Location Of Theft in AQUA BLUE
URL Of Linked Article In STEEL BLUE or GREEN
Full Content Of Article In BLACK
Theft Description In Body Of Article in RED

Friday, May 11, 2007

TENNESSEE COMPUTERS STOLEN FROM SCHOOL Elementary School Robbed For 2nd Time in a Week

WDEF News 12

Published on WDEF News 12 (

Elementary School Robbed For 2nd Time in a Week

Created May 10 2007 - 10:12pm

For the second time in less than a week, a local elementary school is the site of a robbery.
Woodmore Elementary Principal Visa Harper says the thieves broke into the school through a backdoor entrance partially hidden by a dumpster.
made off with DVD players, computers, and televisions.
"I've been here two years and this is the first time anything like this has ever happened. So it's really just been a bit of a week, so we're hoping that with the police now knowing what's going on that they'll kinda patrol this area a little bit more," said Harper.
Police believe the same people may have committed the crimes, because they used the same entrance and stole the same electronic equipment both times.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

US COMPUTER ECONOMICS STUDY Computer Economics study: Insiders top IT pros' worries - News - SC Magazine Australia:

Researchers have pointed their fingers at insiders as the main security bugaboos facing enterprises.

Insider misuse and unauthorised access to information by insiders are the No. 1 and No. 2 security threats worrying IT security professionals, according to Computer Economics''Trends in IT Security Threats: 2007' report, released this week.

Just as interesting, however, was what respondents were not particularly concerned about: unauthorised access by outsiders, electronic fraud, electronic vandalism and sabotage and extortion by electronic means were not considered particularly serious threats.

'Yes, we were surprised by that,' said Computer Economics president Frank Scavo, the author of the report. 'One of the things I realised in looking at the data is that IT security professionals are no different than anyone else.'

'They assess risk in terms of what they've experienced in the recent past,' he said. 'So, if they haven't had exposure to a specific threat, they may not assess the risk as being that great. Yet, if they experience such an attack, the results can be devastating.'

Electronic fraud, which ranked sixth on the threat list, is a case in point, he said: 'Why it's not ranked higher may be because high-risk organisations such as banks and financial services companies feel their countermeasures are adequate - they're already good at managing fraudulent transactions, such as credit card transactions. Companies that don’t do business electronically, without exposure, weren’t concerned."

Electronic extortion offers another example, said Scavo. "The risk of a hacker gaining access to their systems and threatening to take them down unless some payment is made is low because the frequency of such events is very rare," he said. "Our survey found only a few respondents who reported any extortion attempts in the past year. That doesn't mean it's not a threat."

Other notable findings from the Computer Economics report:

  • A majority of respondents said that threats from spam are increasing. The report attributed this to spam's prevalence, the highly visible nature of spam to everyone in an organisation, including executives, and the fact that spam is a vector for other types of attacks.
  • Advances in technology to stop viruses, worms, trojans, adware and spyware notwithstanding, malware ranks high on the list of enterprise security pros’ concerns. There is significant variation among organisations in terms of the frequency of malicious code attacks, most likely due to discrepancies in how well organisations defend against such security events.

The rankings, in order:

1. Insider threats (unauthorised access to data or resources by insiders and violation of the organization's policies regarding acceptable use of computing/network resources)

2. Spam

3. Malware (computer viruses, worms, trojans, adware and spyware)

4. Unauthorised access by outsiders

5. Threat of physical loss or theft
of computer hardware and storage resources

6. Electronic fraud

7. Pharming attacks

8. Phishing attacks

9. Electronic vandalism/sabotage

10. DoS attacks

11. Extortion by electronic means

The survey of 100 IT security and risk management professionals in mostly large (1,000-plus-employee) organisations, was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2006.


MetLife Auto & Home Offers Ten Tips to Prevent Identity Theft

ID theft is the fastest-growing crime in America. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) statistics estimate that almost ten million Americans were victims of some sort of identity theft last year, and also, that Hispanics are more likely to be victimized by ID theft than other ethnic group. Surprisingly, the majority of identity theft cases do not result in out-of-pocket expenses for victims–what most victims lose is time and their sense of personal security.

