CIMIP - Center for Identity Management and Information Protection

March 2012 News Archive

March 30, 2012

Madigan: 6 charged with stealing nearly $300,000 in Chicago-area identity theft schemes

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced charges against six people accused of stealing nearly $300,000 in separate identity theft schemes. full article

GHS Fires Employee Facing Identity Theft Charges

The Greenville Hospital System confirmed Thursday that a woman accused of using patient and employee record information to steal identities has officially been fired. full article

Serial identity thief pleads guilty, gets 10 years

Monterey man, 28, went on identity-theft crime spree in Santa Clara County in 2010, District Attorney's office says

A 28-year-old man who went on an identity-theft crime spree in Santa Clara County, including in Palo Alto, pleaded guilty on March 22 to numerous criminal counts, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday, March 29. full article

Identity theft comes with legal fallout, headaches, ex-cop warns

Far more is at stake from identity theft than financial injury alone, and recovering from the crime can be costly and time-consuming, an ex-RCMP officer warned Thursday. full article

Identity Theft Suspect Arrested

Oakland resident charged up $3,500 on stolen credit card at Stoneridge Mall

A 31-year-old Oakland resident was arrested for allegedly stealing an identity, then charging up more than $3,000 at several Stoneridge Mall stores. full article

Canada touts its Little Black Book of Scams

(Reuters) - With an eye at curbing fraudsters operating online, by mail, by phone and door-to-door, Canada on Wednesday published a small reference guide called: The Little Black Book of Scams. full article

Shreveport woman accused of identity theft

An employee of Dillard’s at Pierre Bossier Mall was arrested Wednesday afternoon by Bossier Parish Sheriff’s deputies on a charge of identity theft. full article

March 29, 2012

Action Line: Report tax identity theft, stolen refunds to IRS

Dear Action Line: Please advise what is being done to stop identity theft of income tax refunds. My husband was targeted in 2010 - our e-filing was rejected by IRS - and after months of checking where the fraud was, he was informed there was no fraud (we proved otherwise with credit reports). full article

Man sentenced in ATM identity theft scam

(03-28) 23:44 PDT San Luis Obispo, Calif. (AP) -- The California attorney general's office says a man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for an ATM identity theft scam that spanned seven counties. full article

Identity theft plagues Southern Arizona residents

It is a reminder to keep a tight grip on your personal information. A recent report from the Federal Trade Commission shows Arizona has the fourth highest rate of identity theft per capita in the nation. The Pima County Sheriff's Department deals with it daily. Just three months into the year and there have already been about 30 reported cases of identity theft in Pima County. The victims range in age from 21-81. full article

Identity Theft Suspect Rips Off Officer, Faces $2.8 Million Bail

Livermore resident Joshua Wayne Miller picked the wrong mark to target in his alleged identity theft spree. full article

Palmer's Deli agrees to settle identity theft case

DES MOINES, Iowa (WTW) — A restaurant chain sued for failing to follow a federal anti-identity theft law has reached an agreement to give away soft drinks as a way of settling the case. full article

March 28, 2012

Witness in Identity Theft and Tax Trial Convicted of Perjury and Lying to a Federal Agent

A federal jury in Montgomery, Ala., convicted Nacretia Lewis today of perjury and lying to a federal agent, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. full article

Identity Theft Kingpin Pleads Guilty

A Capistrano Beach man believed to be the kingpin of a crime ring pleaded guilty Monday to stealing numerous identities to buy high-end goods he then sold on eBay and Craigslist, the Orange County District Attorney’s office reported. full article

Nurse's Aide Accused Of Identity Theft

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. -- A nursing assistant at an area hospital has been accused of using her patients' personal information to obtain credit cards in their names. full article

Fake-credit-card schemes plague South Florida stores, consumers

Blank credit cards, holograms, magnetic strips and stolen account information are selling in bulk on websites that offer identity thieves a one-stop shop for their counterfeit-credit-card schemes. full article

High tech identity theft

MILWAUKEE - Could new technology or social networking sites put you at risk for identity theft? full article

EU to get tough on cybercrime, file-sharers to be spared

European Commission proposes new European cybercrime force as part of Europol

IDG News Service - The European Commission is to get tough on cybercrime, but won't target illegal file-sharing, it revealed on Wednesday. full article

Money Mules, Not Customers, The Real Victims of Bank Fraud

Money mules - the accomplices who help move stolen funds - may be the real victims of online banking scams, not the bank customers who are the ostensible targets of fraudsters, according to new research from Microsoft. full article

RockYou settles FTC charges related to 2009 breach

Online gaming firm will pay $250,000, submit to independent audits for 20 years after exposing data on 30 million users

Computerworld - RockYou will submit to third-party security audits for the next 20 years as part of a settlement of charges filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in connection with a Dec. 2009 data breach that exposed email addresses and passwords of more than 30 million people. full article

Climategate 2.0? Popular Climate Blog Hacked, E-mails, Passwords Leaked

The website of Skeptical Science, a blog that is critical of climate change skeptics, was hacked over the weekend, and users' e-mails, passwords and IP addresses were taken, according to a post on the site Sunday. full article

