Identity Theft News


News Archive


Contact Information

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

January 2012 News Archive

January 31, 2012

Accused Kelihos botmaster proclaims innocence

'I did not commit this crime,' says Andrey Sabelnikov, named last week by Microsoft as botnet maker

Computerworld - The Russian man accused by Microsoft of creating and operating the Kelihos spam botnet said on Friday he's innocent. full article

Malvertising Or Just Advertising? The Curious Case Of Counterclank

Security firm Symantec is sounding the alarm about a mobile device threat they call 'Counterclank,' a Trojan horse program that they say may have infected as many as five million devices through downloads on the Official Android Market. However, other security researchers aren't so sure, and wonder whether Counterclank isn't anything more than an aggressive advertising campaign. full article

The IRS fails victims of identity theft, fraud

Jay Burgess is making my column for the second time in two weeks. I wrote about the south Fort Myers man before when someone used his identity for a student loan — a fairly infrequent type of identity theft. The second way Burgess’ stolen identity was used is not so rare. Burgess was one of 404,000 victims of income tax filing fraud the IRS has identified since 2008. full article

Woman pleads guilty to role in senator's ID theft

DECATUR, Ga. — A 21-year-old woman has admitted her role in an identity theft ring where a United States senator was a victim. full article

Police bust potential identity theft ring

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Police say an investigation into stolen vehicles led them to a potential ring of identity thieves. full article

Trojan caught on camera shows CAPTCHA is still a security issue

In a series of blogs a few years back, we covered how malware could abuse and circumvent online services that use CAPTCHA tests as part of their security (1 2). In this blog, we take a look at a recent malware variant from the wild caught on camera that shows CAPTCHA tests used by some online services may still be weak. full article

Armenian gets 6-year sentence in Medicare fraud

PanARMENIAN.Net - An Armenian man will spend six years in federal prison for his part in a Charleston-based Medicare fraud scheme that threatened to cost the government more than $4 million in false health-care claims. full article

Asset Acceptance, a debt-buying agency, to pay $2.5 million in FTC settlement

One of the nation’s largest consumer debt-collection agencies has agreed to pay $2.5 million as part of a proposed settlement with the federal government, which accused the firm of using deceptive methods to collect old debts. full article

Stolen Lexington Clinic laptop contained patient information

Six weeks after a medical clinic laptop was stolen, the Lexington Clinic is notifying the public of a privacy breach involving 1,018 patients. full article

Man Gets Life In Murder of Angel Investor

In the sad conclusion of the trial in the murder of a local angel investor, a man was sentenced to life in prison Friday without the possibility of parole, in the murder of angel investor John G. Watson two years ago full article

January 30, 2012

Man Pleads In Sec. Of State ID Theft Case

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Democratic operative charged with stealing the identity of Iowa's Republican secretary of state as part of a plot to link him to corruption has pleaded not guilty. full article

Enid man charged with identity theft and filing false tax returns

ENID — An Enid man has been charged in federal court with six felony counts of identity theft and filing false tax returns. full article

University of Maryland student information vulnerable to ID theft, audit finds

The University of Maryland stored sensitive personal and financial information of prospective students on publicly accessible servers, data that could make students easy prey to identity thieves, according to a recent audit. full article

Stolen ID used for 30 years nets Covington man 5 years' prison

A Covington man who lived under a stolen identity for more than 30 years — committing an assortment of crimes and even racking up prison sentences under his false name — was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle Friday to nearly five years in prison. full article

Two suspected of ID theft, burglary

VICTORVILLE - Two people were arrested Friday on suspicion of mutlitple burglaries and identity theft. full article

3 charged in identity-theft scheme

Two Detroit-area tax preparers were arrested today on charges they stole the identities of dead people from around the country and used their information to fill out more than 300 phony tax returns and bilk the government out of $800,000 in bogus refunds, the U.S. Attorneys office announced. full article

Woman Charged With Identity Theft in Greenwich

GREENWICH, Conn. – A Brooklyn, N.Y., woman was charged Thursday with stealing an identity in an attempt to withdraw more than $8,000 from a bank account in Greenwich, police said. full article

Former Windstream worker accused of trafficking stolen identities

SALISBURY — The former Windstream employee accused of stealing customers’ account information and using it to buy goods is also accused of trafficking those identities. full article

Jewellery theft: Cops clueless about identity

BHOPAL: A day after the theft of gold ornaments weighing two-and-a-half kg from a jewellery shop in Sarafa market, the police continue to be clueless about the identity of thieves on Sunday. full article

Stolen identities bought cycling gear

SALISBURY — When investigators entered Walter Darnell Austin’s office to see what the former Windstream employee had been buying with financial information allegedly stolen from customers, Det. Carl Dangerfield said he expected the worst. full article

January 27, 2012

Pennsylvania woman who said she was abducted gets 8 years for ID theft, fraud

(CNN) -- A Pennsylvania woman who called 911 to report that she and her daughter had been abducted -- only to be found later at a Disney resort -- was sentenced Thursday to more than eight years in prison for identity theft and fraud. full article

GOP Lawyer to Defend Democratic Aide in ID Theft

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A prominent Republican attorney said Thursday he is representing a Democratic operative charged with stealing the identity of Iowa's Republican secretary of state as part of a plot to link him to corruption in office. full article

NY ID theft scam has victims in 30 states

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Two New York women are accused of scamming $75,000 from victims in 30 states by posting phony Craigslist ads for nonexistent jobs and apartments. full article

