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‘Renting’ out her identity wasn’t what she had in mind

‘Renting’ out her identity wasn’t what she had in mind
January 7, 2016
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sh_for rent_750

A suspect who legally obtained the personal information of a prospective renter instead used that information to create an “alternate life with the stolen identity” of a Minnesota woman for eight months, according to the Hernando County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office. Angela Marie Brown was charged with five counts of criminal use of personal identification information, 16 counts of forgery and uttering a forged check and organized fraud less than $20,000. Julie Ryan, tried to rent a house from Brown in 2014. Brown requested copies of Ryan’s driver’s license and Social Security card, which the victim willingly submitted. The rental deal did not go through and the two concluded their business. Brown used that information to open up multiple bank accounts, a post office box, utilities accounts and rent an apartment, all in Ryan’s name. Source: WTSP, Tampa

If you can’t trust the IRS, who can you trust?

sh_IRS_280An employee who worked in the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service at a job assisting identity theft victims has instead been charged with running a $1 million identity theft tax fraud scheme. Four people are accused of participating in the scheme, including Nakeisha Hall, an IRS employee who worked in the Taxpayer Advocate Service office in Birmingham, Ala., from July 2007 to November 2011. She has since worked in Taxpayer Advocate Service offices in Omaha, Neb., New Orleans, and Salt Lake City. Federal agents arrested her on Dec. 22 in Holly Springs, Miss. According to the indictment, Hall obtained individuals’ names, birth dates and Social Security numbers through unauthorized access to IRS computers. She then used the information to prepare fraudulent income tax returns and submitted them electronically to the IRS. Hall asked the IRS to pay the refunds to debit cards and directed that the cards be mailed to addresses that she controlled, according to prosecutors. Source: Accounting Today

A power grid goes down, and a hack is blamed

sh_power grid_750The first known cyber attack to cause widespread public blackouts has occurred in Ukraine, it is believed. On Dec. 23, an electricity blackout left about half the homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine without power. Security researchers think hackers used a malicious code known as the BlackEnergy Trojan. The attack is significant because it’s the first known time malware has been used to disrupt critical physical civilian services. Source: Fast Company

He wasn’t teaching the children well

A former Washington, D.C., juvenile justice worker pleaded guilty to helping steal at least $2 million in fraudulent federal income tax refunds by giving personal information about hundreds of youth offenders to an identity-theft ring operating out of the district and suburban Maryland. Marc A. Bell, of Bowie, Md., worked from 2005 to 2013 at the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, where he became a key source for an identity theft ring. Prosecutors say in court records there was a network of more than 130 participants who filed more than 12,000 bogus federal income tax returns claiming refunds of more than $42 million. Source: The Washington Post

Customers cash-poor when HSBC online banking goes down

sh_HSBC_280HSBC said on online banking was returning to service after a blackout affected its customers in Britain. Europe’s biggest bank assured customers they would not “lose out,” as technical problems ran into a second day. It was still monitoring the situation “very closely,” it said. In a statement apologizing for the faults, first reported on Monday, a spokesman said: “We are currently experiencing issues with our Online and Mobile banking. Personal Mobile banking is working, but due to high demand customers may experience delays.” Britain’s retail banks have been hit by a number of technology failures in recent years, causing inconvenience for hundreds of thousands of customers and prompting lawmakers to call for more investment in financial technology. “The frequency of these failures across the financial services sector suggests a systemic weakness in IT infrastructure. This is concerning,” Andrew Tyrie, a Conservative lawmaker who also chairs parliament’s Treasury Select Committee, said in a statement. Source: Reuters