Analysis: Microsoft's War on Fraud

Creative Legal Hunt for Botnets Stirs Debate

While Microsoft's new initiative to take down Zeus malware-related botnets is being touted as a unique approach to fight financial fraud, some industry experts question its long-term viability. full article

Dominican Police Arrest Six Anonymous Hackers in Operation Unmask

Dominican Republican police have arrested six alleged hackers in the capital Santiago who have been accused of belonging to the local branch of Anonymous. full article

Internet Crime Complaint Center's (IC3) Scam Alerts

This report, which is based upon information from law enforcement and complaints submitted to the IC3, details recent cyber crime trends and new twists to previously-existing cyber scams. full article

Attacked by Anonymous: How to defend against a denial-of-service

One of the reasons hacktivism has gained greater visibility recently is that it’s now very easy to obtain and use attack tools, especially those that perform denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. The goal of hacktivists is usually to protest or promote a particular political issue, but these days anyone can become a target of theses types of attacks, even if it’s “just for the lulz”. I recently had the opportunity to witness a hacktivist DDoS attack (announced by Anonymous in advance) and here, I’ll share the tools they used and some tips on how to defend against these types of incidents. full article

March 27, 2012

Check Fraud Crimes Declining, But Debit Card Crimes on the Rise

During a year that saw a record rise in financial crime reports, one scam that has plagued banks and consumers for decades is fading away: check fraud. full article

EXCLUSIVE: Hackers turn credit report websites against consumers

The most important tool consumers have to fight against ID theft has been turned against them by hackers, has learned. Websites that offer consumers a chance to see their credit reports are being brazenly used by hackers to steal victims' information. full article

FTC Privacy Framework Pushes for Do Not Track, Closer Inspection of Data Brokers

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new report on consumer privacy and online tracking and among the recommendations the commission makes is that data brokers make themselves known to consumers and be open and transparent about the data they collect on consumers. The FTC also says that companies should be building privacy protections into their products by design, including implementing the Do Not Track mechanism once it's finalized. full article

Microsoft censors Pirate Bay links from IM

Malware blamed – but other torrent links still allowed

Microsoft has confirmed that users of its instant messaging app will not be able to send each other links to popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, citing malware fears. full article

Senators seek probe of employers seeking Facebook info

Move heats up debate over employers asking job seekers for passwords used for social networks like Facebook, Google+

Computerworld - Two U.S. senators are calling for a federal investigation into the growing trend of employers seeking access to the social network pages of job applicants. full article

Zeus Trojan Bank Fraud Hacker Sentenced

Another Cyber Fraud Defendant Charged in Operation Aching Mules Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court - Investigation Targeted Global Bank Fraud Scheme that Used Zeus Trojan and Other Malware to Steal Millions of Dollars from U.S. Bank Accounts full article

Hacker Pleads Guilty to Celebrity Computer Intrusions

A Florida man pleaded guilty to a series of cyber-related crimes relating to his hacking into the personal e-mail accounts of more than 50 individuals associated with the entertainment industry. full article

Chinese hacker arrested for leaking 6 million logins

In what is being called the biggest hacking case in China’s Internet history, police have arrested a man, surnamed Zeng, suspected of leaking personal information belonging to more than 6 million users of the China Software Developer Network (CSDN). Zeng has been detained on charges of illegal acquisition of computer data. full article

Scam: New Update from facebook. Now you can check who visited your profile

Facebook scammers are once again trying to take advantage of curious users who want to know which of their friends are visiting their profiles. This is a scam. The “Facebook Profile Viewer” and “Profile Visitor” apps are not something you want to install. Remember: Facebook does not give you any way to find out who has been viewing your profile, will never do so, and neither does any app or service. full article

Paul Allen victim of identity theft

It looks like no one is immune from identity theft. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen had his identity stolen by an AWOL soldier in Pennsylvania. full article

Member of Armenian Power Crime Organization and Three Associates Convicted for Roles in Identity Theft

The five week trial of one of California's largest bank fraud and identity theft schemes in Californian history is over. All four defendants were convicted in the case. full article

Exclusive: Identity theft tax fraud on the rise

Victims wait for answers, and refunds.

As he waited in line at the IRS office in Fort Myers, all Jim Mersinger wanted were answers. full article

2 women charged with identity theft in connection with cashing stolen checks

A wig and a speedy tip from a bank teller helped Chapel Hill police arrest and charge two Florida women for forging stolen checks at a local Wells Fargo. full article

March 26, 2012

Facebook scammers host Trojan horse extensions on Chrome Web Store

Rogue Chrome browser extensions have been used to gain persistent unauthorized access to Facebook accounts

IDG News Service - Cybercriminals are uploading malicious Chrome browser extensions to the official Chrome Web Store and use them to hijack Facebook accounts, according to security researchers from Kaspersky Lab. full article

Microsoft zaps Zeus command centers used in bank fraud

Microsoft has cast a big blow to one of the most pernicious trojans in existence, responsible for stealing tens of millions of dollars through the keystroke logging of online banking credentials, usually belonging to small and midsize businesses. full article

3 Ways to Fight the Insider Threat

Tips to Help Prevent Malicious and Accidental Breaches

Increasingly, social engineers target insiders to plunder organizations' financial and intellectual assets. How can you prevent these and traditional inside attacks? Carnegie Mellon University's Dawn Cappelli offers tips. full article

