Tag Archives | Identity Theft

Apple’s Fingerprint Authentication For The iPhone Is Here

fingerThe iPhone 5S, going on sale this month, unveils Apple’s plan to build a fingerprint database, err, to feature fingerprint security. Now when someone steals your phone, they will cut off your thumb as well. Via ZDNet:

Apple has unveiled its smartphone’s latest weapon: a fingerprint reader it’s calling Touch ID.

With its move, Apple could end up making the technology commonplace, as rivals might feel compelled to follow suit. It could be only a matter of time before passwords and passcodes are relegated to yesteryear.

In making the iPhone 5S one of the first mainstream smartphones in the Western market to include hardware security, Apple has begun to reinvent the notion of device and online identity.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said at the Tuesday event that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner will be used to access a user’s device quicker, as well as preventing unauthorized users from accessing a device’s data.

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When Someone Hacks And Roots Your Google Glass

google glassThe future is hazardous. Technology consultant Jay Freeman discusses unlocking your Google Glass and describes what will happen when your pair is (inevitably) hacked:

Once the attacker has root on your Glass, they have much more power than if they had access to your phone or even your computer: they have control over a camera and a microphone that are attached to your head. A bugged Glass doesn’t just watch your every move: it watches everything you are looking at (intentionally or furtively) and hears everything you do. The only thing it doesn’t know are your thoughts.

It also hacks into every device you interact with. It knows all your passwords, for example, as it can watch you type them. It even manages to monitor your usage of otherwise safe, old-fashioned technology: it watches you enter door codes, it takes pictures of your keys, and it records what you write using a pen and paper.

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Man Arrested For ID Theft Of Most Of Greece

It’s reaching the point where we probably should give up even trying to have identities. Via the Toronto Star:

Greek police have arrested a man on suspicion of stealing the personal data of roughly two thirds of the country’s population, police officials in Athens said on Tuesday.

The 35-year old computer programmer was also suspected of attempting to sell the 9 million files containing identification card data, addresses, tax ID numbers and licence plate numbers. Greece’s population is 11 million.

Police were also looking into whether the man had obtained the data files by hacking into a government server and whether he had an accomplice, officials said. The files were discovered after police raided his home.

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Man With Fake CIA, NASA, Pentagon, Police And Medical IDs and Uniforms Lived In ‘Fantasy World’

Photo: Pasco Sheriff's Office (PD)

A Florida man allegedly posed as all of the above, in a fascinating Walter Mitty-esque existence which unraveled after police searched his home and uncovered his stash of alter-egos, CNN reports:

A man arrested with a stash of fake military, law enforcement and medical paraphernalia — including badges and uniforms — has told investigators he “lives in a fantasy world and he wishes that he were these people,” a police official said Tuesday.

But authorities still aren’t convinced the man, Roy Antigua, 52, is telling the truth. They intend to dig deeper to make sure nothing more sinister was at hand, New Port Richey Police Chief James Steffens said.

The materials found in Antigua’s two homes and Cadillac Escalade included diplomatic license plates and dozens of fake identification cards from the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Defense, CIA and NASA. The suspect also had access badges to hospitals around Florida, doctor and nurse scrubs, a respiratory technician badge, police blue lights and access stickers to Coast Guard bases around Florida, Steffens said.

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Identity Thieves Scamming U.S. Government With Fake Tax Refund Claims

identity theftIngeniously devious and glaringly simple. Lizette Alvarez reports on the latest ID theft scam for the New York Times:

Besieged by identity theft, Florida now faces a fast-spreading form of fraud so simple and lucrative that some violent criminals have traded their guns for laptops. And the target is the United States Treasury.

With nothing more than ledgers of stolen identity information — Social Security numbers and their corresponding names and birth dates — criminals have electronically filed thousands of false tax returns with made-up incomes and withholding information and have received hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongful refunds, law enforcement officials say.

The criminals, some of them former drug dealers, outwit the Internal Revenue Service by filing a return before the legitimate taxpayer files. Then the criminals receive the refund, sometimes by check but more often though a convenient but hard-to-trace prepaid debit card.