“Clearing your name after an identity theft can be a very complicated and disruptive process,” said William D. Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home(R). “There are a lot of people to notify, including creditors, credit bureaus, and law enforcement. It can take many months–or possibly years–before you get your life back in order, and clear your name. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to avoid ever becoming a victim in the first place, and also services, including services with Spanish-speaking representatives, that can help you restore your name should you become a victim.”

For information about identity theft, including an Identity Theft Prevention Checklist, visit, or call toll-free 1-866-Met-Vida (Spanish language) to contact a personal representative. To reduce the likelihood of being a victim of identitytheft:
Be careful with your social security number. Avoid carrying your social security card in your wallet, and don’t print your number on personal checks.
Only release your social security number when it’s absolutely necessary. Legally, almost no one has the right to require it, and most merchants and companies have the ability to do a background check without it.
If a merchant asks for your social security number, ask why it’s necessary, and what safeguards they have in place to protect your information.
Minimize the number of credit cards you have, and only carry one or two in your wallet. It’s a good idea to keep a list of all your credit cards, bank accounts, and investments in a safe place.
Never leave envelopes containing bills and checks in places where there’s a danger of their being stolen. Consider mailing your bills at the post office, rather than leaving them for your letter carrier at your front door or mailbox.
Think about computer safety–never use obvious or easily guessed passwords or PINs, and always create passwords that combine letters and numbers.
Be wary of “phishing” schemes. Phishing is a fast-growing type of fraud that usually starts as an email or pop-up designed to trick you into revealing personal financial details. Never reply to emails asking for personal details, or even click on links in emails that appear suspicious.
Be careful what you throw away! Trash is a prime target for identity thieves, so take the time to shred all paperwork containing sensitive information, including pre-approved credit offers. The most secure shredders are “cross cut” shredders, because they ensure that the documents cannot be reassembled.
Carefully review financial statements each month for unauthorized use, including your credit cards, bank statements, and phone bills. Alert your creditors immediately, in the event that you notice a discrepancy.
Do a “check up” on your credit history once every year. Securing this information is easy–simply visit or call 877-322-8228. You’ll be able to get one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus.

Another important consideration: determine whether you have protection in the event that you are victimized. Many credit card companies offer protection against identity theft. Ask your credit card agent or company representative if yours does. In addition, some insurance companies now offer identity theft assistance as part of their automobile or homeowners insurance policies. This assistance can prove invaluable, because it can help guide victims through the arduous process of reclaiming their good names. MetLife Auto & Home was the first insurer to offer IDtheft resolution service at no additional premium on its homeowners, renter’s, and condos policies, and recently added the service to all auto policies, in all states where approved.

“Having a Spanish-speaking representative work with you to restore your good name can provide you with greater peace of mind, as well as lessen the time that it will take to resolve the problem.” said Moore. “This advocate will work with you, to make certain that all the appropriate steps are taken, including notifying the appropriate authorities, tracking and monitoring credit files, and working with grantors of credit until the situation is resolved.”

MetLife Auto & Home(R), a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), is one of the nation’s leading personal lines property and casualty insurance companies, insuring over 3.8 million autos and homes. MetLife Auto & Home has developed a reputation for innovation in product design, being the first insurer to introduce product enhancements that provide greater value to consumers, including IdentityTheft resolution services to both its auto and home insurance customers, offered at no additional charge. For more information about MetLife(R) and its affiliates, visit

MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates, Warwick, RI.

MetLife Auto & Home
Joe Madden, 401-827-2015
Ted Mitchell, 401-827-3236


Hospital computers stolen, sold on eBay

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(May 10, 2007) — Highland Hospital officials and police say they believe patient information contained on a
stolen computer is safe, after the computer was erased and sold over eBay.

