheduled to launch a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack on the website, according to an Internet and mobile cloud monitoring company. full article

Veteran blames VA for identity theft

HENDRICKS COUNTY (WISH) - A former Marine living in Hendricks County says she’s a victim of identity theft and places the blame on the Department of Veterans Affairs. full article

Couple admits to 2 deaths in Northwest crime spree

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man and his girlfriend have admitted to killing the man's father and stepmother in a 5-day crime spree that authorities said ultimately left four dead across the Pacific Northwest. full article

LulzSec leader holds onto Sun email

Hacker vows to continue after other members of group were arrested

IDG News Service - The 4GB worth of email stolen by the LulzSec hacking group from The Sun tabloid site earlier this year are sitting on a server in China, according to "Sabu," the outfit's alleged leader. full article

Scottsdale police arrest Phoenix man accused in ID theft

A Phoenix man was arrested Sunday morning in Scottsdale on suspicion of identity theft, burglary and drug possession. full article

NYPD infiltration of colleges raises privacy fears

NEW YORK (AP) — With its whitewashed bell tower, groomed lawns and Georgian-style buildings, Brooklyn College looks like a slice of 18th Century America dropped into modern-day New York City. But for years New York police have feared this bucolic setting might hide a sinister secret: the beginnings of a Muslim terrorist cell. full article

China Bid Blocked Over Spy Worry

Worried about potential spying, the U.S. government has blocked a bid from China’s telecommunications giant Huawei to help build a new national wireless network for first responders such as police, firefighters, and ambulances. full article

P2P Version of Zeus Botnet Appears

A new version of the Zeus malware has appeared, and this does not seem to be a minor upgrade, a major custom version of the Trojan, which now sports a P2P capability that does away with the use of the domain-generation algorithm used in earlier versions and instead uses a hardcoded list of IP addresses to provide infected PCs with new software and config files. This is a throwback to the way the malware used to behave, but it comes with a twist: There no longer is a master URL that infected machines contact to get updates, making it much more difficult to track the Trojan's activities. full article

October 10, 2011

N.Y. crackdown uncovers global crime ring, district attorney says

New York (CNN) -- A New York City crackdown on suspects allegedly involved in forged credit cards and identity theft led authorities to a $13 million global crime ring, Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown said Friday. full article

Second Indian official charged in telecom scam

Dayanidhi Maran is alleged to have helped a foreign acquirer to buy operator Aircel

IDG News Service - India's top investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, said Monday that it has registered a case against former federal minister Dayanidhi Maran, in connection with ongoing investigations into alleged scams in the Ministry of Communications. full article

Women lead the way in embezzlement cases

Others said women don't turn to violent crime because they are at a physical disadvantage. And they're not likely to pick up a gun and try to rob a bank. full article

German hackers snare wiretap Trojan, accuse gov of writing it...

German hackers have captured and analysed a cyber-sleuth Trojan which they claim may have been used by police to tap Skype calls and IM chats of criminal or terrorist suspects. full article

Police asking public to identify suspect accused of stealing credit car

State police are looking for a suspect accused of trying to use a stolen credit card in western Oneida County. full article

October 7, 2011

Stanford Hospital blames contractor for data breach

After patient files $20M lawsuit, health care provider firm says contractor is responsible

Computerworld - Stanford Hospital & Clinics this week blamed a third party billing contractor for a data breach that exposed the personal data of some 20,000 patients. full article

Law on foster care identity theft praised in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island child welfare advocates are praising a new law co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin that aims to protect foster children from identity theft. full article

Florida pair indicted in largest alleged BP claim scam

Washington (CNN) -- In the largest alleged BP oil spill-related scam uncovered to date, federal authorities on Thursday charged two Floridians with taking $340,000 in funds intended for victims of last year's environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. full article

Android malware downloads instructions from blog

Researchers from Trend Micro say the communication mechanism is a first for mobile malware

IDG News Service - Researchers from Trend Micro have spotted a piece of malicious software for Android that receives instructions from an encrypted blog, a new method of communication for mobile malware, according to the company. full article

Steve Jobs' Death Saddens World, Inspires Spammers

It was one of those odd moments where the entire online community was briefly unified in its mourning of the tech visionary, Apple co-founder, and former CEO whose life-work has demanded nearly universal respect. But as with everything else on the Internet, it didn’t last long. The dregs of the Web showed up in short-order to exploit the death of Steve Jobs, who died of cancer last night at the age of 56. full article

SpyEye banking trojan: now with SMS hijacking capability

The SpyEye banking trojan has acquired the ability to reroute one-time passwords sent to victims' cellphones, a measure that bypasses protections more and more financial institutions are adopting. full article

Debt collectors face state crackdown

Criminals worked at six big firms, Commerce Department says. Some workers stole personal data from consumers.

