Saturday, 01 October 2016 22:49

This Week in Identity Crime: 10/01/2016

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This Week in Identity Crime: 10/01/2016

The week's identity crime news includes the massive breach of customer account data at Yahoo, the lack of awareness among students about theft of their identity, the failure of the IRS to notify victims of employment-related ID theft, and cyberattacks targeting WordPress websites. Also in the news were stories of child identity theft, an organized identity crime ring operating in New Hampshire, and the increase in identity theft among the owners of high-value, urban properties in the United Kingdom.

 

Millions of Accounts Stolen from Yahoo in 2014

The Internet company Yahoo confirmed that at least 500 million user accounts were stolen in one of the biggest cybersecurity breaches in history. According to Yahoo, there are suspicions that a “state-sponsored actor” - a person taking action on behalf of a government - may be behind the data breach.

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Research Indicates Students Rarely Detect ID Theft Themselves

A study by Javelin Strategy and Research found that students represent the population least likely to find out about their own identity theft. According to Javelin, 22 percent of students in 2014 received notification that they were victims of identity crime, usually when contacted by a debt collector or being denied credit.

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U.S. Internal Revenue Service Failed to Issue Alerts of Employment-Related ID Theft

Between February 2011 and December 2015, over one million tax-paying victims of employment-related identity theft were not notified of the theft by the Internal Revenue Service. The Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration reported that the agency also failed to create a way to alert the Social Security Administration of earnings that are not linked with identity theft victims.

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Cyber Attackers Breach Thousands of WordPress Websites

Security researchers have found that nearly 16,000 WordPress websites were compromised in 2016 by hackers who eaded the safe browsing checks of Google. Additionally, almost 3,100 Joomla! Websites were breached during the same period. About 75 percent of all the hacked sites were compromised through backdoors placed there by malicious actors.

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Millions of Children Victimized by Identity Thieves Every Year

Children are the most recent victims of identity crime and usually are unaware of the problem. In some cases, the theft does not become known for 15 or more years. ID thieves target the clean credit histories of children, using their Social Security numbers to commit fraud.

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ID Crime Ring in New Hampshire Discovered

Police in Merrimack, New Hampshire, arrested members of a crime ring that made use of stolen identities and packages to commit credit card fraud. The thieves used stolen ID information to order merchandise and have the packages delivered to random addresses under unrelated names. The ring was based in New York, but operated in New Hampshire as part of a “very organized” criminal endeavor.

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Owners of Trendy Apartments in UK Targeted by Identity Thieves

Experian, the credit checking agency, reports that the owners of high-value real estate in the United Kingdom's urban areas are increasingly becoming victims of identity theft. People in UK urban centers with high-paying jobs represent ten percent of all ID mortgage fraud in 2016, compared with seven percent in 2015.

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