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In chips we trust: "data supermarket". Stored, stolen, sold: “They took money fr my credit card & told me I use stolen cards"


By WcP.Humor - Posted on 17 July 2015


A data leak has resulted in around a million dollars worth of Woolworths gift cards needing to be cancelled. When Jason Wang checked the balance on his gift cards he found some had already been spent in Sydney stores.

*update* 11 August 2015
WashingtonPost - By breaking into the wire services, some of Wall Street's most vital and unnoticed information hubs, investigators said the hackers and traders were able to defraud investors on a massive scale while leaving no public trace, a worrying development for the increasingly intricate networks that keep the financial world online. With advance details on financial performance and corporate mergers from dozens of companies — including Bank of America, Boeing, Ford Motor, Home Depot, defense contractor Northrop Grumman and Smith & Wesson — the team made rapid and lucrative trades from shared brokerage accounts, funneling the money through shell companies and offshore bank accounts in Estonia and Macau... the sophisticated hacks targeted not just people's identities, but corporate intelligence, targeting a core vulnerability of the financial system in one of the digital age's most sprawling insider-trading schemes, and some hackers and traders were even aided by former broker-dealers. “The traders were market-savvy, using equities and options … to maximize their profits”, ...pocketed more than $100 million from illicit trades.

*update* 4 August 2015
dailymail.co.uk - Medical company loses private information of 3.9million people - Private information including addresses and social security numbers of 3.9million people. Authorities have now warned those affected to freeze credit for fear that their details may have been used for financial fraud in their name.

*update* 4 August 2015

A 40-year-old St. Louis woman has spent months trying to convince credit reporting companies that she is, in fact, alive. Goree’s suit, filed last week in federal court, says she found a “deceased” notation on her credit files in the summer of 2013. Such a notice can appear when a creditor informs a reporting agency that one of its customers has died. "Wow. Words can't really explain how I felt," she said. "It was just emotional."

She said she had to deal with several rejections from credit card companies and local businesses because the credit reporting firms insisted she was dead. "Anything that would require monthly payments," she said, "I was only able to purchase with cash."

(quote)

CBS July 15, 2015 - Report: Pa. Making Millions By Selling Drivers’ Personal information: gender, license class, expiration date, and up to 10 years of traffic violations. $9 per driver: the practice grossed $41 million for the Commonwealth in June, hitting a 5-year high.
Pennsylvania is selling drivers’ personal information to insurance companies, credit businesses, and employers at $9 per driver. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the sold information includes gender, license class, expiration date, and up to 10 years of traffic violations.

The practice grossed $41 million for the Commonwealth in June, hitting a five-year high. “In general, people don’t like it when companies, or in this case, government agencies, sell their data… Why should you be able to make money off of my data?” Carnegie Mellon University Professor Lorrie Cranor, who runs the school’s privacy engineering program, told the Trib.

Are You One of Millions of Americans Affected by Medical Identity Theft? "It's a nightmare for victims and they can't get anywhere." it can cost victims $13,000 or more on average to get their credit issues fixed, so he agreed with Schwartz that the only solution is to sue the hospitals or whoever is asking victims for money. Medical identity theft is a growing trend, with an estimated 2.3 million Americans victimized in 2014 alone. You've surely heard of identity theft. But what about medical identity theft? That's when thieves use your name or your health insurance numbers to go see a doctor, get prescriptions, file claims with your insurance provider or get other care.

Medical identity theft is a growing trend, with an estimated 2.3 million Americans victimized in 2014 alone, according to the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance. Attorneys Richard St. Paul and David Schwartz appeared on "America's News Headquarters" to weigh on if victims can end up being liable for fraudulent charges and what action they can take. Schwartz said there's a chain of liability in this kind of identity theft, including insurance companies, credit reporting bureaus and the victims, whose credit can often be destroyed.

"Now you have the victims, they're being charged with all these medical expenses. They're not paying it because they don't even know about it, so now their credit is going down, and they're trying to undo this horrible situation," Schwartz explained. "It's a nightmare for victims and they can't get anywhere." He asserted that the only solution for victims is to sue in federal court. St. Paul said that it can cost victims $13,000 or more on average to get their credit issues fixed, so he agreed with Schwartz that the only solution is to sue the hospitals or whoever is asking victims for money. He added that you can help catch medical identity theft by keeping a close eye on your credit reports and medical records.

News.com.au - Woolworths gift card email glitch worth $1 million sparks spending spree after data leak. One customer told Fairfax he’d been embarrassed in public attempting to purchase groceries on Saturday after staff told him the vouchers were stolen. “They took my money from my credit card and told me I was using stolen cards. I could not take the trolley of groceries home as I did not have enough money to pay,” he said.

WOOLWORTHS has become embroiled in a $1 million spending debacle after the codes of almost 8000 gift cards — complete with customer data — were sent in a spreadsheet to 1000 people. The spreadsheet with a downloadable link to 7,941 vouchers were worth $1,308,505 — and anyone who got the email was able to access the cash, Fairfax Media reported. The result: when customers went to redeem their vouchers they found them already spent by people who had gone shopping on the glitch. The trouble started when customers purchased a Groupon deal offering Big W eGift cards at a discount. The cards were also usable at Woolworths online and Caltex. Customers were told to expect an email with an attachment with the voucher, but what they got was the data-laiden spreadsheet instead.

