Buying fake IDs online put teens’ information at risk

The students got a driver's license that officials say can fool border patrol and airport security. And ID Chief got a cache of personal info they auctioned off to the highest bidder.

It seemed like a harmless way to score some beer. But prosecutors say the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., teens who handed over their names, birth dates, pictures, and signatures to a China-based company in exchange for sophisticated fake IDs are in for a lifetime of debt.

City police announced April 3 the arrests of 14 teenagers, most of them Saratoga Springs High School students, who purchased phony IDs through the now-defunct website ID Chief.

Along with a money order for $75, police said, the teens wired their personal information overseas to people in the business of stealing identities.…Read More

Universities use tool to battle student ID theft

Data security crimes jumped by 47 percent from 2007 to 2008.
Data security crimes jumped by 47 percent from 2007 to 2008.

College students have to know which data are most vulnerable before they can protect their Social Security numbers, passwords, and online banking personal identification numbers. The creators of a new software program that fights identity theft say it can do just that—and some of the most respected universities are listening.

Identity Finder, a tool now marketed free of charge to college students, thoroughly scans a computer’s internet browser, files, eMail, attachments, and a range of other programs to find information that would prove most vulnerable to hackers.

The program isolates these bits of information and gives students options for how to secure each item: removing them piece by piece, scrubbing irrelevant data, or encrypting sensitive files for safe storage.…Read More

No known identity theft from virus on OU computer

A virus infiltrated an Oklahoma University employee’s laptop that had names and Social Security numbers of OU students. No identity theft has been reported, but at least one OU student is upset that it took two weeks to learn of the virus attack, reports the Oklahoman. OU architecture student Kelsey Krueger said she learned of the threat on June 24 when the OU bursar’s office sent her and other students a message about the incident and what to do about it. On June 10, the OU information technology department identified the virus, commonly known as Zeus of Zbod, and the data it might have compromised. Krueger said she spoke to “eight or nine” people at the bursar’s, admissions, and information technology offices to try and find out how widespread and dangerous the breach actually was. “Fourteen days had gone by; who knows what could have happened?” she said. “Computer viruses can happen to anybody; it’s common, and that’s not the university’s fault. It’s just that they waited so long to tell us about something this serious, and then I wasted my time trying to get answers.” On July 12, OU’s Information Technology Department sent a mass eMail reminding faculty and staff about the dangers of viruses and malware and offered tips on protecting themselves. “Information was provided on how to obtain free initial fraud alerts,” said Catherine Bishop, OU’s vice president of communication, “and the university offered to pay the cost of an additional year after the initial alert expires, if the person so desires…”

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