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Category Archives: ID Theft

Wharton – After Equifax, Can Our Data Ever Be Safe?

Follow up to previous posting – Equifax is one of many companies that collect information about you – via [email protected] – “In the annals of data breaches, the Equifax hacking stands alone due to its sheer scale: Digital thieves traipsed through the personal information of 143 million Americans for several months to do with it as they pleased. “It is quite possibly the most serious data breach we’ve ever had in terms of its potential cost,” says Gerald Faulhaber, Wharton professor emeritus of business economics and public policy. “Whoever hacked it, wherever these things end up, this could be costing U.S. consumers billions of dollars over the next decade. It’s terrible.” What makes the breach especially risky for consumers is that Equifax — one of three national credit bureaus — held in one place crucial personal information regularly accessed by lenders, banks, credit card companies and other entities to assess one’s creditworthiness and do things like assign applicable interest rates. At the center of this data is the Social Security number (SSN), which consumers need in order to take out loans, get a job and perform other key activities. “If someone gets my Social Security number, there’s a lot of things they can do,” Faulhaber says. “That’s one of the things that make this a very dangerous hack…”

FTC alerts consumers about post Equifax scams

Ring, ring. “This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.” Stop. Don’t tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue. That’s just one scam you might see after Equifax’s recent data breach. Other calls might try to trick you into giving your personal… Continue Reading

CRS – Justice Department’s Role in Cyber Incident Response

Via EveryCRSReport.com: Justice Department’s Role in Cyber Incident Response August 23, 2017 R44926. “Criminals and other malicious actors increasingly rely on the Internet and rapidly evolving technology to further their operations. In cyberspace, criminals can compromise financial assets, hacktivists can flood websites with traffic—effectively shutting them down, and spies can steal intellectual property and government… Continue Reading

Equifax hack may have breached personal data on half the US population w/ updates

CNET: “…According to Equifax, which released a statement today, the company’s database was breached through a vulnerability on its website, exposing the personal information of an estimated 143 million people, including some in the UK and Canada….Equifax has set up its own program to help people find out if they were one of the millions… Continue Reading

GAO reports continuing security controls for protecting confidentiality of taxpayer data

Information Security: Control Deficiencies Continue to Limit IRS’s Effectiveness in Protecting Sensitive Financial and Taxpayer Data, GAO-17-395: Published: Jul 26, 2017. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2017. “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made progress in addressing previously reported control deficiencies; however, continuing and newly identified control deficiencies limited the effectiveness of security controls for protecting the… Continue Reading

Your Social Security Number is a major target of ID theft – government has yet to implement an alternative

Social Security Numbers: OMB Actions Needed to Strengthen Federal Efforts to Limit Identity Theft Risks by Reducing Collection, Use, and Display, GAO-17-553: Published: Jul 25, 2017. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2017. “Governmentwide initiatives aimed at eliminating the unnecessary collection, use, and display of Social Security Numbers (SSN) have been underway in response to recommendations that… Continue Reading

Number of Employment-Related Identity Theft Victims Is Significantly Greater Than Identified

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration – The Number of Employment-Related Identity Theft Victims Is Significantly Greater Than Identified, June 20, 2017, Reference Number: 2017-40-031.”Employment-related identity theft (hereafter referred to as employment identity theft) occurs when an identity thief uses another person’s identity to gain employment. Taxpayers may first realize they are a victim when… Continue Reading

Gov’t replacing Social Security numbers on Medicare cards to protect against identity theft

“What’s the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI)? The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, requires us to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions… Continue Reading

Social Security Numbers: OMB and Federal Efforts to Reduce Collection, Use, and Display

Social Security Numbers: OMB and Federal Efforts to Reduce Collection, Use, and Display, GAO-17-655T: Published: May 23, 2017. Publicly Released: May 23, 2017 In its draft report, GAO noted that several governmentwide initiatives aimed at eliminating the unnecessary collection, use, and display of Social Security numbers (SSN) have been underway in response to recommendations that the presidentially… Continue Reading

States With the Most (and Least) Identity Theft

“The risk of identity theft in the United States continues to rise. The incidence of such crimes rose consistently over the  last decade, from 246,214 in 2006 to 399,225 last year. The rate of identity theft varies considerably between states. Using the Federal Trade Commission’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the… Continue Reading

Paper – Cybersecurity, Identify Theft, and Standing Law

Chou, James C., Cybersecurity, Identify Theft, and Standing Law: A Framework for Data Breaches Using Substantial Risk in a Post-Clapper World (December 15, 2016). National Security Law Brief, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2938692 “Since Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, many courts have shut the door on victims alleging a heightened risk… Continue Reading

Javelin 2017 Identity Fraud Study

“The 2017 Identity Fraud Study released today by Javelin Strategy & Research (@JavelinStrategy), revealed that the number of identity fraud victims increased by sixteen percent (rising to 15.4 million U.S. consumers) in the last year, a record high since Javelin Strategy & Research began tracking identity fraud in 2003. The study found that despite the… Continue Reading