Police Arrest Two for Poll Hacking in Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Program offered an unofficial poll for those who could not vote in last week’s elections, but it quickly came under attack the organizers’ said. According to local media, police have arrested two men on charges related to the incident. full article

Conn. state police investigate identity theft case

NORTH CANAAN, Conn. — State police in North Canaan are investigating the theft of debit card information that was used to buy gift cards at stores around central Connecticut. full article

FTC Issues Report on Experiences of Victims Recovering From Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission issued a staff report summarizing the results of a survey of identity theft victims who were asked to describe their experiences dealing with consumer reporting agencies and, more generally, exercising their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to recover from identity theft. The survey showed that most of the respondents were generally satisfied with their experiences, but the report also noted areas for improvement. full article

College students vulnerable to identity theft

According to Javelin Strategy & Research, younger Americans are less likely to check their bank accounts regularly and use identity theft monitoring services. full article

Chapel Hill Police arrests women for identity theft

The Chapel Hill Police Department has charged two women with financial crimes. full article

Man waives hearings for multiple credit card thefts

Daniel Simmons, 49, of Philadelphia, waived three preliminary hearings before Magisterial District Judge Robert D'Agostino, March 19. full article

March 23, 2012

Armenian Power Member and Three Armenian Power Associates Convicted in Los Angeles for Roles in Identity Theft Ring

WASHINGTON – After a five week trial, four defendants have been convicted for their roles in one of the largest bank fraud and identity theft schemes in California history, with dozens of victims in four states and millions of dollars in losses. full article

U.S. Relaxes Limits on Use of Data in Terror Analysis

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats. full article

Credit bureaus upsell ID theft victims, FTC report says

A new report by the Federal Trade Commission slams the nation's credit bureaus for upselling identity theft prevention services when victims call looking for help. full article

Suspects in chase, mail, identity theft case arrested

2 led authorities on high-speed chase earlier this week

Two suspects who led several law-enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase through Northern Colorado earlier this week were arrested Wednesday night in Weld County, according to Weld County Sheriff's Office. full article

South Carolina woman faces local identity theft charges

A South Carolina woman was charged Thursday by the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office with stealing her sister’s identity. full article

4 convicted in major bank fraud, identity thefts

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four members of an Armenian organized crime ring were convicted in one of the largest bank fraud and identity theft schemes in California history, the U.S. attorney's office announced Thursday. full article

2 suspected of identity thefts in northern Colorado arrested, along with 2 associates

GREELEY, Colo. — Weld County sheriff's deputies have arrested two people wanted in Larimer County on suspicion of mail and identity theft, plus two of their associates. full article

Anonymous Deface page - “POPE is not welcome, out out!!!!!”

Anonymous blocked access to two websites linked to the upcoming visit to Mexico by Pope Benedict XVI. Anonymous Hispano, the hackers succeeded in temporarily knocking the websites offline and defacing them with their own message: “Hacked system. The POPE is not welcome, out out!!!!!” full article

IBM Report: Mobile Attacks, Phishing Attacks Mount in 2011

Spam volume is down, there are fewer unpatched software holes and oftware application developers did a better job of writing secure code over the last year. But IBM's X-Force Trend and Risk Report still found plenty to worry about in 2011, according to a copy of the report released this week. full article

Most 2011 cyberattacks were avoidable, Verizon says

Despite all the hype about sophisticated attack methods, 97% could have been stopped using fundamental precautions

Computerworld - Despite rising concern that cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, hackers used relatively simple methods 97% of data breaches in 2011, according to a report compiled by Verizon. full article

March 22, 2012

College students crack $70 million cybercrime ring

Rock Center - It was a crime of staggering sophistication by computer hackers who figured out a new way to get rich. full article

Child identity theft 'repugnant'

Colin Diedrichs used the identities of dead children to apply for government benefits, and hid the money in 29 different bank accounts. full article

Buckeye Woman Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. attorney's office says a Buckeye woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft involving a tax credit scam full article

Report about hack threat to Tibetan activists used as lure in malware attack

Hackers trick Tibetan activists into visiting exploit pages by baiting them with a legitimate report from AlienVault

IDG News Service - Hackers are using a recent report about cyberthreats to Tibetan activists as a lure in a new attack against pro-Tibet organizations that distributes Windows and Mac malware, researchers from security vendor AlienVault said Monday. full article

Verizon: Hacktivists Steal Most Data In 2011

It can be hard to parse the results of the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), what with the shifts from year to year in the sources of breach data collected. Last year’s report, if you recall, found a stunning drop in incidents of data theft in 2010, even as tracking sites like reported no noticeable change that year. full article

Will Megaupload's 28 petabytes of data be deleted?