The government-approved cards, intended to help people who have no bank accounts, are widely available in many places, including tax preparation companies.

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FBI Says Citibank Gave Billionaire Paul Allen’s Debit Card to ID Thief

Paul Allen in his Microsoft days with Bill Gates.

Paul Allen in his Microsoft days with Bill Gates.

David Kravets reports at WIRED’s Threat Level:

An alleged Army deserter is being charged with bank fraud in connection to the socially engineered hijacking of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s debit card.

In a complaint unsealed Monday, federal authorities allege Brandon Price, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, obtained the billionaire’s debit card from Citibank via a telephone call to the bank’s customer service bureau in January. At Price’s request, the bank changed Allen’s address to Price’s Pittsburgh house, and overnighted him the card.

“An individual identifying himself as Paul Allen called the customer service department of Citibank. The caller stated that he had misplaced his debit card at his residence, but did not want to report it stolen. The individual then successfully ordered a new debit card on the account of Paul Allen and had it sent via UPS,” FBI agent Joseph J. Ondercin said (.pdf) in a legal filing.

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Daugther Of Malcolm X Arrested

378px-Malcolm_X_NYWTS_3

Photo: Ed Ford, World Telegram Staff Photographer

How far does the apple fall from the tree? Malcolm X fought for civil rights, now his daughter is fighting the New York Civil Court. Huffington Post reports:

The daughter of Malcolm X was being held in a North Carolina jail and could be extradited to New York to face charges on several outstanding warrants, authorities said Monday.

Malikah Shabazz was arrested Friday night after authorities responded to a call to a Mars Hill home, said Chief Deputy Michael Garrison of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators found that the 45-year-old had several outstanding warrants from Queens, N.Y., that include charges for grand larceny, forgery and identity theft.

Garrison and her lawyer, Sean Devereux, said Shabazz is the daughter of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, who is also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. She was born months after Malcolm X was assassinated exactly 46 years ago Monday.

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Biometric Identification: More Flawed Than You Think

BarprintDreaming of a future in which you unlock your iPod with a retina scan? The Economist examines the weaknesses of biometric authentication (that is, IDing individuals by bodily traits such as their iris, fingerprint, etc.) Contrary to what many people assume, these methods of identifying people are quite fallible, here’s why:

Thanks to gangster movies, cop shows and spy thrillers, people have come to think of fingerprints and other biometric means of identifying evildoers as being completely foolproof. In reality, they are not and never have been, and few engineers who design such screening tools have ever claimed them to be so.

Authentication of a person is usually based on one of three things: something the person knows, such as a password; something physical the person possesses, like an actual key or token; or something about the person’s appearance or behavior. Biometric authentication relies on the third approach. Its advantage is that, unlike a password or a token, it can work without active input from the user.

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LifeLock CEO Todd Davis’ Identity Stolen 13 Times

We’ve had this bastard send plenty of spammers to our site … I figured something wasn’t right about this guy. Thanks to WIRED for the investigation.

Lifelock

The hell with you, Todd Davis — some people actually care about personal privacy and you have murdered that trust. Thanks again to Kim Zetter for pointing this guy out on WIRED. Avoid this service at ALL COST:

Apparently, when you publish your Social Security number prominently on your website and billboards, people take it as an invitation to steal your identity.

LifeLock CEO Todd Davis, whose number is displayed in the company’s ubiquitous advertisements, has by now learned that lesson. He’s been a victim of identity theft at least 13 times, according to the Phoenix New Times.

That’s 12 more times than has previously been known.

In June 2007, Threat Level reported that Davis had been the victim of identity theft after someone used his identity to obtain a $500 loan from a check-cashing company.

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Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets (Video)

Armen Keteyian reports on the CBS Evening News:
At a warehouse in New Jersey, 6,000 used copy machines sit ready to be sold. CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports almost every one of them holds a secret. Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive — like the one on your personal computer — storing an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine.
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