Identity Theft Movie: Lots of laughs, but not always accurate

By | February 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|

identity_theifLast week a group of CSID employees visited a popular Austin movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse, to catch a private showing of “Identity Thief,” the new comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman. It was a fun outing with our co-workers, but of course, being in the identity and data protection business, we couldn’t help but point out a few items the movie didn’t get quite right.

Much of the movie’s plot centers around Jason Bateman’s character going to find the woman who stole his identity so he can bring her back to Colorado where she can be arrested for the identity theft. In most cases, the thief and the person whose identity was stolen do not meet, nor is there a need to make them physically present to be charged with the crime. A majority of identity theft is done from countries outside of the U.S., making it even more difficult to track and catch an identity thief.

In the movie, Melissa McCarthy’s character goes on wild shopping sprees, using her stolen identity to rack up giant bills. While that certainly still happens, identity theft now focuses more around your online accounts and personal information versus your credit cards. We’ve found that an email and password combination can be as valuable to cyber criminals as a social security number. Getting into your online accounts, such as an or banking account, can be more lucrative to them than a stolen credit card or two.

Regardless of any errors, the movie brings an important issue to light – no matter who you are, your identity could be stolen and constant vigilance is key. View our tips on the best ways to protect yourself.

Did you see the movie? Let us know what you thought of it on Facebook or Twitter.

Industry News Recap: Holiday Scams

By | February 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|

holiday_scamsThe holidays are a time to celebrate with family, friends and loved ones, but the holidays are also filled with scams. With Valentine’s Day festivities come and gone, it’s an opportune time for thieves to prey on victims when they’re most vulnerable – in love or alone. Here’s a recap of some of the top holiday scams to look out for around Valentine’s and any holiday season.

USA Today reported that money transfer companies, like MoneyGram will make more than 30 calls today to victims of romance scams. “Scammers can prey on victims’ loneliness following the holiday season, which grows leading up to and just after Valentine’s Day,” says Kim Garner, senior vice president of global security and investigations for MoneyGram.

Yahoo! News noted that scammers are infecting singles, too. They know that if you’re not shopping for that special someone, you’re probably looking for him or her. They hope to infect computers with malicious email attachments or to direct potential victims to Web pages where private details are demanded.

Thinking about signing up for an online match service? Think again. PCMag said that cyber criminals are creating phony profiles and using them to steal identity information and financial information from their unlucky-in-love victims. They include details that many people look for in a potential mate—someone who is wealthy, has a steady job, and is looking for that special someone to “love” and “trust.”

For a complete laundry list, check out BitDefender’s top 10 scams for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to show your loved one that you care by being aware of these scams around Valentine’s and any other holiday.

Have you come across one of these scams before? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook. Also, be sure to check out our Tumblr page for the latest industry news stories.

A Year in Review: The Top Identity and Security Stories of 2012

By | December 20th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Another year has come and gone and what a year it was! CSID looks back at the top five identity and security stories of 2012.

Number 5: Anonymous claims it hacked PayPal, PayPal denies it
On its Twitter account, Anonymous claimed to have more than 28,000 passwords from PayPal, but the online purchasing store verified that the passwords were actually from ZPanel, a free open source hosting site.

Number 4: Identity theft against children doubles
Many parents don’t realize that their children’s social security numbers could be stolen before they even need to use them.  More and more, when children go to obtain a driver’s license, credit card or lease an apartment, they’re met with the reality that their identity has been stolen and used for years.

Number 3: Reporter Mat Honan’s life is wiped out by hackers
Wired reporter Mat Honan had his online identity hacked and lost precious photos of his daughter because of it. His story reminded us that getting your personal information is easier than you think.

Number 2: Flashback malware targets Macs
Macs have long been known to be more resistant to viruses and malware than their PC counterparts, but in early April, cybercriminals released a version of password-stealing malware that exploited a Java vulnerability Apple had been slow to fix. Users were advised to disable Java until Apple was able to create a patch.

Number 1: LinkedIn suffers a massive security breach
A Russian hacker stole more than 6.4 million passwords from LinkedIn, the popular career-oriented website. LinkedIn hashtagged and salted many passwords, but millions of users were prompted to reset their login information.

2012 taught us that passwords are very fallible. To learn more about consumer password habits and what you can do to protect yourself, check out CSID’s blog post on the subject. And, see what CSID predicts will be the top trends in 2013.

Happy holidays from CSID!

CSID at ID360

By | April 24th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Being based in Austin, we are lucky to have the University of Texas at Austin (or simply UT to us Texans) in our backyard. In addition to great education and sports programs (Hook ‘em), UT Austin is also home to the UT Center for Identity, a research group devoted to advancing identity management – a topic we can relate to.

 The UT Center for Identity hosted the group’s very first ID360 conference earlier this week. The purpose of the conference – gather some of the best and brightest security professionals in education, business and government and talk identity security.

 The conference had an excellent line up of speakers including keynotes from Dr. Peter Tippet from Verizon and Kim Little from Lexis Nexis. Presenters also covered a number of relevant topics from security transparency to recent trends in biometrics.

Our very own VP of sales, Marc Ostryniec spoke on the topic of proactive identity protection for enterprise businesses. Come back later this week and we’ll have a more extensive blog post on Marc’s talk as well as a link to a downloadable paper on the topic. 

Identity protection is going to continue to be a hot-button issue throughout 2012 as breaches, data loss and hacks continue to occur. Luckily there are some really smart people working on how to mitigate the damages and risks of identity theft and, if what we heard at the ID360 conference is any indication, there are some exciting and innovative solutions in our future.  

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