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Encryption Blog
Showing posts tagged with Cybercrime Grit & Grime
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Doug McLean | 15 Aug 2008 | 0 comments

OK, it may not be as big a news story as Lindsay Lohan's announcing she's converting to Judaism, but I thought the story coming out of embattled Georgia that they have been seeing massive Distributed Denial of Service attacks originating in Russia is interesting. No, not the fact that the Russians clearly view cyberwar as integral part of modern warfare. They proved that LAST year when the Russians brought the 'net infrastructure of Estonia to it's knees in a dispute over a Russian war memorial.

No, what I found interesting is that it's not at all clear who in Russia is orchestrating the attacks. Early reports focused on the Russian military and some shadowy botnet service providers. Now there's speculation that it may simply be a group of patriotic Russian hackers doing their best to defend the motherland. Gary Warner at University of Alabama Birmingham has done some really...

Doug McLean | 14 Aug 2008 | 0 comments

It's been said that you shouldn't ever overestimate the intelligence of your basic criminal. One of my favorite cybercrime stories, however, deals with a perpetrator who was clearly smart enough, but was just unlucky...very unlucky.

In June 2004 Sharon Durbin was a small time crook living in Harris County in South Texas. She’d been struggling to find a way to support her lifestyle and thought she’d hit on the perfect solution. Using a stolen bank account number and a fake ID, she started writing checks against the bank account of one Chuck Rosenthal. For a while, her scam worked until one day she got a little greedy and wrote a check for $1,071. When the check cleared, Mr. Rosenthal noted the amount and the payee and determined something was amiss. Mr. Rosenthal, who had some familiarity with the potential loss from identity theft immediately closed the account and notified the Harris County prosecutor’s office. This last step wasn’t difficult...

Doug McLean | 12 Aug 2008 | 0 comments

It's been an extraordinarily active week on the cybercrime front and it feels like a good time to initiate a new blog I've been thinking about for some time. For those of us that track cybercrime, identity theft and the other activities of Internet miscreants, it's clear that the nature of the game has changed in the last year. Cybercrime, historically an activity driven by testosterone impaired geeks, has become the latest growth industry for organized crime. I'll look at some of the facts and statistics that demonstrate this in the coming weeks, but for now I want to look at some of the more interesting evolving stories.

First, there was the arrest of eleven suspects in the TJX case. For those of you that don't follow internet crime closely, this was the data breach that caused the release of 41 million records (mostly credit card numbers) into the wild. Estimates of losses to date run in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The FBI has been working...