McAllen area insurance agent indicted on charges of mail fraud, ID theft

The Monitor - From a Jan. 26 news release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas: McALLEN, Texas – A McAllen area insurance agent has been indicted on multiple counts of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft arising from a scheme to defraud several private insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans and other insurance products, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. full article

Upstate Woman Arrested, Charged In Identity Theft Bust

An upstate woman was arrested and charged after authorities say she attempted to cash stolen checks at local banks in the Asheville area. full article

Irvine Police Arrest ID Theft Suspect

Irvine police arrested a 28-year-old Anaheim woman on suspicion of grand theft and identity theft for allegedly ordering high-end merchandise using someone else's credit card. full article

Wetumpka woman sentenced for identity theft and tax fraud

The owner of a tax preparation business was sentenced Thursday to 184 months in prison, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service announced. full article

Forest Grove embezzler tried for identity theft

A Forest Grove woman convicted in 2008 of defrauding her former employer of nearly $200,000 was back in court this week, this time facing four charges of identity theft for allegedly posing as a notary public. full article

Video conferencing mistakes make espionage easy, say researchers

HD Moore finds thousands of exposed conference and board rooms where secrets aren't so secret

Computerworld - Tens of thousands of video conferencing setups, including some in corporate meeting rooms where the most confidential information is discussed, are vulnerable to spying attacks, researchers said this week. full article

Malware Poses as Phony Google+ Plug-In

Spammers are cashing in on the (modest) popularity of Google+ by sending out fake emails inviting users to try out Google+ Hangouts by downloading a malicious file posing as a Google+ Hangout plug-in. full article

High court judges attempt to speed up Gary McKinnon case

Judges list computer hacker's extradition case for July hearing amid concern over time it is taking to return to court

The high court has expressed concern over the length of time it is taking the long-running case of the computer hacker Gary McKinnon to come back to court. full article

European Parliament says its website victim of DDOS attack

The denial-of-service attacks follow new signatures to ACTA, an intellectual property treaty

IDG News Service - The European Parliament's website fell under a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDOS) on Thursday in what the organization classified as retaliation for the shutdown of the Megaupload file-sharing site and an anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. full article

January 26, 2012

Six Charged in Scheme to Use Identities of Deceased People to Get Tax Refunds

A 10-count indictment was unsealed today charging six people with various offenses related to a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of at least $1.7 million in fraudulently obtained tax returns, often filed in the names of recently deceased taxpayers, the Justice Department and IRS announced today. full article

Colorado Springs Man Indicted on Identity Theft and Fraud

DENVER – Randall V. Heath, age 51, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on Monday, January 23, 2012, for identity theft, false claims, fraud and mail theft, United States Attorney John F. Walsh, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Sean Sowards, and United States Postal Inspection Service Oscar Villanueva announced. Heath is currently in custody in New Mexico on state fraud charges. At some point Heath will be transported to Denver by the U.S. Marshals Service. Once in Denver the defendant will appear in U.S. District Court in Denver where he will be advised of his rights and the charges pending against him. full article

Windstream's customer database used by employee for identity theft

Windstream Communications, a nation-wide provider of high-speed Internet, phone, and TV services, is busy doing damage control after an employee used Windstream’s customer database to open fraudulent accounts with online retailers. full article

Former SF City Employee Pleads Not Guilty To Identity Theft

A SF-based Medi-Cal Eligibility Worker is facing charges in what the DA's office is calling "identity theft." The former employee of San Francisco's Human Services Agency, however, claims that she was just trying to demonstrate how much work she was doing. full article

Man wanted for identity theft and forgery

Crime Stoppers and investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office are searching for the person responsible for the theft of a Houston area citizen's identity. full article

Timeshare Marketing Scams

Timeshare owners across the country are being scammed out of millions of dollars by unscrupulous companies that promise to sell or rent the unsuspecting victims’ timeshares. In the typical scam, timeshare owners receive unexpected or uninvited telephone calls or e-mails from criminals posing as sales representatives for a timeshare resale company. The representative promises a quick sale, often within 60-90 days. The sales representatives often use high-pressure sales tactics to add a sense of urgency to the deal. Some victims have reported that sales representatives pressured them by claiming there was a buyer waiting in the wings, either on the other line or even present in the office. full article

Threatened by Anonymous, Symantec tells users to pull pcAnywhere's plug

Source code leaked years ago, but now Anonymous hacking group has software in its sights

Computerworld - Symantec this week took the highly unusual step of telling users of its pcAnywhere remote access software to disable or uninstall the software while it fixes an unknown number of bugs. full article

Data Breach Affects Two Million NY Customers, State Commission to Investigate

The New York State Public Service Commission announced yesterday they'll be looking into a data breach that may have exposed the personal information of almost two million customers to unknown attackers. full article

DHS disputes memo on purported railway computer breach

The Department of Homeland Security is disputing a government memo obtained by that said a targeted attack on the computer network of a railway company in the Northwest disrupted train service in early December. full article

January 25, 2012

Kelly Harbert Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud, Money Laundering, Identity Theft

Kelly Harbert, the former One Bank & Trust vice president, took a plea deal on Tuesday afternoon that reduced from 20 to three the number of federal felonies with which she was charged. full article

BBB: Surge in ID Theft Targeting Businesses

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Identity theft crimes are not limited to individuals; businesses can also become victims. Better Business Bureau warns of a recent surge in business identity theft. full article

