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A recent study by Dutch investigation firm Ultrascan shows we are half as smart (or twice as dumb) as we were in 2008 as advanced fee scams doubled in losses to over $9 billion. 419 Advance Fee Fraud Statistics 2009 (PDF)
It is believed that while the scams are known to be Nigerian in nature, coined after the 419 Nigerian code making them illegal, scams were launched from 69 other countries in 2009. The reason for the jump in the amount of victims is due to a broader reach of the scammer. Scammers aren’t (0 comments)
data breaches: Criminal Hackers Buying and Selling Hacked Accounts - 02/03/10 09:59 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Malicious software designed to gather usernames and passwords has been a boon for the criminal hacking community. Spyware as it’s commonly known records almost everything a user does on their PC. The most damaging spyware records all electronic communications via a web browser. That’s where the most damage can be done and the money is made. Recent study shows there are as many as 70,000 variations of these keystroke sniffing programs which is double what was discovered in 2008. Criminals have become proficient at hacking databases containing millions of credit card numbers but now have (0 comments)
data breaches: My Identity Thief Loves Me (PTI) - 02/02/10 04:20 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert I have a very weird job. I explore aspects of society that people read about but would never consider exploring themselves. I go places where others may be led to because they didn’t know any better. And I like too expose the flaws in the system that make us vulnerable. Much of my “research” or “antics” as some would call it is prompted by my desire to learn more about the scumbags of society or predators that prey on other people. My research has taken me down a dark seedy road into online dating scams, where (0 comments)
data breaches: Crimeware: Do It Yourself Criminal Hacking - 01/25/10 08:40 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert For $400-$700 you too can be a criminal hacker. Phishing hacking and spoofing software has been around for a few years. Heres what may be an example. The ease and availability of this good for nothing other than crime software has made it easier, cheaper and more user friendly than ever to get into the cybercrime business. Anyone with moderate computer skills that can navigate around the web and upload or download files is pretty much capable of accessing and implementing the crimeware. Todays crimeware kits are designed so a person who is new to the (0 comments)
data breaches: Meet Raoul Chiesa: UN Interregional Crime & Justice Research Inst. - 01/24/10 11:21 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert In my quest to learn more about what makes a criminal hacker tick, I came across Mr Chiesa when he commented on a blog post I wrote “How I Wasted 4 Hours with a Criminal Hacker”. He warned me I was treading on dangerous ground due to the fact that when communicating with the blackhat, I used my real name and provided my web address. His concern was a revenge hack that would clear the hackers name amongst his hacker peers. I’ve danced with the devil a few times in my life and don’t mind the (1 comments)
data breaches: 10 Business Identity Theft Risks in 2010 - 01/23/10 02:44 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Advancements in technology over the past decade have created a tremendous amount of opportunity for the savvy businessperson. Whether it’s mobility, streamlined processes, marketing, or the ability to sell to a global market, there’s never been a better time to be in business. Like anything good, there is always a negative. While there are certainly many negatives in technology, like the headaches when something doesn’t work correctly and the constant learning curve we must all endure, the biggest negative is security issues. So for the SMB (that’s you, the savvy businessperson), here are ten considerations for (0 comments)
data breaches: Forget Privacy, Think Security - 01/20/10 10:42 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Everywhere you go there is a privacy advocate screaming to protect your privacy. Privacy advocates, bless them, are a dying breed. They fight for whatever privacy rights there are left and do their best to remain watchdogs. If your gig is privacy, my guess is you have lost all your hair and are popping Prozac to relieve the stress of todays anti-private society. And you are fully employed and very very busy. My gripe, people are freaking about full body scanners at the airports and the privacy issues involved. This isn’t a privacy issue, it’s a (0 comments)
data breaches: Google Gets Hacked & What It Means to You - 01/18/10 02:26 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Numerous outlets reported that Googles Gmail and 30 other companies were hacked by the Chinese. Ars Technica reports many say the hack was targeted against Chinese dissidents. The cyber-assault came to light on Tuesday when Google disclosed to the public that the Gmail Web service was targeted in a highly-organized attack in late December. Google said that the intrusion attempt originated from China and was executed with the goal of obtaining information about political dissidents, but the company declined to speculate about the identity of the perpetrator. McAfee reported evidence that a vulnerability in Internet Explorer (3 comments)
data breaches: Why Am I Logged Into Someone-else’s FriendFeed? - 01/17/10 11:49 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert I have pretty tight controls over my network and access to my 510 usernames and passworded accounts. Yes he just said “510”…and counting. I have full administrative rights over every PC and nobody else has access to my home or office. So it came as a surprise to me when I went to log into my FriendFeed account to make an adjustment and I discovered I was logged into someone-else’s account. Serious, no joke, I’m not stupid. I have FULL access. The account is owned by Canadian who sells diet pills and skin care. There are (0 comments)
data breaches: Protect Yourself from Social Engineering - 01/15/10 12:30 AM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access; in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victim. But in many cases the attacker certainly does come in contact with the victim. You may be doing all you can and should to protect yourself from hackers and scammers. But a response to a simple email that looks exactly like your (0 comments)