Two laptop computers were stolen from a Highland Hospital business office at 175 Corporate Woods Boulevard on April 13. One of those computers contained information on 13,000 former patients, including Social Security numbers. The patients received myriad inpatient and/or outpatient services, said Highland spokesman John Turner.

Turner said desks in the office were rummaged through and petty cash was stolen. Because of the nature of the crime, it’s believed the thieves were out to make a quick profit, and not use the patient information for other means, according to hospital officials.

The computers were sold and shipped to Lakeland, Fla. and Calexico, Calif. The computer from Lakeland has been recovered.

Brighton police say the theft was reported to them on April 16. Letters were sent to patients affected on Tuesday.

Turner said patients who do not get a letter should not worry that their information was on the computer that was stolen.

Highland posted the letter to patients and a Q and A on its Web site at Highland has also established an information line at (585) 341-0550 or (866) 917-5043.

“It is extremely unlikely that this information has been accessed or used inappropriately, but we are bringing this incident to your attention so that you and your family can be extra alert to signs of any possible misuse of your information,” the letter states.

Highland said it is investing $200,000 to install encryption software on 2,000 computer devices by Aug. 1.

US CAN'T ANYONE IN WASHINGTON KEEP PRIVATE DATA PRIVATE? Our view on information security: Can't anyone in Washington keep private data private? - Opinion -

Our view on information security: Can't anyone in Washington keep private data private?

As agency foul-ups multiply, it’s time for some accountability.

If there's a way that personal data entrusted to the government can be lost, stolen, breached or otherwise compromised, you can bet federal agencies will find it. In fact, they probably already have, judging by the welter of high-profile embarrassments in the past year:

A laptop containing personal data on 26.5 million veterans was stolen from the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee last May. (It was recovered a month later.)

*Nearly 500 IRS computers, many containing sensitive taxpayer data, were lost or stolen from workers' cars, homes and offices over 3 1/2 years, starting in January 2003.

*The Agriculture Department posted on a public website Social Security numbers of about 38,700 people who had gotten USDA loans or other aid.

*The Transportation Security Administration — the folks who secure the nation's air travel system — couldn't secure a portable hard drive holding personal and banking records on 100,000 former and current workers, including air marshals, who work undercover. The drive disappeared from TSA offices last week.

The list goes on and on, with federal agencies seemingly incapable of learning from past fiascos and exposing ever more people to privacy invasion and identity theft.

Last month, Congress' Government Accountability Office reported that 21 of 24 major agencies had "significant weaknesses" in information security controls, putting data at risk. At many, even basic barriers to keep intruders out were wanting: 18 agencies had weak access controls, such as passwords and encryption.

Seven Cabinet-level agencies — including the Defense Department and Treasury Department (home to the IRS) — got failing grades on a report card on data security issued by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That's appalling, considering the kinds of data those agencies hold.

Some agencies even fail to learn from their own experience. Despite last year's laptop debacle at Veterans Affairs, a VA portable hard drive with billing data for 1.3 million doctors and personal information on a half million veterans disappeared from a facility in Birmingham, Ala., in January. Some of the data were not encrypted.

The Office of Management and Budget, which oversees computer security throughout the agencies, says it has tackled the problem with stricter controls and more training. But there's not much evidence of success.

What's missing is accountability, which makes the solution seem fairly straightforward. Agency heads need to make it their mission to see that the records they administer are secure, and there should be consequences if they fail.

The Bush administration clearly is not giving the problem that kind of priority, and if it doesn't, you can bet on this: Advancing computerization will inevitably make the problem worse. Disappearing hard drives, lost computers and personal data popping up on the Web are just the early signs of much bigger trouble ahead.

USA TODAY welcomes your views and encourages lively -- but civil -- discussions. Comments are unedited, but submissions reported as abusive may be removed. By posting a comment, you affirm that you are 13 years of age or older.

