Dissent

Mar 262017
 

Allan Preston reports:

Hundreds of discarded financial documents have been found scattered in a Bangor alleyway.

The resident who discovered them said he suspected many contained personal information.

However, the finance company that owns the documents, NIIB, said no customer information was in the papers, and that it was investigating the issue.

Read more on Belfast Telegraph.

Mar 262017
 

I know skimmers are still a thing, even if I don’t cover most of those reports on this blog. But here’s a good reminder of why you should check your bank statements regularly. ABC reports:

Big Bear tourists and residents have fallen victims over the past couple of days to several counts of credit card fraud, according to officials.

[…]

Police have taken at least 70 reports, including one victim who had a pending fraudulent charge for $8,900.

Detectives have thus far failed to find a skimmer.

Mar 252017
 

Brenda Sapino Jeffreys reports:

Houston intellectual property and trial firm Matthews, Lawson, McCutcheon & Joseph has sued former lawyer Erik Osterrieder, alleging the patent attorney “stole and secreted off-site in his personal law firm” confidential client information, and in one instance took a client’s information and then set that client up to be represented by his personal firm.

Matthews Lawson alleged in a petition filed March 23 in the 164th District Court in Harris County, Texas, that Osterrieder operated his own firm, Osterrieder LLC, from his office at Matthews Lawson and other locations while employed full time at Matthews Lawson. The firm, which is also called MLMJ, alleged that Osterrieder denied on at least two occasions in 2016 that he was operating his own firm while at Matthews Lawson.

Read more on Law.com.

Mar 252017
 

Maxine Bernstein reports:

A Portland man accused of obtaining unauthorized access to the software supporting a zombie-themed survival video game and then creating a competitor online game faces federal indictment.

Brent Junker, who goes by the aliases “the domo” and “therussianknight” is charged with three counts of conspiracy to obtain unauthorized access to a protected computer.

[…]

Junker, 27, is accused of conspiring with others to use information stolen from Los Angeles-based OP Productions and its game called “The War Z” to create the competitor game “TWZ Emulator.”

He’s also accused of soliciting donations from players and supporters through a Paypal account.

Read more on OregonLive.

Mar 252017
 

The headline pretty much says it all. The study was conducted by an association with a self-serving interest, but here’s the press release:

The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID ) announced today the results of the largest study to date of the presence of personally identifiable information (PII) on electronic devices sold on the second hand market. The study showed that 40 percent of devices resold in publicly-available resale channels contained PII. NAID commissioned CPR Tools, Inc. to analyze the used devices, which included used hard drives, mobile phones and tablets.

The current state of electronic storage has made it possible for nearly every adult to carry a form of data storage device. “As data storage is included in nearly every aspect of technology today, so is the likelihood of unauthorized or unintended access to that data,” states CPR Tools CEO, John Benkert. He goes on to say, “Auction, resell, and recycling sites have created a convenient revenue stream in used devices; however, the real value is in the data that the public unintentionally leaves behind.”

While there have been similar studies over the past decade, the NAID study is unique insofar as the recovery process used to locate the data on more than 250 devices was, by design, not sophisticated nor was advanced forensic training required. All methods leveraged downloadable shareware.

Robert Johnson, NAID CEO, points out thatwhile this study’s results show a decrease in data found compared to past studies, “NAID employed only basic measures to extract data; imagine if we had asked our forensics agency to actually dig!” He goes on to surmise that “40 percent is horrifying when you consider the millions of devices that are recycled annually.”

PII recovered included credit card information, contact information, usernames and passwords, company and personal data, tax details, and more. While mobile phones had less recoverable PII at 13%, tablets were disturbingly found with the highest amount at 50%. PII was also found on 44% of hard drives. In total, 40% of the devices yielded PII. The study included devices that had been previously deployed in both commercial and personal environments.

Johnson cautions that the results are in no way an indictment of reputable commercial services providing secure data erasure. “We know by the ongoing audits we conduct of NAID Certified service providers that when overwriting is properly done, it is a trustworthy and effect process. The problem lies with service providers who are not qualified and, too often, with businesses and individuals who feel they can do it themselves,” he said.