data breaches: Data Breaches: The Insanity Continues - 01/12/10 10:11 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert The Identity Theft Resource Center Breach Report also monitors how breaches occur. This task is made more difficult by the scarcity of information provided (publicly) for approximately 1/3 of the recorded breaches. For the remainder, those events that do state how the breach occurred, malicious attacks (Hacking + Insider Theft) have taken the lead (36.4%) over human error (Data on the Move + Accidental Exposure = 27.5%) in 2009. This was a change from all previous years, where human error was higher than malicious attacks. One theory for this change is that the organization and sophistication (1 comments)
data breaches: 2009 Data Breaches: Identity Theft Continues - 01/11/10 10:40 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert The Identity Theft Resource Center® Breach Report recorded 498 breaches, less than the 657 in 2008, more than the 446 in 2007. Are data breaches increasing or decreasing? That is the question no one can answer. This fact will not change until there is a single data breach list requiring mandatory public reporting. With some breaches not being reported publicly, and some state Attorneys General not allowing public access to reported breaches, we doubt that anyone is in a position to answer the question above. When we allow laws to be created requiring breach reporting but (1 comments)
data breaches: Data Security Predictions For 2010 - 01/11/10 09:39 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Forrester Research, Inc. in Cambridge, MA is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. They released their 2010 data security predictions. Heading into 2010, they are predicting five new data security trends: 1) Enterprises will keep their data security budgets relatively flat; 2) Market penetration for data loss prevention (DLP) tools will increase even as prices fall by half; 3) Cloud data security concerns will begin to dissipate; 4) Full disk encryption will continue its steady march into the enterprise, spurred on by breach disclosure laws; (0 comments)
data breaches: Impostor Poses as Secret Service Agent and Police Officer - 01/10/10 04:06 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert A bunch of us recently celebrated a 40th birthday of a friend. The conversation at one point revolved around my ATM scam and how easy it is to con people. A new boyfriend of a friend began to tell everyone how he often cons people to get in bars and clubs. “I NEVER wait in lines” he said, “and I always get VIP treatment”. I hate lines too, but I have a hard time lying to get what I want. Anyway the guy is 6 foot 8 inches, which in many ways is a handicap in (37 comments)
data breaches: Pair Accused Of Stealing TSA Workers Identities - 01/10/10 03:54 AM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert In my early 20’s I bought real estate in a depressed area north of Boston in Lynn Massachusetts. At 20, that’s all I could afford. Lynn was then and is now known as “Lynn Lynn the City of Sin, you don’t go out the way you come in.” Lynn’s a hard city known for drugs and prostitution. It’s also the home of various biker gangs known as “one percenters” The theory is 1% of all people come out of their momma just bad. No surprise that the Boston Channel reports a Lynn couple was accused of (1 comments)
data breaches: How to Hack a Corporate Network…with Facebook - 01/07/10 10:00 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert There’s a lot of excessive trust in the Facebook world. People have entirely dropped their sense of cynicism when logged on. They have no reason to distrust. People who are your “Friends” are generally those who you “know, like and trust”. In this world, your guard is as down as it will ever be. You are in the safety of your own home or office hanging with people all over the world in big cities and little towns and never have to watch your back. Ethical hackers are the tech industries white nights, also known as (1 comments)
data breaches: How I Wasted 4 Hours with a Criminal Hacker - 01/05/10 07:46 AM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Lately I’ve been coming across “advertisements” posted on forums from criminal hackers looking to sell our stolen information. They are “carders” selling “dumps” and “fullz” I wrote about it HERE. Well I decided to make contact with one of them to see what the deal is. It turns out the one I connected with was less than forthcoming, but was very persistent and more than likely has and will continue to scam people. Here is the FIRST and SECOND postings set up by criminals that I’ve found this week. The links are functional as of this (5 comments)
data breaches: Resolve to Dissolve Identity Theft - 01/04/10 08:44 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Here we are again, getting ready to face a new year. Time to set those dreaded New Year’s resolutions. You know, lose the 10 pounds, give up the chocolate, quit smoking, and win the Nobel Peace Prize. Along with the breaking of some bad habits, now is the time to take on some new habits to protect you against identity theft. The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) offers the following top resolutions you can make in 2010: Lock up your social security card! Get it out of your wallet! Put this valuable card, along with all (0 comments)
data breaches: ID Theft Is Set To Rise On The Heels Of The Recession - 01/03/10 11:48 PM
Jay McDonald from Creditcards.com does a great job of summarizing Identity Theft Predictions for 2010. “Like wolves to injured prey, identity thieves are out to turn the recession struggles of average Americans to their own advantage. “In my adult life, I’ve never seen more varations of old scams and the degree of sophistication in newer scams,” says Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. The Identity Theft Resource Center predicts an increase in the number of identity theft crimes and victims during the next two years. Particularly vulnerable are jobseekers whose desperate search for employment makes them easy targets for fake job listings (6 comments)
data breaches: 5 Tips to Credit Card Identity Theft Prevention - 01/01/10 06:25 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert In a recent article in Computer World, Tom Patterson CSO of Magtek, with his Glamor Shot photo, provides “5 counter-fraud tips you’ve never been told”. Anything a consumer can do to reduce their risk for account takeover, they should exercise. While in most cases the consumer isn’t responsible for the losses, as long as you refute the fraud in a specified time frame, and it’s your duty as a citizen to do so. Studies show much of the terrorists funding is coming from card fraud. Card fraud is a breach of national security. Tip#1 Stare down (0 comments)
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