Ex-city worker pleads not guilty to identity theft

A former employee of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that she stole the personal information of more than 3,000 Medi-Cal applicants, prosecutors said. full article

Owner of Alabama Tax Business Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Scheme

Marsha Elmore of Wetumpka, Ala., the owner of a tax preparation business called Community Tax, was sentenced today to 184 months in prison, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Elmore used her business to run a scheme to steal tax refunds by filing false tax returns with stolen identities. She had been indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 31, 2011, and pleaded guilty on Nov. 15, 2011, to one count each of filing false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Elmore had previously been sentenced to 60 months in prison for a violation of supervised release, which was based on the conduct for which Elmore was sentenced today. Today’s sentence of 184 months is to run consecutively to her previous sentence of 60 months. full article

Witness in Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Trial Indicted in Alabama for Perjury

An indictment was unsealed today charging Nacretia Lewis with perjury and lying to a federal agent, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. A federal grand jury in Montgomery, Ala., returned the sealed indictment on Jan. 19, 2012. It was unsealed following Lewis’s arrest. full article

New Mexico Man Indicted for Using Stolen Identities to Obtain Tax Refunds

Douglas J. Kuester of Silver City, N.M., was arrested today on identity theft and tax fraud charges, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. A federal grand jury in Las Cruces, N.M., returned an indictment under seal on Jan. 18, 2012, charging Kuester with using stolen identities to file false tax returns. The 41-count indictment, which was unsealed after Kuester’s arrest, charges Kuester with filing false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. full article

Alabama Return Preparers Plead Guilty to Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Scheme

Yumeitrius Manuel and Margaret Kirksey, both of Montgomery, Ala., pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Kirksey pleaded guilty today. Manuel pleaded guilty on Jan. 11, 2012. The two had been indicted by a federal grand jury on July 27, 2011, on charges of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, false claims and lying to federal agents. full article

Three arrested on identity theft charges

PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - Three people from Chicago were arrested last week after state police found items bought using stolen personal information in their car. full article

Denmark business owner charged with ID theft, fraud

OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - A man who owns an area animal control business will stand trial on identity theft and fraud charges in Winnebago County. full article

Newport man sentenced on federal fraud, identity theft charges

GREENEVILLE — A Newport, Tenn., man was sentenced today to 130 months in federal prison on charges related to a credit card scheme that arose out of a series of thefts from cars in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pisgah National Forest. full article

Identity theft case examined in 'The Imposter'

Speaking with The Park Record from San Antonio, Texas, as he prepared to fly to Utah for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, British documentary filmmaker Bart Layton very carefully chose his words as he attempted to convey the many convoluted aspects that surface throughout his new documentary, "The Imposter." full article

Man accused of stealing customer IDs at work

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said they arrested a man accused of stealing customer information from his place of work and opening fraudulent accounts. full article

January 24, 2012

Alabama Woman Indicted for Using Stolen Identities to Obtain Tax Refunds

Crystal Sayles was arrested today on charges stemming from her use of stolen identities to commit federal tax fraud, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. On Jan. 19, 2012, a federal grand jury in Montgomery, Ala., returned a 36-count indictment charging Sayles with filing false claims, wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. full article

Three Indicted in Alabama in Conspiracy to Obtain Tax Refunds Using Stolen Identities

Chiquanta Davis, Terrence Davis and Laurekshia Blakely were charged in a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Alabama on multiple counts stemming from an identity theft and tax fraud scheme, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The 34-count indictment charges all three with conspiring to defraud the United States by filing false claims. Chiquanta Davis is also charged with filing false claims, theft of government funds, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Terrence Davis and Laurekshia Blakely are also charged with theft of government funds. full article

U.S. government online security website hacked

The hackers threatened further retaliation if controversial legislation is passed in the U.S.

IDG News Service - Hackers under the AntiSec banner appeared to have hacked late Monday the website of, the U.S. federal government's online security website, in protest against controversial legislation. full article

Tysons Corner Mall at Christmas: Identity Theft, Nearly 100 Arrests for Stolen Goods

Fairfax County police patrolling both Tysons Corner Malls in plain clothes during the 2011 Christmas holidays made 83 arrests and recovered nearly $45,000 in stolen merchandise. full article

Broward couple charged in tax-fraud case that will be first of many to come, feds say

A Coral Springs couple who run a check-cashing business were charged with bilking the government in the first of a series of tax-fraud cases expected to be filed in federal court. full article

Not even kids safe from identity theft

When children are victims, crime can go undetected for years, experts say

Millions of cases of identity theft are reported in the United States each year. full article

LA man charged in international identity theft scheme after being caught in 'Operation Phish Phry'

The phishing expedition is over for Jonathan Clark, a Los Angeles resident who is the suspected ringleader of an international Internet-based criminal network dealing in identity fraud. full article

Network Of 7K Typo Squatting Domains Drives Huge Traffic To Spam Web Sites

A report from Websense finds that spammers are cleaning up on misspelled domain names for prominent sites. A network of such typo squatting sites is driving millions of visitors to a Web site controlled by the spammers, making it one of the most traffic sites on the Internet. full article

'Hannibal' leaks '100,000 Facebook logins'

The tit for tat between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel hackers escalated at the weekend after a hacker called Hannibal claimed to have leaked the Facebook login details of "100,000 Arabs". full article

Researcher traces 'Gameover' malware to maker of Zeus

Cybercrime gang pays dev to build 'private' version of notorious money-stealing malware

Computerworld - The "Gameover" malware that the FBI warned users about earlier this month is a preview of the next version of the even-more-notorious Zeus money-stealing Trojan, a security researcher said today. full article

Straight Talk: Valentine’s Day scams could leave you with a broken heart

The Canton Regional and Greater West Virginia Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers tips and advice for Stark County consumers to avoid fraudulent practices. full article

Cruise Ship Scam Over Faked Death

A trio of alleged scammers have been caught allegedly faking a death on the cruise ship liner Costa Concordia in the first sign that con artists are targeting the crippled ship. full article

January 23, 2012

Dirty tricks in Iowa involving former Obama 2008 staffer?

