To stop data theft, pull the plug

moneyBack in the 1980s, when I was the networking editor at InfoWorld, one of my jobs was to write profiles of corporate networks. One of those profiles was of the Adolph Coors Brewing Company of Golden, Colorado, now known as Molson Coors Brewing. I visited the company’s one brewery at the time, interviewed the head of IT and the top network guy, then asked for a copy of the very impressive network map they had on the wall.

“Sorry, we can’t give you that,” they said. “It’s private.”

“But we always print a map of the company network,” I explained.

“Fine, then make one up.”

And so I invented my own map for the Coors network.

There’s a lesson here, trust […]

The $30 billion Social Security hack

Sometime last year computers at the U.S. Social Security Administration were hacked and the identities of millions of Americans were compromised. What, you didn’t hear about that?  Nobody did.

The extent of damage is only just now coming to light in the form of millions of false 2011 income tax returns filed in the names of people currently receiving Social Security benefits. That includes a very large number of elderly and disabled people who are ill-equipped to recognize or fight the problem. It’s an impact pervasive enough that the IRS now has a form just to deal with it: Form 14039: Identity Theft Affidavit, December 2011.

The Wall $treet Journal has a story about this problem […]

By |March 30th, 2012|2012|96 Comments

LifeBlocked

Internet-y as the next blogger, I’d like to point out how wired.com noticed that the Phoenix New Times figured out that LifeLock CEO Todd Davis (you know, Mr. 457-55-5462) who dares criminals to steal his identity has, in fact had his identity stolen at least 13 times. But in a repudiation of the Internet tendency to simply point at the findings of others and say “like he said, ” I’ll now explain how the identity thieves got away with it. Given that, as you know, LifeLock is “guaranteed. ”

What LifeLock does primarily when you subscribe is they put a fraud alert on your file at all three national credit monitoring agencies […]

By |May 24th, 2010|2010|122 Comments