CTV.ca News Staff – “FBI tackles largest hacking case in U.S. history”

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080807/ID_theft_080807/20080807?hub=SciTech

FBI tackles largest hacking case in U.S. history

CTV.ca News Staff | August 7, 2008

Nearly a dozen people have been arrested in what U.S. officials are calling the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted in the country.

Eleven people from around the world have been arrested and charged in connection with a slew of well-organized electronic break-ins that has seen more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers stolen.

The charges include conspiracy, computer intrusion to fraud and identity theft.

The company that operates Winners and HomeSense stores in Canada fell victim to the thefts.

The arrests came after a hacker was caught in Miami. In exchange for a lighter sentence, the man gave the FBI some names of the people he worked with. Investigators probed the matter until arrests were made in the U.S., Ukraine, China, Estonia and Belarus.

Computer hackers have stepped up their game, says security expert Rob Siciliano, turning identity theft and credit fraud into a very profitable venture.

“(Hackers) were previously searching fun and fame, now it’s financial gain,” he told Canada AM Thursday. “They’re actually making more money now than the illegal drug trade. Organized web mobs throughout the world are making billions and billions of dollars every single year.”

Rapidly-advancing technology has also changed the way the game is played, forcing the security industry to always operate a few steps behind.

Siciliano said consumers shouldn’t be fooled — there is not such thing as a safe and secure database.

“Speed of technology has far outpaced the necessary safety and security to keep all of our information safe,” he said in the interview from Boston. “There is no such thing as a 100 per cent secure database. The information will always be vulnerable. Security is a journey, not a destination, not a place you ever arrive to.”

Siciliano said customers need to do what they can to protect themselves and that includes:

  • Checking each bank and credit card statement thoroughly each month
  • Signing up for fraud alerts on credits so that new accounts need stringent authorization before being processed
  • Report erroneous charges to the bank or credit card company right away
  • Be discreet and aware when entering bank passwords or giving out credit card info
  • Do a credit check in your name regularly throughout the year
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Published in: on August 9, 2008 at 11:42 AM  Leave a Comment  

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