AUSTRALIA COMPUTERS STOLEN FROM COLLEGE Star News Group - School computer thief may be on security footage -:

School computer thief may be on security footage

10th May 2007 02:05:39 AM

POLICE are searching for a man they believe
stole two laptop computers from Hillcrest Christian College recently.

The laptops, an Acer and a Hewlett Packard, worth more than $3500, were stolen from the Clyde North school between 6pm on 28 April and 9am on 30 April.

Police are reviewing security footage of a man approaching the school in a Ford Falcon XF white ute and leaving with a large object under one arm.

The man walked across the carpark at 3.30pm and left at 3.50pm on Sunday, 29 April.

The school was open because cleaners were inside at the time.

There appears to be a thick black strip or some sort of writing along the side of the ute.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Senior Constable Ollie Gaspari at Cranbourne CIU on 5991 0661."

NEWJERSEY COMPUTER STOLEN FROM BUSINESS Bridgeton burglary arrest, but computer still missing -

Bridgeton burglary arrest,
but computer still missing
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Staff Writer

BRIDGETON -- Police arrested a Fairfield Township man on Wednesday and charged him with burglarizing Modern Heating's North Pearl Street office in mid-April.

Det. Earl 'Skip' Burgmann arrested Christopher M. Ransom, 35, of Tip's Trailer Park, at a Kintock halfway house on Industrial Boulevard around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Det. Lt. Michael Gaimari said.

Ransom was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and one count of criminal mischief, Gaimari said.

He was lodged in the county jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Ransom reported to the halfway house on a parole violation a few days after he broke into Modern Heating, Gaimari said.

The business' owners reported on Saturday, April 14, that someone forced open a series of doors leading into their office and stole a Dell computer and the keys to several vehicles before fleeing the scene in one of the company's vans.

It is believed the burglary occurred between 9:30 p.m. April 13 and 7:30 a.m. April 14.

State police recovered the 1993 Dodge van behind the former Bowl-O-Drome facility on Route 49 in Fairfield on April 14, shortly after the burglary was reported, but more than $2,000 worth of heating supplies and tools had been removed from it.

While police have recovered some of the property stolen from Modern Heating, the Dell computer still is missing, Gaimari said.

"We'd really like to get this computer tower back," Gaimari said. "It apparently is pretty important to the business."

Police are not looking to charge anyone who may have bought the computer or any other Modern Heating property from Ransom in mid-April.

"Right now, our intent is to get the property back and not charge anyone additionally," Gaimari said, noting police have no reason to believe Ransom had an accomplice in the burglary. "We certainly would cooperate with someone who may not have known something was stolen and bought it (from Ransom)."

TEXAS STOLEN COMPUTER TRACKING TECHNOLOGY New technology helps track down stolen laptops:

New technology helps track down stolen laptops

SEE VIDEO.......

- New technology is helping local law enforcement crack down on the second most common crime after identity theft, laptop thefts. Two million laptop computers are stolen every year and all too often the thief walks away -- not only with a computer but files of sensitive and personal information. Deputies are now tracking stolen laptops with the help of a laptop lowjack which is built into newer model computers.

Once a laptop is stolen the owner can activate a sensor inside the computer. That sends police information to help track it down. Laptops have been found as far away as Africa.

"It's certainly easier to find something that's stolen when it calls us and tells us where it is," said Langley McKelvy with the Precinct 4 Constable's Office.

Government agencies are even using the technology because files can be remotely deleted if sensitive information is stolen. The protection costs consumers about $50 a year.
(Copyright © 2007, KTRK-TV)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

CALIFORNIA COMPUTER THEFT RING BROKEN Computer theft ring busted in Santa Barbara - California Central Coast News and Entertainment:

Computer theft ring busted in Santa Barbara


SANTA BARBARA - Police in Santa Barbara say they've busted up a computer theft ring.

Officers arrested three people accused of stealing computers and a printer from an Office Max store.

Police caught the trio Tuesday after a man tried to take similar merchandise from a Staples store.

