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Category Archives: ID Theft

Victims of Identity Theft, 2014

Victims of Identity Theft, 2014 – Erika Harrell, Ph.D., – BJS Statistician

“An estimated 17.6 million persons, or about 7 percent of U.S. residents age 16 or older, were victims of at least one incident of identity theft in 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. These statistics were similar to those in 2012. Identity theft is the attempted or successful misuse of an existing account, such as a debit or credit card account, the misuse of personal information to open a new account or the misuse of personal information for other fraudulent purposes, such as obtaining government benefits or providing false information to police during a crime or traffic stop. In 2014, the most common type of identity theft was the unauthorized misuse or attempted misuse of an existing account—experienced by 16.4 million persons. Victims may have experienced multiple types of identity theft. An estimated 8.6 million victims experienced the fraudulent use of a credit card, 8.1 million experienced the unauthorized or attempted use of existing bank accounts (checking, savings or other) and 1.5 million victims experienced other types of existing account theft, such as misuse or attempted misuse of an existing telephone, online or insurance account. Most identity theft victims discovered the incident when a financial institution contacted them about suspicious activity (45 percent) or when they noticed fraudulent charges on an account (18 percent). The majority of identity theft victims did not know how the offender obtained their information, and 9 in 10 identity theft victims did not know anything about the offender. Two-thirds of identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss. Victims whose personal information was misused or who had a new account opened in their name experienced greater out-of-pocket financial losses than those who had an existing credit card or bank account compromised. About 14 percent of identity theft victims experienced an out-of-pocket loss of $1 or more. Of those, about half suffered losses of $99 or less and 14 percent lost $1,000 or more. The majority of identity theft victims (52 percent) were able to resolve any problems associated with the incident in a day or less, while about 9 percent spent more than a month. Victims who spent more time resolving the associated problems were more likely to experience problems with work and personal relationships and severe emotional distress than victims who resolved the problems relatively quickly. Among identity theft victims who spent six months or more resolving financial and credit problems due to the theft, 29 percent experienced severe emotional distress, while 4 percent who spent a day or less experienced such distress. In 2014, fewer than one in 10 identity theft victims reported the incident to police. The majority (87 percent) of identity theft victims contacted a credit card company or bank to report misuse or attempted misuse of an account or personal information, while 8 percent contacted a credit bureau.”

OPM, DoD Announce Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring Contract

OPN News Release: ” The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the award of a $133,263,550 contract to Identity Theft Guard Solutions LLC, doing business as ID Experts, for identity theft protection services for 21.5 million individuals whose personal information was stolen in one of theContinue Reading

EY, LANL make new cybersecurity tools available to private sector

News release: “Ernst & Young LLP and Los Alamos National Laboratory have formed a strategic alliance to deliver some of the most advanced behavioral cybersecurity tools available to the commercial market. “Cybersecurity attacks are ever more frequent and more sophisticated, and they destroy the trust needed to conduct business,” said Duncan McBranch, Chief Technology OfficerContinue Reading

FCW obtained official timeline of OPM data breach “An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data and the government’s step-by-step response. It illuminates a sequence of events that lawmakers have struggled to pin down in public hearings with Obama administration officials. The timeline makes clear that the heist of dataContinue Reading

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft

CRS report vai FAS – Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft – Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law. August 20, 2015. “Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for two years or by imprisonment for five years if it relates to a terrorism offense. At least thusContinue Reading

Report on How Shadowy Cyberlocker Businesses Use Credit Card Companies to Make Millions

Behind the Cyberlocker Door: A Report on How Shadowy Cyberlocker Businesses Use Credit Card Companies to Make Millions A NetNames Report for Digital Citizens Alliance “As a society, we can no longer shrug off content theft as the isolated activity of high school and college students who want to watch a movie or listen toContinue Reading

Govt posts Request for Quotations in response to massive employee data breach -“At long last, vendors can size up the official requirements for protecting the identities of 21.5 million affected by the Office of Personnel Management background check breach. The full load could be more like 28 million, and whoever wins will have to let the feds inside their own databases. Quotations are due Aug. 14Continue Reading

White Paper – Comparing Expert and Non-Expert Security Practices

Google Online Security Blog: “Today, you can find more online security tips in a few seconds than you could use in a lifetime. While this collection of best practices is rich, it’s not always useful; it can be difficult to know which ones to prioritize, and why. Questions like ‘Why do people make some securityContinue Reading

Handing Over the Keys to the Castle

Handing Over the Keys to the Castle – OPM Demonstrated that Antiquated Security Practices Harm National Security. Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology. July 2015. “In this digital age, information is secured, coveted, and exfiltrated by nation states, hacktivists, and ambitious actors because, now more than ever, knowledge is power. Modern needs dictate that only authorizedContinue Reading

GAO Report – Recent Data Breaches Illustrate Need for Strong Controls across Federal Agencies

Cybersecurity: Recent Data Breaches Illustrate Need for Strong Controls across Federal Agencies, GAO-15-725T: Published: Jun 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2015 “GAO has identified a number of challenges federal agencies face in addressing threats to their cybersecurity, including the following: Designing and implementing a risk-based cybersecurity program. Enhancing oversight of contractors providing IT services.Continue Reading

State-by-State Listing of Data Loss and Freedom of Information Legislation

DataLossDB – Open Security Foundation: “In order to request data breach notification reports from governments, several critieria need to exist. The state must have Freedom of Information or Open Records legislation. The state must have Breach Notification legislation, and the state must require notifications to a centralized authority (like an Attorney General, or a ConsumerContinue Reading

New Study – Americans Losing Battle on Privacy Rights

The Tradeoff Fallacy – How Marketers Are Misrepresenting American Consumers and Opening Them Up to Exploitation – Joseph Turow, Ph.D.; Michael Hennessy, Ph.D; Nora Draper, Ph.D. June 2015. A Report from the Anneberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. “New Annenberg survey results indicate that marketers are misrepresenting a large majority of Americans by claiming thatContinue Reading