Megaupload's hosting provider, Carpathia, wants to get rid of it, saying it costs US$9,000 a day to maintain

IDG News Service - The hosting provider for the defunct file-sharing site Megaupload wants to delete the data now that investigators have collected most of what they need for the criminal case against the company's operators. full article

7 simple steps for thwarting hactivists

March 22, 2012 — Network World — More data was stolen from corporate networks last year by hactivists than by cybercriminals, according to a new report from Verizon. full article

Online GED seekers presented with bogus diplomas, lawsuit alleges

Denise Richardson had three kids, worked the night shift and had little spare time to take classes that would earn her the high school degree she never received as a teenager. full article

Woman convicted in huge ID theft ring

SANTA ANA – A U.S. District judge has found guilty the wife of a key player in one of the largest I.D. theft schemes in Southern California with dozens of victims from Orange County and millions of dollars in losses. full article

March 21, 2012

Two Southern California Men Plead Guilty for Their Roles in a Nationwide Breach of Credit and Debit Card Terminals at Michaels Stores Inc.

Defendants Possessed 952 Blank Gold and Silver Credit Card-like Cards Re-Encoded with Stolen Bank Account and Personal Identification Numbers

WASHINGTON – Two southern California men pleaded guilty today in the Northern District of California for their roles in a scheme to defraud nearly 1,000 debit card holders by using stolen bank account information to withdraw money from ATMs, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California; and Andrew C. Adelmann, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) San Francisco Field Office. full article

GHS Employee Faces Identity Theft Charges, Has Lengthy Arrest Record

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- A Greenville Hospital System employee has been suspended without pay after being charged with two identity theft cases. full article

ID theft raid turns up weapons, Post uniform

Five replica guns, a Taser, a Canada Post uniform and at least 88,000 credit card numbers are just a small sampling of the bounty RCMP have uncovered from an identity theft operation in Burnaby. full article

Couple Sought In Serial ID Thefts, Car Chases

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. -- Larimer County authorities are asking the public's help in locating a man and woman wanted on identity theft charges and accused of fleeing police in several car pursuits on Monday. full article

Eight online banking scammers arrested in Russia

Hackers mainly targeted Russian, Eastern European and Dutch banks

IDG News Service - The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested eight hackers who allegedly stole $4.5 million in the last quarter alone using an online banking Trojan, security analyst firm Group-IB said Tuesday. full article

6GB NASA Database Leaked, Hackers Notify Agency

Members of two hacker collectives, Team r00tw0rm and Team inj3ct0r, identified an SQL injection vulnerability on one of the subdomains owned by NASA and hosted on the By leveraging the security hole, the hackers obtained a 6 gigabyte database, but refused to disclose the name of the flawed subdomain to give the agency time to patch it up. full article

International Police Association Australia Hacked by S3rver.exe

The hacker known as S3rver.exe managed to breach the official website of the International Police Association of Australia (, defacing the Houses domain. full article

March 20, 2012

Thieves may be stealing your tax refund

Anderson Cooper 360. Tax refund fraud is rampant, and officials blame the IRS for not doing enough to stop it. CNN's Randi Kaye reports. full article

Web Services Single Sign-On Contain Big Flaws

Microsoft Research report shows how risky single sign-on can be without solid integration and better support from Web service providers like Google and Facebook

As more and more organizations tap into single sign-on (SSO) schemes through Web services providers such as Google and Facebook, new research suggests that they must better plan how they implement SSO APIs lest they leave users open to attack. New findings by Microsoft Research found troubling logic flaws in SSO for Facebook, Google ID, PayPal, and other Web services that threaten a large number of users online. full article

Case Study: Joining Fraud Detection and AML

U.S. Institution Shares Tips to Improve Security, Compliance

At Honolulu-based First Hawaiian Bank, the need for integrating fraud detection and anti-money-laundering systems became a clear necessity a couple of years ago. full article

Secure access, authorization among areas still lacking at IRS

The Internal Revenue Service is again taking fire from a government watchdog. On Friday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a fifth consecutive annual report to chronicle security shortfalls at the nation's tax collector. The agency's trouble with GAO dates back to at least 2005. full article

Newly Compiled Driver Shows Duqu Authors Still At Work

The still-unidentified group of attackers behind Stuxnet and Duqu have drawn quite a bit of attention to themselves in the last couple of years with their creations. Researchers, law enforcement and some particularly angry governments all would like to have a long talk with the crew. But that attention apparently hasn't persuaded the group that it's time to tone down their pursuits, as evidenced by the fact that researchers have discovered a newly compiled driver for Duqu within the last couple of days. full article

Duqu trojan built by 'old school' programmers, Kaspersky says

Researcher cites choice of Object Oriented C programming language for critical Duqu component

Computerworld - The use of a little used programming language to create part of the Duqu trojan, an espionage tool that last year attracted lots of attention for its many Stuxnet-like features, indicates that it may have been written by experienced, old school programmers, a security researcher at Kaspersky Labs said Monday. full article

AntiSec Remains Active - Defaces Hundreds of Canadian Websites

On Wednesday, the AntiSec movement defaced hundreds of websites in what was said to be proof that the movement works just fine without Sabu, their alleged leader who was arrested and flipped by the FBI last year. full article

Malicious Android application loots bank login data

The banking credentials of Android device users are being threatened by a new, self-updating trojan that poses as a one-time password application (OTP). full article

Fake LinkedIn Emails Link to Blackhole Exploit Malware

Cyber Criminals have been busy pumping out spam emails that pose as legitimate LinkedIn notices, enticing you to click on a link in order to read what message some random stranger has left for you. The incident was identified by researchers at security provider GFI Labs. full article