It’s difficult to know whether to tell this story in straight or reverse chronology, but either way, it raises eyebrows about the tactics that Iowa Democrats will deploy in 2012. Let’s take this in reverse. The story starts with an arrest yesterday in Des Moines of Zach Edwards, who works at Link Strategies as its Director of New Media, for identity theft targeting the Iowa Secretary of State, Republican Matt Schulz full article

Richfield Man Faces Federal Charges for Alleged Involvement in Identity Theft Ring

A 26-year-old Richfield man was federal indicted for his alleged role in an identity-theft ring that the feds say is responsible for the loss of more than $2 million from financial institutions and retail businesses in at least than 14 states. full article

Phishers Bait City Workers in Seattle With Phony Speeding Tickets

Hundreds of government employees in Seattle, Washington received fraudulent emails yesterday that appeared to be traffic violation notifications but were, in fact, vehicles for infection by malicious software. full article

Anonymous dupes users into joining Megaupload attack

Recruits accomplices by spreading links via Twitter that auto-starts attack tool

Computerworld - The Anonymous hacking group recruited unwitting accomplices in Thursday's attacks against U.S. government sites, a security researcher said today. full article

$2 million ID theft case broadens with more charges, suspects

Eleven additional suspects have been indicted in a $2 million identity-theft ring that operated in the Twin Cities and reached across the Midwest, the U.S. Justice Department said today. full article

Jeremy Dodson, ex-CU Buffs sprinter, gets deferred sentence in ID theft case

A former University of Colorado track star with a promising career pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft and one count of theft in a plea deal Friday that will allow him to remove the felony conviction from his record if he stays out of trouble full article

Police seek to identify woman wanted in connection with identity theft

PRINCESS ANNE -- Maryland State Police are seeking the public's assistance in the identification of a woman wanted in connection with an identity theft. full article

Italy: Company identity theft at expense of DI DONNA TRADE

We would like to bring to the attention of fresh produce operators that unidentified people are making contact with producing companies to buy and supply products on behalf of Rutigliano-based DI DONNA TRADE. full article

PSC Investigates Consumer Data Breach at NYSEG, RG&E

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York State Public Service Commission has announced that it will conduct a full and complete investigation into the unauthorized access to customer data announced Monday by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA. full article

Man guilty of ID theft, fraud over Apple items

HOUSTON—A Houston-area man has pleaded guilty to using fake IDs and stolen credit card numbers to buy more than $200,000 worth of Apple iPads and IPhones. full article

January 20, 2012 Gets Hit by Mega Piracy Indictment; Hackers Attack Feds, Entertainment Industry

The Justice Department has indicted seven individuals and two companies behind the popular file-sharing website, which has been touted by stars, Kim Kardashian and Diddy, and, according to reports, has hip-hop producer Swizz Beats as its CEO. full article

Identity theft related to Medicaid fraud draws a 24-month sentence

A west-metro home health care provider has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for aggravated identity theft in an attempt to defraud Medicaid, the U.S. attorney's office said Thursday. full article

Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona arrested in identity case

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona has been arrested for allegedly using a false identity in the Dominican Republic, where officials are contesting his real name and birthdate. full article

Former KC charity director admits thefts, gambling losses

A former Kansas City man who embezzled more than $100,000 from two local charities pleaded guilty Thursday to federal bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. full article

Waco: Woman Convicted in ID Theft Pleads Guilty to Failure to Appear

WACO (January 19, 2012)—Christine Elifritz, who skipped court on an ID theft charge in 2011, pleaded guilty Thursday to failure to appear. full article

Springs police bust drug and ID theft ring

THE GAZETTE - Two men nicknamed Worm and Crack Head are suspected of leading a drug and identify-theft ring affecting 230 people across six states, Colorado Springs police said Wednesday. full article

Feds charge 7 in 'massive' case against Megaupload online piracy ring

Computerworld - A day after thousands of websites went on strike protesting controversial anti-piracy legislation in the U.S., federal authorities today announced they have busted a pirate ring that allegedly hauled in $175 million. full article

Carberp Trojan Commits Financial Fraud on Facebook

A new iteration of the Carberp trojan is targeting Facebook users, but unlike most Facebook attacks that attempt to pinch login credentials, this one is trying to steal money by fooling users into handing over an e-cash voucher. full article

Man pepper sprayed during ID theft attempt at SunTrust

A homeless man was pepper sprayed after he attempted to withdraw thousands of dollars from a Suwanee, Ga., SunTrust Bank using another man’s identity, reports the Gwinnett Daily Post. full article

Feds cuff coder accused of US bank source code swipe

A computer programmer has been charged with stealing source code worth $9.5m from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to the FBI and prosecutors. full article