Quick quotes for cybersecurity coverage

Victor Schinnerer & Company has launched a Cyber Protection Package, which will allow brokers to quote a cyber policy in minutes by answering a few basic questions about their client. The Cyber Protection Package is designed for small to midsize businesses, but also can meet the needs of larger organizations. Coverage options include: digital crime, which protects companies from deceptive electronic transfers of funds, telephone toll fraud, and cyber extortion; breach liability, which protects against certain lawsuits or demands related to privacy liability, website media liability and regulatory compliance; and breach rectification, which is designed to help businesses get back on track following a business interruption or digital asset loss. Source: Insurance Journal

You have a new password, Linode user

sh_password_280Virtual private hosting firm Linode has reset the passwords of its entire user base, after suspecting a data breach. The company found two Linode user credentials on an “external machine,” implying that user names and passwords “could have been read from our database, either offline or on, at some point.” The database includes user names, email addresses, and securely hashed passwords and encrypted two-factor seeds, but no further details were given. The company touts Creative Commons, satirical news site The Onion, and weather app Dark Sky as customers. Source: ZDNet

You don’t want to spend the money? Fine; and we mean in cash

Brokers who don’t invest in cybersecurity face stiffer fines in 2016 as part of a stepped-up enforcement strategy, Wall Street’s self-regulating cop said. The potential for millions of dollars in fines is part of a “broken windows” policy, Richard Ketchum, CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, said, alluding to the policy under which city police forces put an emphasis on smaller issues to prevent them from growing into larger problems. Last year, FINRA took in a record $190.1 million in fines and restitution, Ketchum said. “The sophistication of the attacks today are greater and the range of the commonality of the attacks are increasing,” he said. In addition, the watchdog will increase its attention to high-frequency trading firms to keep them from manipulating markets, FINRA said in announcing its 2016 examination priorities. Source: The New York Post

Time to change your password, cable customers

sh_Time Warner_280Time Warner Cable warned customers that their personal information—including account passwords—may have been compromised. The cable operator was notified recently by the FBI that some customer email addresses and account passwords might have been affected. Time Warner Cable believes the addresses were previously stolen from non-Time Warner Cable sources and might have been sold, along with email addresses for customers of other providers. Time Warner said it is working to reach out to the customers who might have been affected, and will advise them to change their passwords using a “strong, unique alternative.” Approximately 320,000 customers throughout the markets that Time Warner serves could be affected Time Warner said. Source: CBS

Netherlands plays devil’s advocate

sh_netherlands_280The Dutch government says “it is currently not desirable to take restricting legal measures concerning the development, availability and use of encryption within the Netherlands.” It also notes that forcing companies to add backdoors to their products and services would have “undesirable consequences for the security of communicated and stored information,” since “digital systems can become vulnerable to criminals, terrorists and foreign intelligence services.” The Dutch government’s declaration looks at both sides of encryption—the benefits it provides by allowing sensitive information to be protected, and the issues it raises for the police and security services. It recognizes that crypto “enables everyone to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of communication, and defend against, for instance, espionage and cyber crime. Fundamental rights and freedoms as well as security interests and economic interests benefit from this.” The new law would prevent any discussion of government surveillance, even in court. But it also acknowledges that the use of encryption by criminals “complicates, delays, or makes it impossible to gain (timely) insight in communication for the purpose of protecting national security and the purpose of prosecuting criminal offenses” Source: Ars Technica

Malware makers chuckle as Microsoft stops some support

Microsoft will stop supporting Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 on certain Windows computers on Jan. 12. Up to 20 percent of Internet browsers could be affected, according to NetMarketShare. Microsoft will push security updates and bug fixes to Internet Explorer 11 only, on machines running Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. Anyone who continues to use an out-of-date browser could put themselves at risk for malware and cyber attacks. Microsoft “encourages customers to upgrade” to Internet Explorer 11 “for a faster, more secure browsing experience.” If you’re running Windows Vista, Microsoft says it will continue to support Internet Explorer 9. Microsoft also will keep supporting older versions of IE on several enterprise server operating systems. Source: CNN

 

 

The post ‘Renting’ out her identity wasn’t what she had in mind appeared first on Third Certainty.

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