Data Breach at University of Tampa Posted Information of 30K Online

A breach at the University of Tampa may have exposed the sensitive information of thousands of students, faculty and staff members, including their names, identification numbers, social security numbers and birth dates, according to a press release posted to their the University's Web site over the weekend. full article

Top 3 Security Risks to Banks

While incidents of ACH- and wire-related fraud continue to plague the banking industry, Joe Rogalski, the information security officer for New York-based First Niagara Bank, says other risky financial transactions and channels are posing growing concerns. full article

Microsoft RDP Vulnerability Leak Shines Light on Bug Sharing Program

It has been close to four years since the birth of the Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP). The program is meant to give security vendors vulnerability information early so that they can provide updated protections to customers, and up until recently, seems to have functioned without a hitch. full article

Cost of data breaches falls for first time in seven years

Data breaches caused by malicious attacks add to the cost of doing business -- but not as much as they used to, a study finds

March 20, 2012 — IDG News Service — The average organizational cost of data breaches has decreased for the first time in seven years, according to a study released by Symantec and the Ponemon Institute on Tuesday. full article

March 19, 2012

Learn to Recognize the Latest Scams

I have some con artists to thank for today's column. Yes, you heard that right. This week's topic arrived by mail -- in the form of a classic come-on. My husband received a $3,850 check in the mail. It looked awfully official, complete with "security features" and bank account numbers. I'm going to dissect if for you, to show all the tip-offs to a rip-off. full article

Arrests made in identity theft case

Federal authorities have arrested 19 people in nine states in an investigation of a transnational criminal organization that bought and sold stolen personal and financial information through online forums. full article

When Debt Collectors Call: What You Need to Know

With many Americans struggling to pay their bills one business is booming: debt collectors. full article

Mitchell teen accused of identity theft

Mitchell police arrested an 18-year-old Mitchell man Tuesday for using another person’s checks for purchases at two local gas stations. full article

NYC woman discovers she is 'married' to multiple men after identity theft

NEW YORK -- New York City woman Anna Vargas thought she was happily married -- she just did not know she was "married" to four guys, The New York Post reports. full article

Hingham woman charged with ID theft headed back to court

HINGHAM — She is known to some as Penny Collins, a friendly mother who has invited neighbors to her home on Crooked Meadow Lane and used to take her son trick-or-treating on the quite cul-de-sac off Main Street. full article

Philadelphia woman sentenced in identity theft scheme

ALBANY – A Philadelphia woman, who was involved in a large scale identity theft ring in the Capital District, was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison on Friday. full article

Pro-Syrian Malware Targets, Impedes Activists

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned this week that political activists in Iran and Syrai are being targeted in malware attacks disgiosed as Adobe Flash Player updates on Youtube. full article

Microsoft blames security info-sharing program for attack code leak

Trying to figure out how exploit example shared with AV partners ended in hackers' hands

Computerworld - Microsoft on Friday confirmed that sample attack code created by the company had likely leaked to hackers from a program it runs with antivirus vendors. full article

March 16, 2012

TRICARE Breach Victims Report Fraud

8 Class Action Lawsuits Pending; Consolidation Sought

In the weeks following last year's TRICARE health information breach, some of the 4.9 million beneficiaries affected became victims of financial fraud tied to their credit cards or banking accounts. That new detail is included in an amended complaint tied to the original class action lawsuit filed in the case, which claims the financial fraud is related to the breach incident. full article

Tech support scammers target antivirus customers, diversify tactics

Tech support scammers are impersonating customer representatives from antivirus companies

IDG News Service - Tech support scammers have started targeting antivirus customers and have diversified their techniques, according to reports from antivirus vendors Avast and ESET. full article

Homeless ID theft: Man poses as woman for 13 years

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- A bizarre case of identity theft out of Orange County: A man is accused of stealing a woman's identity, then racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills. full article

In India, 112 government websites hacked in three months

Experts blame poor adherence to security audit procedures

March 15, 2012 — IDG News Service — A total of 112 government websites in India were hacked from December to February, a federal minister said Wednesday, reflecting India's continuing problem with online security. full article

PennDOT Supervisor Faces Trial on ID Theft Charges

A Philadelphia man is headed to trial for allegedly using his position as a PennDOT supervisor in Malvern to create false identities. full article

Three Arrested, Charged With ID & Metal Theft

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has announced the arrest of three people on various felony charges after a metal theft investigation turned into an identity theft investigation. full article

"Anonymous OS" Taken Offline Due to Security Concerns

SourceForge has removed a controversial Ubuntu-based operating system from its Website due to claims the software is laced with Trojans. full article

March 15, 2012

Mail and Identity Theft Arrests

Larimer County Sheriff’s Office investigators have solved yet another series of mail thefts and subsequent identity thefts. These cases are separate from the successful joint operation on March 1 that led to the arrest of eight suspects and warrants for another four throughout Larimer and Weld counties. full article

Braintree man indicted on identify theft charges

Braintree — A Braintree man has been indicted for allegedly stealing Discover credit cards from the mail and then using these cards to obtain money. full article

Android Malware Stealing Online Banking Credentials

Malware that targets Android phones has been on a steady rise for the last couple of years, and much of it has come in the form of compromised apps or outright malicious apps disguised as games or utilities. But now researchers have come across a new Android threat that is designed specifically to steal users' online banking credentials and create persistent, silent access to the compromised handset. full article

Post-Breach: How to Protect IDs

Data breaches continue to impact organizations, and cyberattacks are usually to blame. In fact, hacking was behind most large-scale breaches in 2011, according to a study conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center. full article

18 firms sued for using privacy-invading mobile apps

Facebook, Apple, Twitter are among those charged in class action suit with surreptitiously taking user data

Computerworld - Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Yelp and 14 other companies have been hit with a lawsuit accusing them of distributing privacy-invading mobile applications. full article

Pinterest's popularity attracts cyber scammers

And so it begins. The all-the-rage virtual pinboard Pinterest is the latest social networking darling to draw the fancy of cyber swindlers.