Koobface Gang Shuts Down C&C Server, Drops Offline

The crew behind the Koobface worm, who have been quite open about their exploits and financial gains from their work in the past, now seem to be ducking underground as pressure is building on them in the wake of exposures of their operation and real identities. The command-and-control server used to run the Koobface botnet, known as the Mothership, is now offline and new infections seem to have dropped off, experts say. full article

January 19, 2012

16 indicted in identity theft ring

BAY VILLAGE, OH (WOIO) - On June 10, 2010, a Bay Village resident reported her checking account number had been compromised and utilized on a number of fabricated checks. These fabricated checks were cashed at local banks by various individuals for a total of $43,000. Bay Village Police Department began an investigation which exposed a much larger fraud enterprise. Bay Village Police worked cooperatively with many bank fraud investigators, the U. S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies and identified losses totaling $415,828.00 at four separate banking institutions. full article

Rochester woman charged with identity theft

A Rochester woman who was part of a large group of people who traveled throughout New York stealing wallets from hospitals and colleges was arrested on a warrant Tuesday, city police said full article

Crimes Nearby: Former Justice Gets Probation for Identity Theft

After pleading in an embezzlement case, Katherine Pope, who served as Shelter Island justice from 1998 to 2002, and her husband, Wayne, were both given probation on Jan. 10, according to a report on The Suffolk Times. full article

Alleged Russian Cybercriminal Extradited to U.S.

Vladimir Zdorovenin, an alleged prolific Russian cybercriminal, has arrived in New York City following his arrest and subsequent extradition by Swiss authorities. The FBI had been working to find and extradite Zdorovenin for several years. full article

Zappos, Amazon sued over customer data breach

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Online retailers and are being sued in Kentucky by a Texas woman alleging that she and millions of other customers were harmed by the release of personal account information. full article

January 18, 2012

Symantec backtracks, admits own network hacked

Warns pcAnywhere users they face increased risk, confirms theft of source code of prominent consumer programs

Computerworld - Symantec today backed away from earlier statements regarding the theft of source code of some of its flagship security products, now admitting that its own network was compromised. full article

Facing Post-Transaction Attacks, Banks Should Reassess Fraud Protection

Banks will have to continue to upgrade their fraud protection controls, especially in the face of new and evolving attacks exclusively designed to evade them, researchers now say. full article

Young, in Love and Sharing Everything, Including a Password

Young couples have long signaled their devotion to each other by various means — the gift of a letterman jacket, or an exchange of class rings or ID bracelets. Best friends share locker combinations. full article

Former Capital One Bank Employee Indicted for Bank Fraud, ID Theft

HOUSTON - Jamal Gerard Mose-Burrel, 22, of Houston, has been arrested following the return of a 17-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. full article

ID theft victim arrests a travesty

It's bad enough to be the victim of identity theft. To spend time in jail as the person who stole your own identity is a travesty. full article

Three years after becoming a victim of ID theft, Freedom man's battle wages on

WATSONVILLE - In January 2009, Narcizo Zavala Guillen filed a police report after he became a victim of identity theft. Three years later, the Freedom man is still fighting a court battle to repair his damaged credit report and get debt collectors off his back. full article

Former Hilliard councilman gets 4 years for identity theft

A former Hilliard City Councilman and Franklin County official was sentenced Friday, Jan. 13, in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to four years in prison for identity theft in connection with a mortgage-fraud scheme. full article

New stealthy botnet Trojan holds Facebook users hostage

A new strain of cybercrime Trojan is targeting Facebook users by taking over their machines and shaking them down for cash. full article

Koobface Gang Apparently Hiding in Plain Sight

The individuals allegedly responsible for wreaking havoc on Facebook with the infamous Koobface botnet are living lavishly, blatantly flaunting their ill-gotten gains and taking little precautions to cover their tracks. Their locations, travels, business ventures, social media personas, Internet and real-life identities are apparently well-documented, but no one seems to be able to do anything about it. full article

UK police officer leaves security-related Olympics documents on train

LONDON — A British tabloid reported Tuesday that it had been handed documents about security arrangements for the London Olympics that were left on a train by a police officer, the latest in a series of embarrassing mishaps involving British authorities misplacing government documents. full article

January 17, 2012

Non-U.S. customers kept in dark as Zappos cleans up after data breach

Online clothing shop reset the passwords of over 24 million customers after security breach

IDG News Service - Online shoe and apparel shop is advising over 24 million customers to change their passwords following a data breach, but its website is currently inaccessible to people outside the U.S. full article

Update: Hacking Group TeaMp0isoN Claims Breach of T-Mobile

The hacking group TeaMp0isoN claims to have compromised Web servers used by T-Mobile, and absconded with account information for company employees, including members of T-Mobile's media team. full article

Vermont woman pleads guilty to stealing credit card numbers

NEWPORT, Vt. — A former Vermont call center employee has been given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to stealing customers' credit card numbers. full article

Piedmont woman linked to ID theft investigation

Tracy Lavarnway, of Piedmont, admitted using American Quality Exteriors customer information to commit theft and credit card fraud

Secret Service agents and police investigating identity theft have uncovered more than 300 potential victims — nearly half of whom did business with a company in Bethany where a suspect worked. full article

Man fined $1,750 for identity theft

A man on disability who tried to obtain a new B.C. identity card using his brother's name has been fined $1,750 to send a message to the public that identity theft has serious consequences. full article

