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  • jkabtech 8:38 pm on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lavabit, , Snowden, Target   

    A Government Error Just Revealed Snowden Was the Target in the Lavabit Case 

    Caption: Christian Charisius/AP

    Caption: Document from the Lavabit case mistakenly made public by the government showing Edward Snowden’s email address was the target of the 2013 investigation.

    Skip Article Header. Skip to: Start of Article. snowden-AP_983291448293.jpgChristian Charisius/AP
     
  • jkabtech 9:16 pm on March 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Target   

    Tax scammers new target? Your medical records 

    Friday, 11 Mar 2016 | 9:30 AM ETCNBC.com

    Cybercriminals increasingly are using stolen medical records for other types of identity theft beyond health-care fraud, including filing fraudulent tax returns.

    Last year, almost 100 million health-care records were compromised, making them a hacker’s No. 1 target, according to a report by IBM. Now, hackers have realized “you can use those profiles for normal fraud stuff,” wrote one seller of medical records on a website shown to CNBC by IBM.

    Hackers sell the medical records to other criminals on the so-called dark Web, a portion of the Internet not indexed by search engines. In order to access these websites, you need to download a special browser.

    More than 30 breaches of health-care data involving 500 or more people have already been reported in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.

    Read MoreAs health data breaches increase, what do you have to lose?

    545861843 Tek Images | Science Photo Library | Getty Images

    Along with that bounty of personal information compromised by hackers in health-care breaches, experts expect a similar increase in tax fraud this year, possibly rising to as much as $21 billion, according to the IRS.

    In fact, the agency has suspended processing of 4.8 million suspicious returns so far this year, worth $11.8 billion, the IRS said in an email to CNBC. Among that number are 1.4 million returns with confirmed identity theft, totaling $8.7 billion.

    Some fraudulent returns do get through. The Government Accountability Office found that in 2013, the IRS paid out $5.8 billion in tax refunds where the victim’s identity was stolen.

    Read MoreTax-refund fraud to hit $21 billion, and there’s little the IRS can do

    The fake tax returns are part of how cybercriminals cash in on big breaches. They work like organized crime rings, with “specialists” for each part of the attack.

    “You have experts in different fields. There are those who are great at obtaining information. And then there are other guys, who will buy this data and use it to commit fraud,” said Etay Maor, an executive security advisor at IBM Security.

    Health-care records fetch higher prices, as much as 60 times that of stolen credit card data, because they contain much more information a cybercriminal can use.

    “Criminals want what they refer to as fulls, full information about their victim. Name, birth date, Social Security number, address, anything they can learn about their victim. All that information is in your health-care records,” said Maor.

    Part of the reason for the higher prices is that while credit card numbers can change, your Social Security number generally stays the same.

    “As long as entities use Social Security numbers to authenticate you, the criminals will have a record that is never-ending,” said Maor.

    Read MoreBe prepared: It’s tax-return fraud season

    While a Social Security number can be purchased on the dark Web for around $15, medical records fetch at least $60 per record because of that additional information, such as addresses, phone numbers and employment history. That in turn allows criminals to file fake tax returns.

    Surprisingly, the dark Web is actually easy to use, with websites resembling those of popular e-commerce sites.

    “It’s exactly like going on a store for criminals. Criminals actually take the time to write reviews about their fellow peers and how good the information they sold was,” Maor said.

    To protect yourself, Maor said avoid giving out your Social Security number, even to your doctor.

    “Every time you give information to any entity, you’re actually exposing yourself in one way or another. If your doctor asks you for your Social Security number you should not be afraid to ask why. Why do need that information to take care of me?” Maor said.

    Read MoreE-filing taxes? Watch out for fraud.

    In most cases, health-care providers do not need your Social Security number. If the doctor insists on having it, Maor suggests you ask for a changeable PIN as a substitute to authenticate you.

    Experts also advise you file your tax returns as soon as you can. Filing earlier gives criminals less time to file a fake return in your name.

    Security experts also say if you have been a victim of a health-care breach you should monitor your brokerage, bank and credit card accounts for any unusual activity.

    You should also let the three major credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — know so they can place fraud alerts on your account.