One customer told Fairfax he’d been embarrassed in public attempting to purchase groceries on Saturday after staff told him the vouchers were stolen. “They took my money from my credit card and told me I was using stolen cards. I could not take the trolley of groceries home as I did not have enough money to pay,” he said. Canberra resident Jason Wang told Fairfax Media several vouchers he’d bought, worth $200 each, had been spent near Sydney. In a statement to Fairfax, Woolworths said it took concerns seriously.

SMH.com.au - Woolworths leaks $1 million of gift cards in massive data breach debacle - Grocery giant Woolworths has scrambled to cancel over $1 million worth of shopping vouchers after a massive leak of customer data, in which it mistakenly emailed the redeemable codes of 8000 gift cards containing the customers' names and email addresses. Shoppers found their email addresses leaked and gift cards already spent.

Newsonjapan.com - The Japan Pension Service on Monday announced the results of its investigation into the leak of 1.25 million cases of personal data. Japan's public pension management body says the personal data leak caused by a hacking attack affected more than one million people in every prefecture. The Japan Pension Service on Monday announced the results of its investigation into the leak of 1.25 million cases of personal data. Since the organization disclosed the problem earlier this month, officials have whittled down the number of those affected by identifying cases of duplicated data and those involving the deceased. They now say hackers stole the personal data of one million 14,600 people. A little over half are pensioners.

ABC.net.au - Tens of thousands of South Koreans have flooded banks and call centres to cancel credit cards following the unprecedented theft of the personal data of at least 20 million people (in a country of 50 million). Financial regulators announced that at least 20 million people had been victims of the data theft.

Since Monday, more than 1.15 million victims of the country's largest-ever leak of private financial information have cancelled their credit cards permanently or requested new ones, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The panic has its roots in the arrest earlier this month of an employee from personal credit ratings firm Korea Credit Bureau, on charges of stealing and selling data from customers of three credit card firms while working as a temporary consultant.

Financial regulators announced that at least 20 million people - in a country of 50 million - had been victims of the data theft. The data stolen from the internal servers of KB Kookmin Card, Lotte Card and NH Nonghyup Card included names, social security numbers, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, credit card numbers and expiration dates. The three firms deployed thousands of extra workers to branches and call centres to handle the complaints and cancellations that poured in when the extent of the scam became apparent.

"We've been totally overwhelmed for the past two days," said one official at KB Kookmin Card. Social networking sites and major Internet portals were deluged with complaints about the long wait at bank branches and problems with paralysed websites and call centres. "I tried the call centre for more than six hours with no success, and eventually had to go to the bank to wait nearly an hour to cancel my credit card," said one NH Nonghyup customer.

60 Minutes - 'today it’s a multibillion-dollar industry because of the sheer volume of data available.' - 'No one even knows how many companies there are trafficking in our data'
A wealth of information exists in commercial databases detailing who you are, what you buy and where you go. While amassing information about people in order to better market to them isn’t new, today it’s a multibillion-dollar industry because of the sheer volume of data available. “No one even knows how many companies there are trafficking in our data,” reports 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft.

“But it’s certainly in the thousands and would include research firms, all sorts of Internet companies, advertisers, retailers and trade associations. The largest data broker is Acxiom, a marketing giant that brags it has on average 1,500 pieces of information on more than 200 million Americans.”

The information these companies are gathering includes not just your name and contact details, but things you might not want anyone to know such as your sexual orientation, religion and medical conditions — all of which could even be made available to a prospective employer trying to decide whether to hire you.

April 24 2008 - "data supermarkets": Credit Card Numbers for Sale - How much does a Visa or MasterCard number go for these days?Security experts at the InfoSecurity Europe conference are drawing attention to "data supermarkets" that sell stolen credit card numbers for a fixed price. According to a BBC story, "credit card details are cheap" on the black market while "the logfiles of big companies can go for up to $300." How much is my credit card number worth on the Internet? Symantec researchers found bank account numbers going for anywhere from $10 to $1,000, and "full identities"—which include date of birth, address, and social security and telephone numbers—selling for between $1 and $15 a pop.
Advertisement

60 Minutes - Who is gathering your personal information
Credit card companies
(What you can do: Pay cash for things you don’t want anyone knowing you buy.)
Cellular carriers
Cable and satellite companies
Retailers
(“Asking for the ZIP code at the gas pump is security-related, What you can do: Refuse to provide a ZIP code or offer a fake one unless you’re at a gas pump.”
Your vehicle
Data brokers

The bottom line -
The bottom line is that your personal information is most assuredly being collected and stored. Let that sink in: Just take a minute to think about whom knows what you’re doing at any given moment and whether you care if your actions are being recorded. Do you trust the company you’re doing business with to keep your data private? If not, only you can decide if the convenience of using your phone or making a purchase is worth the risk of making that information public.

The United States one-dollar bill ($1) - The inclusion of the motto, "In God We Trust," on all currency was required by law in 1955, and first appeared on paper money in 1957. The United States one-dollar bill ($1) is a denomination of United States currency. The first U.S. President (1789–97), George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart, is currently featured on the obverse, while the Great Seal of the United States is featured on the reverse (back). The one-dollar bill has the oldest design of all U.S. currency currently being produced. The design seen today debuted in 1963 when it was first issued as a Federal Reserve Note (previously, one dollar bills were Silver Certificates). The inclusion of the motto, "In God We Trust," on all currency was required by law in 1955, and first appeared on paper money in 1957.

(unquote)

Image courtesy Wikipedia, Quinn Rooney / Getty Images, and SMH.com.au

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