NSA constructs hardened Android, unleashes it on world

Vicious apps squashed by super-spook mobile OS

The US Defense Department's The National Security Agency (NSA) has released a security-hardened version of Google's mobile OS, Android. full article

Quotation Mark Parsing Flaw Makes IE Users Vulnerable to Attack

A bug in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has left users of the popular browser vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks, according to researchers at the security firm Imperva Data Security. full article

Zappos Zapped: Biggest Consumer Danger Not Credit Cards But Identity Theft

The big online shoe and apparel retailer Zappos, owned by, has been zapped by hackers. From discussions on the Internet that accompany reports of the story, it appears that a large number of consumers believe that in a hacking, the biggest risk is their credit cards. full article

Zappos Hacked: What You Need to Know – the online source for shoes – was the victim of an attack that compromised account information for millions of customers. Zappos customers need to understand what is at stake, and be on alert for suspicious or malicious activity resulting from the attack. full article

Hacked Zappos Customers: Beware Phishing Scams

As hacks go, Zappos’s attack over the past weekend could have been a lot worse. full article

13 tips everyone should know about identity theft

Identity theft often starts outside of the tax administration system when someone's personal information is stolen or lost. Identity thieves may then use a taxpayer's identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund. In other cases, the identity thief uses the taxpayer's personal information in order to get a job. The legitimate taxpayer may be unaware that anything has happened until they file their return later in the filing season and discover two returns have been filed using the same Social Security number. full article

Facebook Security Phishing Attack In The Wild

At the time of writing there is a new Facebook phishing attack going on. It will not just try to steal your Facebook credentials; it will also try to steal credit card information and other important information such as security questions. full article

Japanese boffins fear virus nicked spacecraft blueprints

Japanese space engineers have admitted one of their computers has been infected by a Trojan that may have leaked sensitive data, including system login information, to hackers. full article

Clinton man accused of using other people's Social Security numbers to steal cable TV

CLINTON ,N.Y. (WKTV) - A Village of Clinton man has been charged with grand larceny after authorities say he was using other people's social security numbers to steal cable television service. full article

January 13, 2012

Home Depot, Sears, Kmart, and Kohl's Hit By Identity Theft Ring

At this stage in the proceedings, it’s all merely allegations. Prosecutors have filed a criminal Complaint and the named defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. That’s how it goes. So – keeping in mind that it’s simply the prosecutors’ say-so against the protestations of the defendants, who knows how this will all flush out in the end. full article

Seaford Brothers Face Charges in Identity Theft Ring

Hussein brothers allegedly manufactured fake driver’s licenses out of their storefront smoke shops in Greenwich Village.

Three Seaford brothers were arrested Thursday and charged with being part of a seven-member identify theft ring that “hijacked” more than 180 people’s store credit accounts to obtain in excess of $1 million in merchandise, gift cards and store credits. full article

Fraud exam adjourned for trio accused of identity theft

A preliminary examination was adjourned Thursday for three persons accused of setting up an identity-theft scheme and bilking the state of $300,000. full article

Researchers Find Sykipot Trojan Variant For Hijacking DoD Smart Cards

A report from Alien Vault says that variants of the Sykipot Trojan have been found that can steal DOD smartcard credentials. full article

Namesco spits out phishy warning after credit card info leak

'Please do not treat this as SPAM'

Namesco customers are angry over the domain name and hosting firm's handling of a security breach that exposed the credit card details of some of the domain name and hosting firm's users. full article

Woman indicted by federal jury in identity theft ring

WASHINGTON -- A Salisbury woman accused in an identity trafficking scheme was taken into custody by federal investigators this week, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. full article

Identity theft victim helps police track down suspects

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) - A Memphis man whose debit card was stolen managed to help police track down his two identity thieves and put them in jail. full article

Banks Coming Together To Fight Hackers, Prevent Attacks

Major banks like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America are putting together plans to help identify new security threats before they happen, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal this week. full article

Stratfor slaps website back online after Anon mega-hack

CEO: Hacktivists can't silence us - and soz about the credit cards

Stratfor has restored its website to normal operation on Wednesday, more than two weeks after a hack attack by Anonymous that made the global intelligence analyst firm a byword for information insecurity. full article

January 12, 2012

Spammers hit mobes with QR code junkmail jump pads

Security researchers have spotted spam emails that point at URLs featuring embedded Quick Response codes (QR codes). full article

Suspects in 14-state, $2M identity-theft ring face judges

Suspects in a $2 million identity-theft ring that involves more than 100 people began appearing in federal courtrooms in the Twin Cities this week to face charges. full article

National identity theft bust comes through DeKalb

DeKALB – A national identity theft investigation that resulted in the indictment of 50 people was partially operated out of DeKalb. full article

3 Phila. men charged in identity-theft ring

Two Philadelphia residents were arrested Wednesday and a third is being sought on charges of participating in a multistate identity-theft ring, federal authorities said. full article

Hayward woman sentenced in connection with massive Oakland identity theft ring

OAKLAND -- A Hayward woman was sentenced Wednesday to 216 days in jail for a felony forgery conviction for her role in a large-scale and sophisticated identity theft operation, an Alameda County District Attorney spokeswoman said. full article

Attackers Reused Adobe Reader Exploit Code From 2009 In Extremely Targeted Hacks

The targeted attack that exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in Adobe's Reader application last month was extremely focused on defense industrial base firms, and affected just a handful of systems, according to a company spokesman. full article

Carrier IQ detection tool converted to premium SMS Trojan

Android malware creators exploit the Carrier IQ controversy to distribute a premium SMS Trojan

IDG News Service - Android malware writers are taking advantage of the controversy surrounding Carrier IQ's smartphone tracking software in order to distribute a premium SMS Trojan, security researchers from Symantec warn. full article

IRS overwhelmed by fraud, identity theft cases, watchdog says

WASHINGTON -- A government watchdog says the Internal Revenue Service can't fully handle identity theft cases and fraudulent tax refund claims or adequately answer taxpayers' questions because its budget is too small to deal with its growing workload. full article

Are apps exposing you to ID theft?