    In addition, you should take advantage of free credit monitoring that may be offered to victims of breaches.

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  • jkabtech 12:54 am on March 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Target   

    Ex-FBI official: IRS is a favorite hacking target 

    Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 | 4:27 PM ETCNBC.com

    An automated attack on the IRS’ computer systems in January used stolen personal data to create fake logins through the agency’s Electronic Filing PIN service.

    About 464,000 Social Security numbers were used in the attack on the IRS.gov system, the agency said late Tuesday, and 101,000 of those numbers allowed the attackers to get at an E-file PIN. The PIN can be used to electronically file a tax return.

    “No personal taxpayer data was compromised or disclosed by IRS systems,” the IRS said in a statement Tuesday. “The IRS also is taking immediate steps to notify affected taxpayers by mail that their personal information was used in an attempt to access the IRS application. The IRS is also protecting their accounts by marking them to protect against tax-related identity theft.”

    The IRS also said that the attack was not related to an outage of its computer systems that hampered its ability to process tax returns last week.

    “The IRS and taxpayer data is the gold standard. It’s the treasure trove of information that they’re looking for. They can do a lot with it,” said former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Wednesday.

    Though the culprit behind the attack has not yet been confirmed, the IRS is “the favorite target” of Russian criminal organizations, which were involved in previous IRS hacking attacks, Swecker added.

    Hackers in 2015 were able to access tax information for what may have been as many 338,000 victims through the IRS’ Get Transcript system, the IRS previously reported. That system allows taxpayers to pull up returns and filings from years past.

    “Taxpayer data or taxpayer returns have so much information that not only can they file false tax returns and get refunds, they can also sell that data on the black market and make an additional profit,” he said.

    Using publicly available data to authenticate taxpayers is one of the main problems with the current system, Swecker noted. People oftentimes use questions that can be answered by looking at their Facebook or LinkedIn pages, which are easily accessible to hackers.

    “This is what organized crime looks like in the year 2016. These are the most profitable, most capable criminals in the world and we’ve got to do a better job of keeping them out.”

    — NBC News contributed to this report.

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  • jkabtech 9:46 am on March 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bears, Becomes, Brunt, , , , , Target   

    North Korea Bears the Brunt of Satellite Launch- Becomes Target of Anonymous 

    A group of hackers famously known as New World Hackers (NWH)has attacked a number of state websites in North Korea.

    The group is associated with the infamous hacktivists collective Anonymous and the cyber attack seems to be prompted by the recent satellite launch from North Korea.

    NWH shut down three websites merely hours after the launch took place this Sunday. However, the group claims that it has managed to affect up to 200 websites with the attacks. The targeted sites belonged to Korea News Service (KNS) but hackers claim “these sites are definitely linked to the satellite.”

    Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.09.45 PM

    NWH is the same group who shut down HSBC bank and Donald Trump websites.

    According to a member of the group, their main motive behind these attacks “was to stop communications between the satellite and the websites, leaving the government wondering why they can’t launch a test or possibly even a real missile strike at any point in time.”

    “If you attack a site linked to a satellite that constantly updates off of that site, you’re really disrupting something somewhere. We, at least, slowed down their progress.”

    As of now, it is unclear whether the communications with the satellite was affected due to the attacks or not. Nonetheless, it has been proven that the websites were knocked offline when the attackers launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

    DDoS attack is a method in which the servers, which are responsible for hosting websites, are overloaded with multiple sources.

    Earlier in December 2015, New World Hackers conducted the biggest DDoS attack ever in which they used the “BangStresser” tool to disable all websites of the BBC for several hours.

    Also, the same group disrupted so-called Islamic State’s websites during Anonymous’ OpISIS campaign using this tool. The hackers maintain that although the group participates in certain operations launched by Anonymous and fully supports the hacktivists collective, they operate independently of Anonymous.

    North Korean launched the satellite amidst a lot of suspicion and criticism. The country defended this step but stating that the satellite has been launched for tracking weather patterns. But, the US and other countries believe that the launch is actually a ballistic missile test.

    At the time of publishing this article, all targeted sites were down.

     

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