Minnesota regulators pounced on six debt collection firms Thursday for hiring felons, harassing consumers who owed money and stealing their financial information. full article

October 6, 2011

Drive-by download attack on Facebook used malicious ads

This 'malvertisement' scam does not require any user action, making it much more dangerous

IDG News Service - Antivirus vendor Trend Micro has recently detected a drive-by download attack on Facebook that used malicious advertisements to infect users with malware. full article

Identity Theft Suspect Caught At Home Depot

Credit Fraud Bust Leads To Bigger Find

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A credit fraud bust at Home Depot led to an arrest involving multiple charges of identity theft, drug, and weapons charges. full article

Death of Ore. teen linked to white supremacists

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The paths of a teenager who called his mother daily and two white supremacists fleeing a murder scene in Washington state crossed in Western Oregon's Willamette Valley less than a week ago. full article

Play dead to get deceased's credit frozen?

Dear Debt Adviser, Why do the credit bureaus make it so hard for an executor to report a deceased person or freeze the credit of a dead person? After spending a lot of time in "voice mail jail" and having to pretend I was the dead person, I managed to make it through to a human being and only then learned what address to send documents to. Is there any way bereaved people can avoid all this? full article

Laurens man pleads guilty to identity theft

SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) - The U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said that a Laurens man was sentenced in federal court in Spartanburg on Wednesday. full article

Former head of Hispanic American Council bound over for trial on embezzlement, identity-theft charges

KALAMAZOO — Ramon Berlanga-Rodriguez, who is charged with four felonies related to his time as the former executive director of the Hispanic American Council, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. full article

Two more sentenced to prison for ID theft

GREENVILLE — Women from Rains and Van Zandt counties are the latest defendants to have been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to being a member of a widespread identity theft ring operating in Hunt County. full article

Fraud experts call for internet security to be taught in schools as children's identities are stolen via social networks

Children are the new targets for organised crime gangs because they share too much about their personal lives on social networking sites. full article

October 5, 2011

Police say 2 are suspects in Washington slaying, Oregon teen’s disappearance

SALEM, Ore. — Federal, state and local police are hunting for a boyfriend-girlfriend duo suspected in the murder of the male suspect’s stepmother as well as the disappearance of his father in Washington state and of a teenager in Oregon days later. full article

John Pignotti Gets Nearly 4 Years In Prison For Identity Theft

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The former president of the Philadelphia String Band Association was sentenced to close to four years in prison Tuesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from two former employers. full article

Police: Theft Suspect Pastes Own Photo On Stolen License

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Police have charged a Louisville woman with identity theft after they said they found her with another person's driver's license with her own picture pasted on it after a shoplifting arrest. full article

Woman disputes bill opened in her name when she was 7

Marcellus (WSYR-TV) -- A Marcellus woman, who says she was the victim of identity theft as a kid, is still haunted by the bills. When Caressa Wenzel tried to open a National Grid account for the first time, the company said she already had an account, opened in 1993 -- when she was 7-years old . full article

Waynesboro PD looking for man who used fraudulent credit cards

WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- A man is wanted after buying several gift cards and other items with fraudulent credit cards. full article

Defendant in "Bernie's" case misses court date, warrant issued

An arrest warrant for failing to appear in court has been issued for a man accused of driving around Denver with a dead friend, running up a bar tab on his account and using his ATM card at a strip club. full article

U.S. lawmakers point to China as cause of cyberattacks

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers calls on the U.S. and its allies to put pressure on the Chinese government for cyber-espionage

IDG News Service - U.S. government officials need to put more pressure on their Chinese counterparts to stop a "pervasive" cyber-espionage campaign targeting U.S. companies, a U.S. lawmaker said Tuesday. full article

Inside the Takedown of the M00p Malware Crew

BARCELONA--As online crime continues to grow in volume and expand in scope, encompassing a massive number of scams and operations around the world, security researchers, lawmakers and others are pushing for better cooperation among law enforcement agencies and the security community in taking down the attackers behind these schemes. There are precious few examples of successful operations that have succeeded in recent years, but one that can be considered a model of how things can work is the investigation into the m00p malware-writing crew that began more than seven years ago. full article

October 4, 2011

Montgomery, Alabama, Woman Pleads Guilty to Using Stolen Identities to Obtain Tax Refunds

WASHINGTON – Melinda Clayton of Montgomery, Ala., pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. full article

Justice Department Sues to Shut Down New Jersey Tax Preparer

Newark Man Allegedly Claimed Phony Dependents on Customers’ Tax Returns

WASHINGTON - The United States has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Luvander Hollaway from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction complaint alleges that Hollaway of Newark, N.J., fails to comply with due-diligence requirements imposed by federal law on tax preparers who claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) on their customers’ returns. According to the complaint, Hollaway also falsifies reported income and lists fake dependents on his customers’ returns in order to claim the maximum EITC for them. full article

