Utah CTO takes fall for data breach
The executive director of Utah's Department of Technology Services has resigned over a data breach two months ago that exposed the Social Security numbers and other personal data of about 280,000 Medicaid recipients.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced the resignation of Stephen Fletcher on Tuesday.
In a statement, Herbert also described various initiatives underway that aim to mitigate the risk of similar breaches in the future.
The State's plan includes an independent audit of all IT security systems, the appointment of a new health data security ombudsman and a continuing investigation of the breach by law enforcement personnel.
Banks are complacent about check fraud
Many banks are complacent about check fraud, perhaps because it's been around for so long. And yet, according to the 2012 Faces of Fraud survey, it remains the second-most common form of fraud institutions face.
Another reason for the complacency? Check fraud seems minor, relative to escalating fraud threats posed by emerging e-commerce channels. "Banks perceive the risk to be much higher in the electronic-payment channels," Tubin says. "With check fraud, they've been dealing with it forever, and they're used to it."
But the lines between old-school schemes such as check fraud, and emerging e-commerce scams are blurring. The advent of check images has married the check to the online channel. And financial institutions that continue to rely on manual processes to detect check fraud find themselves challenged by new cross-channel schemes.
BitCoin hacked, More than 18,000 Bitcoins Stolen
Bitcoinica, a Bitcoin exchange started by a 17-year old teenager Zhou Tong, has been shut down for security investigations. It’s believed that at least 18,000 BTC ($90,000 or 68,000 EUR) have been stolen.
News of the hack was posted this morning by Bitcoinica's founder, Zhou Tong:"Today, we have discovered a suspicious Bitcoin transaction that doesn't seem to be initiated by any one of the company owners. Some of them are not online at the moment so this is not conclusive.
700,000 CA social services records lost
The California office of In-Home Supportive Services, which provides health support to elderly and disabled people, reported on Friday that the personal records of some 700,000 caregivers and care recipients were either lost or stolen.
But this data loss was not due to a server breach, or some complex phishing attack—instead, the Social Services office said that Hewlett Packard, which manages the data controlled by the office, notified the IHSS of the breach after a physical package containing microfiche with thousands of entries of payroll data went missing from a damaged package shipped by U.S. Postal Service to the State Compensation Insurance Fund in Riverside, CA.
As the package arrived damaged and incomplete, it’s unclear whether the information was lost or stolen, but the state has launched an internal investigation and notified law enforcement in the hopes of resolving the issue, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The possibly compromised information, dating from October to December 2011, for 375,000 workers included names, Social Security numbers and wages. For 326,000 recipients, state identification numbers may be at risk,” the LA Times reports. The In-Home Supportive Services office is also sending out hundreds of thousands of letters to potentially affected parties.
Your Dead Relative Could be a Victim of Identity Theft
Your lost loved one's financial identity could come back to life in a most unsettling way -- 2.5 million deceased Americans' identities are misused every year, according to ID Analytics, an ID theft risk assessment company. The company's research arm compared the names, Social Security numbers and birthdays listed on applications for credit against the Social Security Administration's master file of deaths to come up with those numbers.
ID Analytics says crooks intentionally steal the identities of about 800,000 deceased Americans each year. The company says identity thieves also make up Social Security numbers, and inadvertently make matches with about 1.6 million people a year who have died.
In addition, ID Analytics detected a disturbing pattern of theft of financial information belonging to people who were dying. It's easy to see how that could happen, since people who are gravely ill can easily lose track of the details of their finances. When you break it down, ID Analytics says con artists use dead people's identities more than 2,000 times a day.
UNC-Charlotte Data Breaches Expose 350,000 SSNs
Confidential data, including bank account and Social Security numbers for some 350,000 University of North Carolina-Charlotte students, staff and faculty, were accidentally exposed -- some for almost 15 years -- due to a system misconfiguration and incorrect access settings that made electronic data publicly available.
The school on Wednesday released a statement on an investigation it launched in February after staff discovered the data breach. The investigation revealed two separate incidents exposed data such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers and financial account information provided during university transactions.
One incident involved misconfigurations and incorrect access settings made during a general university system upgrade that left data stored on the university's H: drive exposed on the Internet from Nov. 9, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2012.
Over 300,000 Complaints of Online Criminal Activity Reported in 2011
FBI's IC3 2011 Internet Crime Report Released
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) today released the 2011 Internet Crime Report—an overview of the latest data and trends of online criminal activity. According to the report, 2011 marked the third year in a row that the IC3 received more than 300,000 complaints. The 314,246 complaints represent a 3.4 percent increase over 2010. The reported dollar loss was $485.3 million. As more Internet crimes are reported, IC3 can better assist law enforcement in the apprehension and prosecution of those responsible for perpetrating Internet crime.
In 2011, IC3 received and processed, on average, more than 26,000 complaints per month. The most common complaints received in 2011 included FBI-related scams—schemes in which a criminal poses as the FBI to defraud victims—identity theft, and advance-fee fraud. The report also lists states with the top complaints, and provides loss and complaint statistics organized by state. It describes complaints by type, demographics, and state.
“This report is a testament to the work we do every day at IC3, which is ensuring our system is used to alert authorities of suspected criminal and civil violations,” said National White Collar Crime (NW3C) Center Director Don Brackman. “Each year we work to provide information that can link individuals and groups to these crimes for better outcomes and prosecution of cases.”
Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division Michael Welch said, “Internet crime is a growing problem that affects computer users around the world and causes significant financial losses. The IC3 is an efficient mechanism for the public to report suspicious e-mail activity, fraudulent websites, and Internet crimes. These reports help law enforcement make connections between cases and identify criminals.”
IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the NW3C, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Since its start in 2000, IC3 has become a mainstay for victims reporting Internet crime and a way for law enforcement to be alerted of such crimes. IC3’s service to the law enforcement community includes federal, state, tribal, local, and international agencies that are combating Internet crime.
Three Reasons Skimmers Are Winning
Banks and credit unions say that losses linked to card-skimming and other sources of debit card fraud are increasingly concerning.
Arrests and financial losses linked to skimming continue to add up. Why do many institutions struggle to thwart attacks waged against ATMs and the vestibules that house them?
Mike Urban, a financial fraud expert with Fiserv, a core processor that provides security services to financial institutions, says anti-skimming technologies just can't keep up.
Beyond outdated card technology, a number of factors have contributed to ATM skimming's success. Cardholder behavior, outdated or ineffective anti-skimming technology and too many endpoints are the top three, experts say.
Three Keys to Mobile Security
Mobile banking is being adopted by consumers at an increasing rate, but it's just one piece of the overall mobile financial services puzzle. As the mobility trend grows, banking institutions are still figuring out how far ahead they should look, and what strategies make the most sense.
But Paul Smocer, president of BITS, the technology policy division of the Financial Services Roundtable, says most institutions are doing much more than some observers give them credit for doing. Banking/security leaders are very concerned about mobile, and they're doing what they can to anticipate risks.
During this interview, Smocer discusses:
Three key areas that make up mobile financial services: 1) banking, payments and mobilized traditional services, such as remote deposit capture; 2) Why mobile payments poses the greatest security risks; 3) Steps BITS is taking to address mobile concerns, especially as they relate to FFIEC conformance.
Five tips for small biz to protect against security threats
The threat landscape on the Web is becoming more perilous. Security software maker Symantec, in its annual "Internet Security Threat Report" released April 30 found that even as the number of vulnerabilities in 2011 fell by 20 percent over the previous year, the number of malicious attacks grew 81 percent.
The trend is similar to what Hewlett-Packard saw. In its "Top Cyber-Security Risks Report," announced April 19, HP officials also found that the number of vulnerabilities last year fell by 20 percent, but that the risks involved in those vulnerabilities grew. HP also found that the number of cyber-attacks more than doubled in the second half of 2011. And small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are in the thick of it. More than half of the targeted attacks seen in 2011 were aimed at organizations with fewer than 2,500 employees, and almost 18 percent targeted companies with fewer than 250 employees. The Internet has been a boon for SMBs, making it easier than ever before to do business. But it also raises the threats to smaller companies and their IT departments.
The biggest risk is seeing their intellectual property, customers’ information or financial transaction data fall into the wrong hands. SMBs need to protect themselves, and Symantec has some ideas how.
Insiders played a role in healthcare data breaches
April has been a brutal month for healthcare, with three major breaches disclosed accounting for nearly 1.1 million records lost. The thread woven throughout each has been the role of insiders -- both malicious and inept -- in triggering the incidents.
In one case at the Utah Department of Health, approximately 780,000 Medicaid records were exposed due to the misconfiguration of a server containing these files. Human error also accounted for the loss of 315,000 patient records at Emory Healthcare, when 10 backup disks went missing from a storage facility at Emory University Hospital. Meanwhile at South Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services, an employee sent 228,000 Medicaid patient records to himself via email. The investigation is still ongoing, but already the employee, Christopher Lykes, was fired and arrested by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division for his malfeasance.
According to experts, these three incidents are representative of the types of consequences healthcare organizations face when they fail to address insider threats through improved employee screening, monitoring, data controls, and security awareness training. According to Rick Dakin, CEO of the IT security consulting firm Coalfire Systems, more than half of the insider incidents his company investigates involve an insider in some way, shape, or form.
Websites Selling Stolen Cards Shutdown
International law enforcement agencies last week touted the takedown of 36 websites that were used to sell stolen debit and credit data for more than 2.5 million accounts. But how much of an impact will the takedown ultimately have on card fraud?
It's easy for cyberthieves to just take their card numbers to new domains, Klein says. "It's so way down on the fraud chain, it won't have a big impact," he says. "What we need is more effort to arrest bot developers, and then we are really hitting them where it hurts."
A U.S. law enforcement source connected to the bust says that while investigators are combing through the details for connections to other ongoing cybercrime investigations, this source does not see this takedown as extremely significant. Even the amount of recovered card data is low, relative to the number of cards compromised in a typical database breach.
Apple mistake exposes passwords for Lion
Apple's latest update to OS X contains a dangerous programming error that reveals the passwords for material stored in the first version of FileVault, the company's encryption technology, a software consultant said.
David I. Emery wrote on Cryptome that a debugging switch inadvertently left on in the current release of Lion, version 10.7.3, records in clear text the password needed to open the folder encrypted by the older version of FileVault.
Users who are vulnerable are those who upgraded to Lion but are using the older version of FileVault. The debug switch will record the Lion passwords for anyone who has logged in since the upgrade to version 10.7.3, released in early February.