Pinterest is the latest social networking craze -- and that means cyber criminals aren't going to let you share images of your favorite summer sandals, button bracelets and vegan cupcakes in peace. full article

'Largest Fraud Ever' Against NYC, Feds Say

MANHATTAN (CN) - Science Applications International Corp., the lead contractor for New York City's automated payroll system, will pay $500 million in restitution and penalties for "the single largest fraud ever perpetrated on the city of New York," the U.S. attorney said. full article

March 14, 2012

IRS Warning Tax Preparers About Identity Theft

EVANSVILLE -- The Internal Revenue Service is warning tax preparers about cases of identity theft and providing them with tips on how to deal with such cases, according to a spokesperson for H&R Block. full article

Teen charged with multiple counts of identity theft

ALBANY, GA - A warning tonight for parents after a teenager is charged with dozens of counts of identity theft. WALB News Ten learned personal information from at least one Dougherty County High School has been compromised. full article

Child identity theft on the rise

SALT LAKE CITY — Child identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. It serves as a reminder that parents should be careful when sharing their children's name, date of birth or social security number with third parties. full article

Woman claims $2,000 JEA bill is identity theft

Woman files police report but bill isn't dropped

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A woman claimed her $2,000 bill from Jacksonville was the result of identity theft. Kirstonshelia King said she received a letter about the bill a few weeks ago. full article

Chaparral woman nets 70 month sentence for fraud, ID theft

LAS CRUCES - A U.S. District Judge in Las Cruces on Tuesday sentenced Gloria Porter, 65, of Chaparral to 70 months of imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of supervised release for her conviction on fraud and identity theft charges, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales. full article

Police: 2 Sought In Identity Theft

2 Wanted For Purchases Made At A Home Depot

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Police are asking for your help in identifying a suspect wanted for identity theft. Several people attempted to obtain several credit cards in the victim's name. full article

ATM Skimmer Pleads Guilty

Rather than face trial, a Washington state man pleaded guilty to leading an ATM skimming scheme that cost banks and consumers more than $300,000. full article

Mark Thompson Confirms Iran Hack Attack on BBC Persian Service

The Iranian government has hacked BBC Persian TV as part of broader attempts to disrupt the service, the BBC director-general has confirmed. full article

Geotagging poses security risks

FORT BENNING, Ga. (March 7, 2012) -- "Is a badge on Foursquare worth your life?" The question was posed by Brittany Brown, social media manager of the Online and Social Media Division at the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs. It may sound outlandish, but in the age of social geotagging, it can be a reality. full article

Fake FC Barca Facebook Page Found Conning Fans

Fans of the immensely popular FC Barca football club may have been duped into giving away their Facebook log-on credentials, according to a post on Symantec's Security Response blog. full article

Tennessee insurer to pay $1.5 million for breach-related violations

BlueCross BlueShield agrees to pay HHS for HIPAA violations tied to 2009 breach that exposed data on 1 million members

Computerworld - A 2009 data breach that has already cost BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee nearly $17 million got a little more expensive Tuesday. full article

March 13, 2012

Spike in mail theft in Monterey County

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office is warning local residents to keep an eye on their mail after a recent countywide spike in mail thefts. full article

Neb. man gets 1 year in prison for identity theft

OMAHA, Neb. (WTW) — A Nebraska man will spend a year in federal prison for using his brother's Social Security number while collecting $189,401 in disability and welfare benefits. full article

Man pleads guilty of ID theft in case tied to secretary of state

The Des Moines man accused of trying to illegally use the identities of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz and his brother, Thomas, has received a deferred judgment in exchange for a guilty plea to a simple misdemeanor. full article

Valley man gets prison for ID theft, fraud

A Valley man has been ordered to pay nearly $190,000 in restitution for identity theft and Social Security fraud. full article

ID-theft hassle gets worse, area businesses find

Bridget Monrad, owner of Tucson-based Happy Tails Travel, didn't know anything was amiss until six months ago. full article

U.S. Law Firms Continue to be the Target of a Counterfeit Check Scheme

The IC3 continues to receive reports of counterfeit check schemes targeting U.S. law firms. The scammers contact lawyers via e-mail, claiming to be overseas and requesting legal representation in collecting a debt from third parties located in the U.S. The law firms receive a retainer agreement and a check payable to the law firm. The firm is instructed to deposit the check, take out retainer fees, and wire the remaining funds to banks in China, Korea, Ireland, or Canada. After the funds are wired overseas, the checks are determined to be counterfeit. full article

