Monday, February 22, 2010

Cyber Threats- They are real

(See passport story further down)


Massive ID theft ring unraveling

Updated: Sunday, 21 Feb 2010, 10:14 PM MST

"ALBUQUERQUE - A massive identity theft ring in Albuquerque is unraveling.

From stolen credit cards to car break-ins, investigators told News 13 Sunday this is a complicated case with a large cast of characters.

Four suspects made their first appearance in Metropolitan Court Sunday.

Adrian Gallegos, Daniele Pedrol, Charles Taylor and Lauran Wellborn are accused of being a part of what investigators call one of the largest, if not the largest, identity theft rings in the city’s history."

This is just one example of ID theft in the US and around the world.

"The suspects are accused of scamming Albertsons grocery stores, Bank of the West locations, and Wal-Mart stores, just to name a few."

"Investigators say ring members would steal documents and information from people, then print fake checks and credit cards. Deputies believe more than 20 people were involved in the operation."

Be very careful in your lives! Protect your personal information. Freeze your credit ratings.

Shield your passport in aluminum foil when traveling it has an RFID chip that transmits all your personal ID information. State has proposed new security measures but I don't trust them

From the US State Department - "The U.S. Electronic Passport (e-passport) is the same as a regular passport with the addition of a small contactless integrated circuit (computer chip) embedded in the back cover. The chip securely stores the same data visually displayed on the photo page of the passport, and additionally includes a digital photograph. The inclusion of the digital photograph enables biometric comparison, through the use of facial recognition technology, at international borders. The U.S. e-passport also has a new look, incorporating additional anti-fraud and security features."

Here is what the new passports are supposed to have but I have an older one (one year) so mine will be vulnerable for MANY years to scammers staling the information. Wrap yours in aluminum foil or special passport pouches you can buy!

Comments on proposed new passport security measures - "The most important feature they've included is an access-control system for the RFID chip. The data on the chip is encrypted, and the key is printed on the passport. The officer swipes the passport through an optical reader to get the key, and then the RFID reader uses the key to communicate with the RFID chip. This means that the passport-holder can control who has access to the information on the chip; someone cannot skim information from the passport without first opening it up and reading the information inside. Good security.

The new design also includes a thin radio shield in the cover, protecting the chip when the passport is closed. More good security." From "Schneier on Security" blog.

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