A new website makes it easy to filter the applications you've given permission to access your information on 8 social media sites.

If you use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr and have an email account with Google or Yahoo, chances are you've given permission to a few applications to access your profile. But do you know how many? full article

APNewsBreak: NY arrests 7 in $1M identity theft

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says seven people have been arrested in an identity theft scheme that netted more than $1 million in products and gift cards by tapping consumer charge accounts in four states. full article

January 11, 2012

Boss of costumed NYC crime ring gets 9 to 18 years

NEW YORK (AP) — The leader of a crime ring that combined old-fashioned pickpocketing, modern-day identity theft and an array of costumes to steal more than $700,000 from banks was sentenced Monday to 9 to 18 years in prison. full article

NJ ringleader of ID theft, fraud ploy admits guilt

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The leader of an identity theft and fraud ring has pleaded guilty in a scheme that federal authorities said operated as a veritable "crime superstore" that reached from northern New Jersey to U.S. territories in the Pacific. full article

Israeli credit-card hack draws a response

A hacker has released more than 400 credit card numbers allegedly belonging to Saudi Arabian citizens

IDG News Service - More than 400 credit card numbers claimed to belong to Saudi Arabian citizens were released on Tuesday in apparent retaliation for the release of 15,000 active credit card numbers of Israelis last week. full article

New SEC Guidance May Impact Corporate Disclosure

As companies begin submitting their regulatory filings and financial reports from 2011, the SEC is pushing for more comprehensive data breach, cyber attack, and general risk-assessment disclosures. full article

Alleged $1.4 million housing authority fraud began small, indictment says

In early 2010, officials at Baltimore's public housing agency noticed a few thousand dollars had gone missing — transferred without authorization to the bank account of a man who rented his Northeast Baltimore home to a low-income tenant, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday. full article

TRENTON: Woman charged with fraud, identity theft could face 40 years

TRENTON — A 61-year-old woman was arraigned Friday on five charges of fraud and identify theft for writing checks in another woman’s identity and making fake licenses. full article

Folsom man pleads guilty in Loomis Wealth Solutions fraud case

Christopher J. Warren, who fled the country with a fortune in gold and returned with a paltry $70,000 in cash stuffed into the cowboy boots he was wearing, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Sacramento federal court to identity theft and wire fraud related to cheating lenders out of $19 million. full article

January 10, 2012

Hackers expose defence and intelligence officials in US and UK

Security breach by 'hacktivists' reveals email addresses of 221 British military staff and 242 Nato officials

Thousands of British email addresses and encrypted passwords, including those of defence, intelligence and police officials as well as politicians and Nato advisers, have been revealed on the internet following a security breach by hackers. full article

US Commission probing if India intercepted its emails

A hacked memo allegedly from India's military states that the country intercepted the emails with the help of mobile phone companies

IDG News Service - The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) has asked for an investigation after hackers posted online a memo purportedly from India's military, which claimed that the country had intercepted emails of USCC officials with the help of Nokia, Research In Motion, and Apple. full article

German cops hacked in revenge for dad spying on daughter

Payback after officer used cyber-bug at home

An infiltration of a German federal security system last year has been traced back to a botched attempt by an unnamed security official to use a Trojan to monitor his daughter's internet usage, Der Spiegel reports. full article

Gamers Seek Beta Versions, Download Malware Instead

Tracking the increasingly common use of PC games as an infection vector, researchers at the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) discovered a couple of malicious programs making the rounds on torrent and file sharing sites. full article

Man pleads guilty to stealing ATM codes

A San Diego man who placed a debit card skimming device on a bank security door and trained hidden cameras on ATM machines so he could steal the PIN numbers of thousands of customers pleaded guilty Monday to identity theft, burglary and grand theft charges. full article

Fresno woman pleads guilty in tax, ID theft cases

A Fresno woman pleaded guilty in federal court in Fresno Monday to identity theft and making false claims against the United States in two separate cases. full article

Palisades Park man admits running ID-theft and bank-fraud ring that netted $4 million

A Palisades Park man admitted Monday that he ran an identity-theft ring that peddled social security cards to scores of Korean clients who used them steal million of dollars through fraudulent bank loans, credit card ‘bust-outs” and other schemes. full article

Boss of costumed NYC crime ring gets 9 to 18 years

NEW YORK (AP) — The leader of a crime ring that combined old-fashioned pickpocketing, modern-day identity theft and an array of costumes to steal more than $700,000 from banks was sentenced Monday to 9 to 18 years in prison. full article

Apple, RIM deny claims of data backdoor for Indian government

Symantec hackers claim intelligence memo shows secret deal

Updated Apple and RIM have denied providing the Indian government with backdoor access to customers' data, after the release of a memo that appears to suggest that they and Nokia did a deal in exchange for access to the Indian smartphone market. full article

January 9, 2012

Symantec confirms source code leak in two enterprise security products

Hacking group discloses source code segments used in Symantec's Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Antivirus 10.2

