Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Identity theft made tangible? What (probably simple) procedure would have prevented this?


Criminals Steal House Thanks To Hacked Email

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday September 14, @02:20AM

"An international cybercrime investigation is underway into a sophisticated scam network that used email and fax to sell an Australian man's AU$500,000 property without his knowledge. The man was overseas when the Nigerian-based scammers stole his credentials and amazingly sold two houses through his real estate agent. He rushed home and prevented the sale of his second home from being finalized. Australian Federal Police and overseas law enforcement agencies will investigate the complex scam, which is considered the first of its kind in Australia. It is alleged scammers had stolen the man's email account and personal and property documents to sell the houses and funnel cash into Chinese bank accounts. Investigating agencies admit the scammers hoodwinked both the selling agents and the government, and said they had enough information to satisfy regulatory requirements. The police did not rule out if the scammers had links to the man."

Perhaps another Heartland style breach?


CA: Hackers Target Roseville Eateries For Credit Card Information

September 14, 2010 by admin

The hospitality sector continues to be targeted by cybercriminals. KCRA reports:

Roseville police are warning people eating out in Roseville to avoid using their debit cards and to pay with cash or use credit cards. [Or perhaps use the “barter system?” Bob]

The warning is in response to a recent rash of credit card thefts connected to a multitude of Roseville eateries.

Police said hackers have stolen well over 200 people’s information after they ate out.

They won’t say which restaurants have been affected [Just avoid them all? Bob] due to the ongoing investigation. However, police have said the restaurants themselves are not responsible.

We believe the breach is not actually at the restaurant but a third party vendor that’s in the process between using your credit card at the restaurant and actually billing the bank,” said Capt. Stefan Moore.

Moore said the scheme is so complex and expansive they’ve asked the secret service for help catching the culprits.

Meanwhile, in Davis, police are dealing with similar problems. They’ve seen a 50 percent increase in identity thefts.

Read more on KCRA. It sounds like local law enforcement suspect a payment processor breach. As I reported last month, there were buzzes about an uptick in breaches involving the hospitality sector and California had been specifically mentioned.

Stay tuned….

Boy, I can't wait until this type of information is available in a nation-wide Health Care database...


CA: ID thief hits state coffers for $200,000

September 14, 2010 by admin

Julie Johnson reports:

A mobile blood-testing company is believed to be the source of 500,000 California identities used to create fake drivers licenses and checks, investigators said.

A Castro Valley man is at the center of what detectives called a “huge” scheme in which stolen identities were used to create fraudulent unemployment and in-home health support checks that were cashed in Safeway stores across northern California, including Sonoma County.


“The one thing (the victims) had in common is they all had blood work done for insurance purposes,” Chapman said.

The company, not named by investigators, sent clinicians to people’s homes to take blood samples for purposes such as acquiring life insurance, Chapman said. The source of the leak is still being investigated.

Read more in The Press Democrat.

An interesting “discussion” to say the least.


Pointer: 10 Brief Responses To 700 Comments About Refusing To Answer Questions At Passport Control

September 13, 2010 by Dissent

Paul Karl Lukacs responds to comments made in response to his earlier blog entry on his experience when he attempted to re-enter the U.S. and wouldn’t answer questions from passport control as to why he had traveled outside the country.

Sometimes I just laugh...


Victor Stanley 2″ – Judge Grimm Imposes Prison Sanction for Spoliation by a Defendant Reminiscent of the Leader of “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”

The sequel to Judge Paul Grimm’s landmark Victor Stanley case was issued September 9, 2010, and is one for the record books. Victor Stanley II has morphed from a search case, to a sanctions thriller. It records one of legal history’s strongest examples of lawyers behaving badly in e-discovery, so bad, in fact, that Judge Grimm ordered the spoliating party to jail.

… This 103-page opinion includes a 12-page chart summarizing spoliation sanctions law by Circuits. Judge Paul Grimm has, once again, considerably advanced the jurisprudence of discovery, this time in sanctions, a key area of law today.

This can't be correct, can it? The article gives no indication as to why this might be.


Canadian Government Muzzling Scientists

Posted by Soulskill on Monday September 13, @02:54PM

"The Harper government has tightened the muzzle on federal scientists, going so far as to control when and what they can say about floods at the end of the last ice age. Natural Resources Canada scientists were told this spring they need 'pre-approval' from Minister Christian Paradis' office to speak with journalists. Their 'media lines' also need ministerial approval, say documents obtained by Postmedia News through access-to-information legislation. The documents say the 'new' rules went into force in March and reveal how they apply not only to contentious issues, including the oilsands, but benign subjects such as floods that occurred 13,000 years ago. They also give a glimpse of how Canadians are being cut off from scientists whose work is financed by taxpayers, critics say, and is often of significant public interest — be it about fish stocks, genetically modified crops or mercury pollution in the Athabasca River."

Is this what strikes fear into the hearts of newspaper owners?


Pew Research: More People Got Their News Online Yesterday Than From A Print Newspaper

The Pew Research Center, which regularly surveys U.S. consumers about their media consumption habits, put out a report which shows that more people are getting their news online than from print newspapers. In response to a survey question asking people where they got their news yesterday, 34 percent answered online versus only 31 percent from a daily newspaper.

… TV still rules with 58 percent. I think we will definitely crush radio by the time the next survey comes out. TV will be more difficult to conquer, especially if you believe, as Pew claims, that 21 percent of American adults do not use the Internet at all. [So at best, 42 percent are clueless? Bob]

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