RealNews

Hackers Evolve From Pranksters into Profiteers

Computer identity theft has long been a fast-growing cybercrime. But increasingly, hackers are seeking profit rather than just fun. Complaints of Internet-related identity theft tripled to 1,000 last year, says the Federal Trade Commission. While that still accounts for a only fraction of the 160,000 nationwide reports of identity theft, the growth is alarming as more consumers put credit card and other financial data online. “It’s the perfect crime of the information age,” says Rich Stana, of the General Accounting Office. “The Internet gives identity thieves multiple opportunities to steal personal identifiers and gain access to financial data.” The biggest break-ins came last month, when computer intruders accessed more than 10 million Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit card account numbers from the computer system of a third-party payment company. No theft occurred. Also last month, a computer-science student allegedly hacked a University of Texas database and swiped the Social Security numbers of more than 55,000 students, employees and former students, county prosecutors said. Authorities last week charged Christopher Andrew Phillips, 20, with unlawful access to a protected computer and unlawful use of a means of identification. Phillips told officials he had no intention of using the information to harm anyone, according to court papers. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.