Hacker Snitch Sang to FBI from Day One

MANHATTAN (CN) - Hector Monsegur, who helped the FBI track down other members of Anonymous and LulzSec after hacking into systems of governments and private companies, "proactively" gave information "literally the day he was arrested," according to a recently unsealed transcript of his arraignment. full article

'Whitey' Bulger girlfriend to plead guilty

(CNN) -- The longtime companion of notorious fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger agreed to plead guilty to several charges against her related to her infamous 16-year run from authorities with her alleged mobster boyfriend. full article

Attackers Go After SIM Cards in Bank Fraud Scams

Attackers are using a some new schemes that combine old phishing tactics with some newer techniques in order to steal or disable the SIM cards in victims' mobile phones and then take them over for use in bank fraud transactions. full article

March 12, 2012

Know your rights: Identity theft victims express problems with reporting system

Unwanted pressure to buy protection services from credit reporting agencies and the inability to speak to a live person when reporting an identity theft situation were the two most annoying issues victims identified in a Federal Trade Commission report issued on the growing problem this week. full article

Cybercriminals Peddling Android Malware Through Twitter

Researchers at Symantec have identified a spike in Twitter messages carrying links to malicious programs for Android mobile devices in recent weeks, according to a post on Symantec’s Security Response blog on Monday. full article

Can Interviewers Insist on ‘Shoulder Surfing’ Your Facebook Page?

Privacy advocates say that, for now, it is legal for a prospective employer, during a job interview, to insist that you log into your Facebook page and then click through your “friends only” posts, photos and messages. full article

Woman Uses Stolen ID in Job Hunt

Detectives say woman may have committed same crime before

Plano police are looking for a woman who used a stolen identity to get a temporary job at a bank. full article

March 9, 2012

SEC Proposes Identity Theft Prevention Rules

WASHINGTON (CN) - Broker-dealers, mutual funds and other financial services have to develop policies to protect their customers from identity theft, according to new rules proposed by two federal agencies. full article

Member of Large-Scale Identity Theft Ring Sentenced

NEWARK—A Bergen County, New Jersey woman who was a member of a large-scale and sophisticated identity theft scheme was sentenced to 41 months in prison today, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. full article

Police: Hingham women held in fraud case charged with identify theft

HINGHAM — Police have filed six new charges, including five counts of identity theft, against a Hingham women being held on $125,000 bail in a widening identity-fraud investigation involving several state and federal agencies. full article

Man on probation charged with identity theft

A 21-year-old Burbank man faces identity theft charges this week after police found a re-encoded credit card in his home during a probation search. full article

Lost phones prone to identity theft, finders poke around

WASHINGTON - Many Americans have lost their cell phone before, and wondered if the person who recovered their phone might try to access personal information. full article

Two Salinas men arrested in stolen car, accused of identity theft

APTOS - Two farmworkers from Salinas are accused of vehicle theft and identity theft involving multiple victims, according to the Sheriff's Office. full article

Westfield man accused of identity theft, larceny

WESTFIELD—A Westfield man was arrested by Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputies Friday on third-degree identity theft and petit larceny charges for using someone else’s debit card. full article

Lewiston woman wanted for identity theft

CLARKSTON, ID - A Lewiston woman is wanted on a felony warrant out of Asotin County on the charges of forgery, theft and identity theft. full article

Florida leads country in identity theft

Florida leads the nation in identity theft complaints, according to the Consumer Sentinel Network’s recently released report. full article

Police Investigate Fraud, Forgery and Identity Theft

At around 1 p.m. on Feb. 24, a resident on the 100 Block of Carriage Way Drive reported to police that a fraud had been committed. Someone allegedly had used the resident's checking account to pay a bill. Burr Ridge Police said they could not answer questions as to how the fraud was discovered or what type of bill was paid using the resident's checking account, because the matter is pending investigation. full article

Revenge: LulzSec Supporters Claim To Dump Symantec AV Source Code, Hack Vatican

Wave of high-profile retribution attacks in the wake of arrests of LulzSec hackers and its leader's secret work for the FBI -- and new developments with three of the suspects full article

Woman extradited to Cumberland County for identity theft charges

A woman accused of identity theft almost two years ago has been extradited back to North Middleton Township. full article

Woman who faked cancer to avoid jail gets 5 years

March 9, 2012 (PHILADELPHIA) -- A Philadelphia woman who faked having cancer to avoid reporting to prison has been ordered to spend nearly five years behind bars for obstruction and fraud committed during her medical scam. full article

NYT Profiles LulzSec's Sabu As Talented Hacker With Star-Crossed Life

Hector Xavier Monsegur or "Sabu," de facto ringleader of the notorious Anonymous Internet Collective, was not merely a talented hacker. He was also something of a Robin Hood of the East Side projects and a hard-partying nuisance to his neighbors, a report by the New Yok Times claims. full article

Pair plead guilty to identity theft after using dead friend’s credit card

The 1989 film “Weekend at Bernie’s” became real this week when two Denver men took their dead friend on a night out, Newser reports. full article

Burglary investigation leads to ID theft ring

HESPERIA • Hesperia investigators helped dismantle an identity theft ring that victimized people from across the country, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Hesperia station officials said. full article