'Well organized, sophisticated, fast' cybercriminals scare US banks

Network World - BITS, the U.S. financial industry's IT policy arm, has a new leader: Paul Smocer, an expert in email security and authentication. full article

HTC investigates reports of vulnerability in Android phones

On the heels of researchers claiming a massive vulnerability, HTC now says it will investigate

PC World - Revelations by researchers over the weekend that several HTC Android phone models contain a "massive securityvulnerability" are being examined by the mobile handset maker. full article

Data Theft: Hackers Attack

Crooks may seek your identity, but "hacktivists" cause the blockbuster breaches

We are constantly warned to protect our passwords, Social Security numbers and other “personal identifying information” to thwart thieves who may steal laptops or perpetrate online fraud. Although such breaches have soared since 2005 (right) as criminals try to commit identity theft, the truly enormous breaches (bottom) have increasingly been carried out by “hacktivists”—individuals or groups who are angry about an organization’s actions. Hackers, for example, exposed data about 77 million Sony customers after the company pursued legal action against other hackers. “More than 107 million people were affected by hacking during the first half of 2011,” says Jake Kouns?, CEO of the Open Security Foundation in Glen Allen, Va., which runs the Data­LossDB project (the data source for graphics on this page). full article

Traffic stop sheds light on identity theft ring

The driver, pulled over in western Iowa, is accused of filing improper tax returns

An improper license plate on a western Iowa interstate has given authorities a rare window into a massive Las Vegas-based identity theft ring suspected of stealing at least $2.7 million from the U.S. government via improper federal income tax returns. full article

Victim's look-alike jailed for identity theft at bank

An Eau Claire woman will spend at least 60 days in jail for stealing another woman's bank account information and making withdrawals from the account on consecutive days, even after the account was closed following the first day's theft. full article

Stealing elderly parents' identities a hidden, common crime

Child ID theft is a scourge of the digital age -- a terrible crime that often sees parents ruining their own kids’ futures by taking out mortgages, car loans and other financial obligations in their names. But a new study shows that another kind of family-based ID theft, which rarely grabs headlines, might be much more prevalent: Stealing the identities of elderly parents. full article

ID theft defendant changes plea to guilty

HAMMOND| An Illinois woman accused of partaking in an interstate identity theft ring changed her plea to guilty Monday in Hammond federal court. full article

Former Selah man arrested in baby daughter's death

YAKIMA, Wash. — A 28-year-old man was arrested Monday on a manslaughter charge in the death of his baby daughter nearly three years ago in Selah. full article

Ex-Stamford School Aide Charged in Identity Theft

STAMFORD, Conn. – A former Stamford teachers aide was arrested Monday and charged with stealing and using the credit card of a teacher she worked with last May, Sgt. Andrew Gallagher said. Charlotte Gore, 22, was taken into custody after meeting with her probation officer, he said. full article

October 3, 2011

Police: Speeder used sister's identity

A traffic stop led Johnson City police Sunday to arrest a city woman on numerous charges after she gave police her sister's name because her own license was suspended, police reported in a news release. full article

Rolly: Email hack is an ongoing nightmare for Salt Lake woman

Suzette Holly’s comfortable world turned upside down Tuesday when she learned scammers hacked her email account and targeted all her friends and associates. full article

Local residents targeted by fraudulent text messages

They claim to be from Wells Fargo Bank, seek credit card numbers

Local residents say they’ve been getting text messages claiming to be from Wells Fargo Bank and asking them for their credit card numbers. full article

Student scam jobs listed on ColumbiaWorks

After expecting to apply for a part-time accounting position at a job fair he was steered to by ColumbiaWorks, Columbia’s student and alumni employment website, Todd Merrill hesitated before he accepted the actual offer: a full-time, governmental campaign office position promising an $80,000-a-year salary—or at least until he would scribble his Social Security number onto a W-4 tax form. full article

School vendor let vital data slip out

WILLIAMSBURG — WJC School Board members were unaware the firm hired to do the strategic plan once let the personal information of 18,000 students slip out online, where it was searchable for three months. full article

Fifth and final member of identity theft ring sentenced to eight years in prison

A fifth member of an identity theft ring was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison after he and four women stole personal information, used funds to purchase high-end jewelry and then pawned the jewelry for cash. full article

Heads Up! Fake iPhone 5 Email Can Infect Your Computer

The new iPhone has not been announced. It is not available for pre-order. It does not have a ridiculous see-through screen. It is not called the "iPhone 5G S" and it's (probably) not going to be available this Friday. So if you get an email with the subject line "iPhone 5G S has been released" that contains what appears to be marketing from Apple, don't fall for it. full article


Contact Information

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