Inside the suspects' van, officers found maps and directions to several computer stores throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

WASHINGTON 3000 PEOPLE SUFFER IDENTITY THEFT RISK DUE TO STOLEN COMPUTER FROM STATE AUDITOR Burglary leaves thousands at risk for ID theft | Local News | | News for Seattle, Washington:

Burglary leaves thousands at risk for ID theft

07:07 PM PDT on Tuesday, May 8, 2007


A burglary in Skagit County may have left as many as 3,000 people at risk for identity theft.

In February, someone stole a laptop computer from the Washington State Auditor's Office in Mount Vernon. That computer contained names, addresses and social security numbers of workers at several local government agencies – everyone from Mount Vernon police officers to teachers at Skagit Valley College – and many of those workers are just now finding out.

Susan Ostrowski's husband, a former welding instructor at the college, was one of them.

'The letter said that this laptop had been stolen February 1 and we are just now being notified three months later,' she said.

That letter, sent by the auditor's office, stated that people weren't notified earlier because police did not want information about the case released.

"In three months a lot could have happened that we wouldn't have been aware of," she said.

According to Mount Vernon Police, they did not ask the state auditor's office to withhold this information. In fact, police say they didn't even know what was contained on that computer until police officers themselves started receiving a copy of this letter.

"I'm not sure that we understood exactly what was on the computer and the need for them to have that information," said Sgt. Mark Shipman, Mount Vernon Police Dept.

Shipman says all they were told is that the information was personal. The state never mentioned anything about social security numbers.

"I guess I assumed I didn't need to do that with a police officer," said Jan Jutte who is with the state auditor's office.

Jutte says this all comes down to a misunderstanding and given the chance to do it all over, they would have notified people sooner.

"We feel bad about this. We wish it hadn't happened. We certainly hope it never happens again," said Jutte.

As for the Ostrowskis, they just hope it's not too late and that their credit and identity isn't in jeopardy.

So far, investigators do not believe the information on that laptop has been misused. Still, police suggest anyone who received that letter should put an alert on their credit and run a credit report.


A computer, four chain saws and three hedge trimmers were stolen from a business in the 5300 block of North Military Trail.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


American charged with murdering Kiwi in london
Wed, 09 May 2007 6:17am

An American man charged with murdering New Zealander Catherine Marlow has appeared at the Central Criminal Court in London.

31-year-old Matthew Fagan was remanded in custody, and will appear again for his plea case next month.

It was alleged Fagan
stole a handbag and six laptop computers from Ms Marlow's workplace.

28-year-old Ms Marlow was found strangled in a bathroom at her office in South London in January.

UK HOW SAFE IS YOUR LAPTOP COMPUTER? Exclusive: How safe is your laptop? - Security Strategy - Breaking Business and Technology News at

Exclusive: How safe is your laptop?

Laptop thefts soaring in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Merseyside... and Devon.."

By Will Sturgeon

Published: Tuesday 8 May 2007

The problem of data loss and accidental disclosure is being fuelled by a rise in the number of laptops stolen in the UK, can reveal.

In recent months organisations such as the Nationwide building society, the Metropolitan Police, Worcestershire County Council and Serco are among those left exposed as a result of laptop thefts - and the problem is only getting worse.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by has revealed the number of laptops stolen in the past year has significantly increased on the previous year, according to the records of 28 UK police forces*.

Total number of laptop thefts reported in 2006**

The top five regions by police force:

1. Metropolitan Police (6,576)
2. West Yorkshire (2,402)
3. Thames Valley (2,149)
4. Leicestershire (1,219)
5. Bedfordshire (938)

** In our enquiry we deliberately discounted laptops stolen from homes or offices to get a clearer picture of threat posed specifically by the greater mobility of laptops compared to desktop computers.

The Metropolitan Police area was the worst hit, with 6,576 laptop thefts during 2006 - up from 5,735 the previous year, an increase of almost 15 per cent. More shockingly, this figure only includes those laptops stolen while being used or carried outside of the office or home (see grey box, right, for the top five and more on our methodology).