Computerworld - Symantec late Thursday confirmed that source code used in two of its older enterprise security products was publicly exposed by hackers this week. full article

Israeli Official Compares Cyber Attack to Terrorist Operation

Israeli authorities are investigating a cyber attack Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon described as being akin to a "terrorist operation." full article

Cases of Denver mistaken-identity arrests

The last thing Stephen Tendell and his mother, Ethel, thought would happen after they reported to Denver police that he was the victim of identity theft was that he would end up hauled off to jail. full article

Women Accused Of Stealing Checks From Mailbox

Pueblo County Pair Allegedly Stole, Used Checks

PUEBLO, Colo. -- Two Pueblo women are accused of stealing checks from a mailbox, and then using the checks at local stores. full article

Palm Beach County courts redact personal information from cases available to public

WEST PALM BEACH — As business at Palm Beach County's courts resumed in the first week of the year, court clerks got their first test of how they will adapt to a new state law designed to keep personal information out of public view. full article

Hearing Today For Man Accused Of ID Theft, Burglary

Daniel Axinte Accused Of Placing Skimming Device On Security Door

SAN DIEGO -- A preliminary hearing was scheduled Monday for a San Diego man accused of placing a debit card skimming device on a bank security door and ATM machines so he could steal the PIN numbers of thousands of its customers. full article

Pastebin Downed By Second DDoS Attack This Week

For the second time this week, on Thursday found itself hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The site was previously taken offline for a portion of the day on Tuesday, though no motives or culprits for that attack have been named yet. full article

Mafia hit suspect cuffed after BlackBerry chatter intercept

Cops keep schtum on sniffing RIM data

Canadian police have apparently used BlackBerry communications to arrest murder suspect Raynald Desjardins in a move seen as an unprecedented use of intercepted data. full article

January 4, 2012

Anonymous hunts neo-Nazis with WikiLeaks-style site

Members of Anonymous have re-doubled their offensive against German neo-Nazis. The hacktivists of Operation Blitzkrieg this week launched a WikiLeaks-style website that aims to expose members of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) and other extremist groups, Der Spiegel reports. (German) already features a list of alleged donors to the NPD. It also hosts what OpBlitzkrieg claims are internal emails, a list of contact details purported to belong to far-right newspaper subscribers, and customer data allegedly hacked from neo-Nazi online stores. full article

New AIM Instant Messaging Client Poses Privacy Risks, Says EFF

Digital rights watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is advising users of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) not to upgrade to the next version of the instant messaging application because its features expose them to privacy risks. full article

Better Business Bureau lists top scams of 2011

SALT LAKE CITY — The Better Business Bureau of Utah Tuesday released its list of the most prevalent fraud schemes of 2011, with the Internet and email being key tools used to defraud people. full article

Adam Baker deal possible today

NEWTON -- Adam Baker is scheduled to appear in court today, and his attorney told reporters Tuesday that he has struck a plea deal with prosecutors in Catawba County. full article

Israeli credit cards hit by cyber attack

ALLEGED SAUDI hackers have posted the details of 15,000 Israeli credit cards online in the biggest politically motivated cyberspace attack against Israel to date. full article

Phishing remains a hazard for companies who rely heavily on the Internet

This kind of threat poses an increasing issue to the online selling or buying of products. Presented in the form of spoof emails and other ploys, this form of identity theft is on the rise. full article

Former Saugus interim library director suspended

By Matt Tempesta / The Daily Item SAUGUS — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to suspend former interim Library Director Ewa Jankowska with pay Tuesday night. full article

January 3, 2012

Hacking group releases more Stratfor subscriber data

The data dump includes 75,000 names and addresses of subscribers to the analysis service

IDG News Service - Hackers released another batch of data on Thursday pilfered from Stratfor Global Intelligence, a widely used research and analysis company whose website was attacked last weekend. full article

Hackers Plan Satellite Network to Fight Internet Censorship

A group of hackers are reportedly declaring war on Internet censorship, and they plan to fight back with their own satellite communications network. full article

"Anonymous" hacks police union, Valley victims exposed

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of California's biggest law enforcement groups got hit by a high profile hack, and several Valley victims are among those left exposed. full article

Report: Phishing attack targets Apple customers

Macworld - A "vast phishing attack" that attempts to capture the credit card information of Apple customers was launched on Christmas day, according to a report from Mac security-software company Intego. full article

Analysis Challenges Stuxnet Origins Story, Suggests Links to Duqu and Other Malware

An ongoing analysis of the Duqu malware by researchers at Kaspersky Lab finds many links between the two pieces of malicious code and casts doubt on the conventional wisdom about Stuxnet's origins. full article

Scammers return to scene of crime

Victims of fraud, identity theft lijely to be targeted again

It was bad enough when Bobby Worden was scammed five years ago by a telemarketer who offered credit card processing machines for his Clark County businesses. full article

Japan tasks Fujitsu with creating search-and-destroy cyber-weapon

Zombie boss hunter developed in lab

Fujitsu has been commissioned to develop ‘seek and destroy’ malware, reportedly designed to track and disable the sources of cyber-attacks. full article

AKO users warned following Stratfor website hack

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The U.S. Army’s web portal for soldiers is asking anyone who registered usernames with open-source intelligence provider Strategic Forecasting , or Stratfor, to watch for identity theft and report any credit card fraud to the Army’s Criminal Investigative Command. full article