Getting Paid for Doing Bad Things (12″ version)

This is the extended version of my earlier blog post. The BBC finally ran my commentary so for those of you who want more info, here it is: Think of it as product placement for the Internet. It’s been around a while, but I just figured out how it works, and it made me realise …

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Malware Inside the Credit Card Machine

(Update, July 2009: A BusinessWeek article puts the company’s side; maybe I was a little too harsh on them in this post.) This gives you an idea of how bad malware is getting, and how much we’re underestimating it: a U.S.. company that processes credit card transactions has just revealed that malware inside its computers …

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The Big Ring

Good piece today by my WSJ colleague Cassell Bryan-Low on the Douglas Havard case which I mentioned a week or so back: As Identity Theft Moves Online, Crime Rings Mimic Big Business (subscription only, I suspect): Most identity theft still occurs offline, through stolen cards or rings of rogue waiters and shop clerks in cahoots with …

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A Glimpse Of A Tentacle From The Phishing Monster

Gradually the tentacles of the Russian gangs behind phishing are appearing. But we still have no idea how it really works, and how big the beast is. The Boston Herald reports today on the arraignment of a “suspected Russian mobster” on multiple counts of identity fraud, having allegedly obtained personal information from more than 100 victims …

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Phear Of Phishing Doesn’t Just Hit The Bankers

Beware The Fear. The blizzard of coverage about phishing (usually involving some awful pun) has done a lot to raise awareness about the problem, but is it enough? A survey by Insight Express for Symantec of 300 people (no URL available yet, sorry) shows that while three quarters of folk are aware of spyware only …

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The Bluesnarfing Skeptics

Is Bluesnarfing the big problem it’s made out to be? “Traditionally,” wrote Guy Kewney of eWeek earlier this month, “security consultants have made a passable living by frightening ignorant managers with security holes. Then they charge money to fix them.” He then takes a look at bluesnarfing, which regular readers of this blog and the …

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Spammers And Crime, Continued

The ISP bites back. EarthLink , an Internet service provider, has announced legal action against a multi-state spam ring called the Alabama Spammers. The 16 individuals and corporations allegedly sent out more than 250 million illegal junk emails and “represent a technically sophisticated criminal organization that engaged in a massive scheme of theft, spamming and …

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News: ID Theft Is A Problem. It’s Official

 The Federal Trade Commission is now wise to the reality: identity theft is a problem. Nearly one in eight U.S. adults has had their credit card hijacked, identity co-opted or credit rating pockmarked by identity thieves over the past five years, Reuters quoted the Federal Trade Commission as saying. The FTC surveyed some 4,000 adults …

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