Identity theft victims: You might know the culprit

Tracy, a health-care worker in Kentucky, is among the victims. The thief who stole her Social Security number opened several new cards in her name last year, racking up $1,500 in purchases and pushing one account past its credit limit. Another debt, owed to an online retailer, was sent to collections.

The catch? Tracy, who asked that her last name be withheld for privacy concerns, wasn’t victimized by some nameless, faceless hacker.

Her husband was the culprit.

“He knew my birthday. He had my Social Security number. He even had a copy of my driver’s license stored on his computer…”


American passivity in the face of Beijing’s cyberattack encourages more Chinese aggression

Two news stories out this week highlight just how weak the Obama administration’s policy toward China remains. A month after the Office of Personnel Management cyberattack, in which up to 25 million (and maybe more) Americans had their information stolen, including fingerprints, financial history, and other sensitive data, the White House has formally decided not to publicly blame China for the attack.

This is despite apparently overwhelming evidence that hackers from China were behind the devastating breach, the worst penetration to date (as far as we know) of U.S. government information. Worse, according to the news reports, is that China will get off scot-free, as the administration quails from retaliating in any way. In fact, the White House went ahead and held the annual…


Class Action Suit Claims Experian Sold Private Data to Identity Thief

Experian Data Corp. was hit with a class action lawsuit in a California federal court, alleging that the credit reporting agency sold highly sensitive consumer information to an identity thief.

Plaintiffs Maudie Patton, Jacqueline Goodridge, and Virginia Kaldmo, who are all from different states, claim in their class action lawsuit that Experian sold their information to Vietnamese hacker Hieu Minh Ngo, who they say is a “known and now convicted identify thief, black market PII [personal identifiable information] trafficker, and computer hacker.”


Worst possible outcome for consumers: Over 140,000,000 Americans’ health information disclosed in data breaches

Almost half of Americans’ sensitive health information have been disclosed in data breaches increasing their risk of medical identity theft and medical fraud.

Medical identity theft is the worst possible outcome for consumers affected by a breach….


Medical Identity Theft Threatens Seniors

Identity thieves make a habit of targeting senior citizens, taking advantage of their lack of knowledge of internet scams. But since senior citizens tend to require more medical care as they get older, they also run a higher risk of having their identities and medical information stolen.

Family members or other caregivers who are responsible for looking after the elderly need to take special care…


“I truly believe that the upper management of most large corporations and most bureaucrats, directors and politicians within our world governments do not understand this basic truth of the cyber world.”

Three major American corporations suffered technical difficulties at the same time, in what Wired has called a cyber armageddon.

The New York Stock Exchange claimed the problem that caused a halt to stock trading for more than three hours was an “internal technical issue” and “not the result of a cyber breach,” while the Department of Homeland Security told CNN there is “no sign of malicious activity” at the NYSE, or in the earlier outage experienced by United Airlines.

Security experts, including the controversial McAfee expert and an anonymous “Intel analyst,” however, are not so sure.

John McAfee published an article on SiliconANGLE detailing his suspicions and surface research, arguing that:

“To determine whether a system as large as the one used by the NYSE has been hacked or not, cannot possibly be determined in a matter of hours. Every programmer, every systems engineer and every employee of an IT department in the world understands…”


Hacking of Vehicles Shifts From Theory to Very Scary

Warnings of hackers controlling cars lead to growing safety concerns.

The risk was highlighted this week when hackers gained access to a 2014 Jeep Cherokee driven by a reporter for Wired magazine. According to his account, they turned on the Jeep’s windshield wipers, shut the engine down while it was being driven down the highway, took control of the steering wheel and then disabled its brakes, sending it into a ditch.


Colleges: A Playground for Hackers

The recently detected cyberattacks at Pennsylvania State University may spell bad news for other colleges and universities, according to IT security experts. Hackers such as those that targeted Penn State don’t set their sights on individual institutions, but on entire industries.

“I don’t want to be the harbinger of doom, but usually when you see one breach, there’s more to follow,” said Ken Westin, a security analyst with the IT security company Tripwire. “Penn State is an indicator that there have been more breaches and there will be more breaches that are targeting similar kinds of information.”