EMV Cards Due October – It’s About Time!

EMVcardEMV or “chip and PIN” cards have a much higher level of security built right into the card, and have been in common use in Europe for over a decade.  For some reason (too expensive to implement?  Really?) the United States has continued to use the horribly insecure magnetic stripe credit card, which is why exploits like the Target Christmas card breach are even possible.

On October 1st, the United States will FINALLY join ...

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Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier – A Review

I finished Bruce Schneier’s latest contribution to the realm of corporate and governmental surveillance. This book is a great read if you want to understand just who IS spying on you. Turns out it is not just the NSA, but big corporations are collecting all data they can on customers and potential customers, and this information is sold and exchanged. Then there is the unholy alliance between corporate American and Big Government surveillance.

At the end, he recommended solutions in the ...

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IRS Breach – What To Do

irs-logoAs you have already heard, cyber-thieves from Russia have compromised the IRS Get Transcript website and were able to get records of previous years’ tax filings in order to file fraudulent returns and collect refunds.  What was special about this heist is that the IRS servers were not breached directly, but that the attackers were able to use data gathered elsewhere, from lists of identity information bought on the ...

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Alert: OPM Hack May Be Worst Ever

The recent break of the Office of Personnel Managment has been all over the news, but we haven’t written about it because we like to focus on issues our clients are facing that they can actually do something about. But if you currently have or ever received a government security clearance, this issue affects you.  This is going to prove to be one of the most serious identity theft operations of all time.  The information acquired by the attackers was impressive ...

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LinkedIn Passwords Found on Russian Site

linkedin-logoIf you are on LinkedIn, as I am, today is a good day to change your password.  It seems that about 6.5 million LinkedIn usernames an password have found their way onto a Russian cyber-crime website.  While LinkedIn initially disputed the report of security researcher Per Thorsheim, they recently admitted that they had lost control of some users’ credentials and Continue Reading →

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Smartphone Kill Switches Are Here

kill-switch-170Minnesota’s new smartphone “kill switch” law takes effect on July 1, 2015.  It requires that all smartphones sold in Minnesota come with a preinstalled kill switch or a free app which provides the same function.  A similar law in California takes effect on the same date, but requires all phones come with the app preinstalled.  Federal legislation has been proposed, but so far ...

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Personal Information: What is the Worst to Lose?

anthem-250I was reading an article on Sophos about the Anthem Healthcare breach, and putting this information together with some other articles I have read recently, and this question came to mind: what personal information is the worst to lose?  In the Anthem breach, people lost information that included their “names, dates of birth, member ID/social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email ...

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What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen

Identity theft is becoming commonplace, and many people are still confused about what to do when it happens to them.  Last year we had a couple of things happen that were concerning. The first instance was when we received a T-Mobile debit card that was ordered in a Safeway store in Silver Springs, Maryland, made out in my wife’s name, and mailed to our address in Bayport, MN.  We cancelled the card with T-Mobile off course and checked the three credit bureaus. ...

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