Archives For Hackers
I most certainly don’t agree with Clay Aiken or anyone else that feels that he is right. While I would certainly never pose nude and put it on my computer, what someone does with their own bodies, in their own home, on their own computer, is their right. It’s not their fault that there is always some sick minded individual waiting in the darkness to wreak havoc upon unsuspecting innocent victims. It’s comments such as Clay’s that gives criminals the support they need to continue on with their illegal endeavours. Most often criminals get away clean with their actions or just get a slap on the hands. My suggestions for the victims moving forward, is to revert back to polaroid shots and put your photos in a safe.
The unfortunate reality in today’s world is that the internet is the newest target of many that will keep criminals going for decades to come. We all need to think of more ways to protect ourselves. The celebrity victims have done nothing wrong. No one wants to cry victim, but in this case they are in fact victims. I suggest now however that now since everyones eyes are now, don’t let this continue. Become well informed and the one who learns from their mistakes.
Clay, et. al. statements such as the one you made are unfair and insensitive and can send the wrong message. Sensitivity would be more appropriate and maybe giving suggestions on how people could make safer choices moving forward. While they are indeed adults, there are no perfect people and people make mistakes. We are all learning something new each day about how society is changing. That society now includes something we didn’t have years ago, and that is the World Wide Web and it has become home to those with too much extra time on their hands, so much so they use it to disrupt the lives of the innocent. More energy should be spent on trying to find ways to protect internet users from criminals. Clay, as someone seeking political office maybe that is something you should add to your agenda! Felina Silver Robinson
Target: 40 million credit cards at risk
Target says anyone who made purchases by swiping cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards.
The data breach did not affect online purchases, the company said.
Here are some answers to the most common questions about the theft:
Q: I shopped at Target during that time. What should I do?
A: Check your credit card statements carefully. If you see suspicious charges, report the activity to your credit card companies and call Target at 866-852-8680. You can report cases of identity theft to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.
You can get more information about identity theft on the FTC’s website at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by calling the FTC, at (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338).
Q: How did the breach occur?
A: Target isn’t saying how it happened. Industry experts note that companies such as Target spend millions of dollars each year on credit card security, making a theft of this magnitude particularly alarming.
Experts disagree about how the breach might have happened.
Avivah Litan, a security analyst with Gartner Research, says given all the security, she believes the breach may have been an inside job.
But thefts of this size are too big to be the work of company employees, says Ken Stasiak, founder and CEO of Secure State, a Cleveland-based information security firm that investigates data breaches like this one. Stasiak says that such breaches are generally perpetrated by organized crime or an overseas, state-sponsored hacker group.
Stasiak’s theory is that the hackers were able to breach Target’s main information hub and then wrote a code that gave them access to the company’s point of sale system and all of its cash registers. That access allowed the hackers to capture the data from shoppers’ cards as they were swiped.
James Lyne, global head of security research for the computer security firm Sophos, says something clearly went wrong with Target’s security measures.
“Forty million cards stolen really shows a substantial security failure,” he says. “This shouldn’t have happened.”
Q: Who pays if there are fraudulent charges on my account?
A: The good news is in most cases consumers aren’t on the hook for fraudulent charges.
Credit card companies are often able to flag the charges before they go through and shutdown your card. If that doesn’t happen, the card issuer will generally strip charges you claim are fraudulent off your card immediately.
And since the fraud has been tied to Target, it’ll be the retailer that ultimately compensates the banks and credit card companies.
Q: How can I protect myself?
A: Like they say, cash is king. You can only lose what you’re carrying, though admittedly many people may not feel safe walking around with a wad of bills in their pocket.
As stated before, credit card companies don’t hold consumers liable for charges they don’t make. Usually the worst thing consumers have to deal with is the hassle of getting a new credit card.
And the paper trail generated through credit card transactions can often make it easier do things such as return items you’ve purchased, or keep track of work-related expenses.
It’s worth noting that while debit cards offer many of the same perks as credit cards, without the worry that you’ll spend more than what’s in your bank account, they often don’t come with the same kind fraud protections.
As a result, those card holders may have a tougher time getting their money back if their number is stolen.
Q: How much is this going to cost Target?
A: It’s too soon to tell. In addition to the fraud-related losses, banks may start charging Target a higher merchant discount rate, which is the amount retailers pay banks for providing debit and credit card services. While the percentage difference may be tiny, it could result in steep costs given the volume of transactions Target does, Litan says.
Litan added that the company could also face class action lawsuits from consumers, though most of them will be meritless, and fines from federal agencies. When combined, the costs of the breach could be so steep that they actually prompt Target to raise prices, she says.
“The real winner in this is Wal-Mart,” she says.
Q: Can the bad guys be caught?
A: Stasiak says that given the sophistication of this attack, there’s only about a 5 percent chance that the perpetrators will eventually be caught and prosecuted.
He notes that in cases like this, it’s hard to determine where the attack originated and given the large mass of information involved it’s not going to be found housed on someone’s home computer.
Q: How can future breaches be prevented?
A: Litan says an easy way to prevent fraud would be to eliminate the use of easily cloned magnetic strip cards and upgrade to the kind of microchip technology used in most other parts of the world.
But she says banks have pushed back against the idea, because the microchip cards cost significantly more than the magnetic strip version and changing over all the country’s ATMs could drive the total costs into the billions of dollars.
Lyne says it’s unclear if the use of microchip cards would have prevented the Target breach, since it’s unclear how it happened, but that it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Q: Why is the Secret Service investigating?
A: While it’s most famous for protecting the president, the Secret Service also is responsible for protecting the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems. As a result, it has broad jurisdiction over a wide variety of financial crimes. It isn’t uncommon for the agency to investigate major thefts involving credit card information.