March 8, 2012

Alleged Stratfor hacker no stranger to law enforcement

Hammond had previously been convicted on hacking charges

Computerworld - Jeremy Hammond, one of the five hackers arrested in Tuesday's crackdown on key members of LulzSec and Anonymous, is no stranger to the law. full article

Hackers claiming to be from Anonymous take out Vatican site

Hackers claim attack is protest against church doctrine, child sex scandal

Computerworld - The main website of the Vatican was inaccessible Wednesday after what appears to have been an attack by malicious hackers claiming to be affiliated with the Anonymous hacking collective. full article

March 6, 2012

LulzSec Leader Turns Informant As Feds Arrest Key Members Of Hacking Group

Arrests of 'Sabu' and five others connected with major hacking attacks, including that of Sony, Fox, PBS, HBGary Federal, is big news -- but security experts warn that it's no time to let down your guard for this brand of threat full article

Anonymous Knocks Interpol Offline With DDoS

Group retaliates following arrests of 25 alleged Anonymous associates

Anonymous launched a sustained distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that knocked Interpol's public-facing website offline for several hours Tuesday. full article

FBI Probes Hacker's $10 Million Ransom Demand for Stolen Virginia Medical Records

The FBI is investigating a $10 million ransom demand by a hacker or hackers who say they have stolen nearly 8.3 million patient records from a Virginia government Web site that tracks prescription drug abuse, an FBI official confirmed Wednesday. full article

March 2, 2012

Renata Shamrakova, Personal Assistant, Charged With Stealing $1.6 Million For Personal Use

Evidently one woman thought personal assistant also meant personal banker. full article

Identity theft ringleader pleads guilty

COEUR d'ALENE – Michelle Ann Mason, 27, of Oldtown, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Coeur d'Alene to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. full article

Authorities say Jefferson County man takes identity theft to a new level

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Alabama - Authorities are searching for a Jefferson County man who they say moved into someone's unoccupied home, took control of his financial information and even forged checks to re-do the house. full article

HPD Detective Aids in the Arrest of Identity Thief

HUNTSVILLE (Source Cody Stark The Huntsville Item, Texas (MCT) — Identity theft is everyone’s worst nightmare. It can cause a tangle of webs that can ruin someone’s life financially in the blink of an eye. full article

March 1, 2012

Identity Theft A Growing Concern For Businesses

You've heard of identity theft — someone using a person's credit information or a Social Security number for ill-gotten gains. Well, experts say similar crimes are also affecting businesses. full article

Most organizations take months, years to discover a breach

Over 90 percent of data breaches are caused by external attacks, according to a new Verizon report

IDG News Service - Over 90 percent of data breaches are the result of external attacks and almost 60 percent of organizations discovered them months or years later, Verizon said in a report released at the RSA security conference on Wednesday. full article

Feds crack suspect's encrypted drive, avoid Constitution meltdown

Digital age plays havoc with 5th Amendment

Investigators have cracked the encryption key for a laptop drive owned by a Colorado woman accused of real-estate fraud - rendering a judge's controversial order to make her hand over the passphrase or stand in contempt of court irrelevant. full article

Space station control codes on stolen NASA laptop

Theft of unencrypted laptop is just one of thousands of incidents in recent years, costing millions of dollars, the agency's inspector general tells Congress. full article

Identity theft suspect arraigned

HUDSON — Sekhou Toure, the 27-year-old man who was arrested in connection with rampant local identity theft in November, was arraigned in the Columbia County Courthouse on Wednesday. full article

When is a cybercrime an act of cyberwar?

With no consensus on clearly defining the terms, it's easy to get confused by the array of labels available for cyber attacks

There is growing talk of cyberwar, as opposed to run-of-the-mill cybercrime. There are also terms that lies somewhere in the middle called cyber espionage, and cyber hacktivism - which is sort of like cyber terrorism for good guys. At the heart of the debate is an attempt to define the scope of an appropriate response to each type of threat. full article

New York man charged with identity theft

A Brooklyn, N.Y., man is facing 39 counts each of credit card theft and third-degree identity theft after police said he used stolen debit cards to purchase more than $6,000 in goods from area stores. full article

Putnam woman arrested in identity theft case

Judy Tabor faces 11 charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Putnam County woman faces identity theft and fraud charges related to her mobile pet clinic. full article

Hackers say they tapped into Springfield website; city offers ID theft protection to 2,100

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield officials are offering 2,100 people free identity theft protection for a year after an internationally known group claimed it hacked into the city's website and stole residents' personal information. full article

Exclusive: Undercover Grandma Catches Medicare Fraud on Tape

In the wake of an ABC News undercover investigation, federal authorities in Texas are investigating how an active 82-year-old grandmother was diagnosed as homebound, with a range of ailments that she did not have, including Type 2 diabetes, opening the door to potentially tens of thousands of dollars in Medicare payments for home health care, supplies and equipment she did not need. full article

Nearly 40 Percent Of IT Decision Makers Report Unintentional Exposure Of Corporate Data Through Theft Or Loss Of Removable Devices

Imation survey reveals that 91 percent of companies allow removable storage devices on their corporate networks, but only 34 percent enforce encryption on those devices full article


Contact Information

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