The average year-on-year increase in the number of laptops stolen is six per cent, though some areas saw dramatic increases well in excess of that.

Devon and Cornwall saw a 45 per cent increase (from 276 stolen laptops to 401). Bedfordshire witnessed a 35 per cent increase, while Lothian and Borders, which includes Edinburgh, saw a 31 per cent increase. Leicestershire, meanwhile, saw a 21 per cent increase, and in Manchester and Merseyside the figure was around 15 per cent - still well over twice the national average.

And although these stats may not make for happy reading the news is not all bad, with some forces reporting the number of theft has fallen considerably.

Gloucester saw the greatest fall over all. The number of laptops stolen in the area dropped year-on-year from 239 in 2005 to 156 in 2006 – a fall of 34.7 per cent. Nottinghamshire police reported a fall of 24.6 per cent, and Avon and Somerset reported a fall of 20.6 per cent.

Greatest percentage increase, year-on-year, of laptop thefts

1. Devon & Cornwall (up 45%)
2. Bedfordshire (35%)
3. Lothian & Borders (31.5%)
4. Leicestershire (21%)
5. Greater Manchester (15.5%)
6. West Yorkshire (15.14%)
7. Merseyside (15%)
8. Metropolitan Police (14.60%)
9. Cambridgeshire (12.40%)
10. City of London (8.80%)

Rebecca Bird, European security product manager at Kensington, a manufacturer of laptop locks, told many companies still aren't taking the basic precaution of providing staff with locks when they take laptops on the road.

She said: "If somebody really wants to get a person's laptop then sure they could use some bolt-cutters but a good lock will protect against opportunists," adding that many of Kensington's customers come to the company once they have already fallen victim to a laptop theft and are keen not to repeat the experience.

Greatest percentage decrease, year-on-year, of laptop thefts

1. Gloucestershire (down 34.7%)
2. Nottinghamshire (24.6%)
3. Thames Valley (24.4%)
4. Avon & Somerset* (20.6%)
5. Norfolk (19%)
6. North Yorkshire (16.9%)
7. Cheshire (16.6%)
8. Humberside (15.3%)
9. Suffolk (14%)
10. Surrey (13.5%)

*Avon and Somerset figures have been adjusted to reflect 2006 stats being available only for January to October, 2006

And although opportunists may always have stolen an unguarded laptop, Bird said she believes high profile cases - such as that at Nationwide - will have alerted more would-be thieves to the potential value of sensitive data held on laptops. "People may now be more interested in the value of the data on the laptop, rather than the value of the actual hardware itself," said Bird.

As for which day of the week is the worst for getting your laptop stolen? The clear winner is Friday.

One policeman spoke to at Marylebone police station in London said Fridays, more than any other day, see a spate of laptop thefts. This claim was supported by the information gained from our enquiry, with the last day of the working week a clear leader, and Tuesday a perhaps unlikely second. Kensington's Bird said this may well be a result of staff taking work laptops home over the weekend to catch up on work or for personal use. And the risk of theft can increase greatly if the route home takes in the pub or public transport on a Friday night.

The below map indicates the areas with the greatest percentage change in reports of laptop thefts during 2006.

The above chart shows the percentage changes in laptop thefts when figures for 2006 are compared with those for 2005. The results displayed are: Devon & Cornwall (+45%) ; Bedfordshire (+35%) ; Lothian & Borders (+31.50%) ; Leicestershire (+21%) ; Greater Manchester (+15.15%) ; West Yorkshire (+15.14%) ; Merseyside (+15%) ; Metropolitan Police (+14.60%) ; Cambridgeshire (+12.40%) ; City of London (+8.80%) ; West Mercia (+5.67%) ; Northern Ireland (+4.47%) ; Sussex (+3.31%) ; Gloucester (-34.7%) ; Nottinghamshire (-24.6 %) ; Thames Valley (-24.4%) ; Avon and Somerset (-20.6%) ; Norfolk (-19%) ; North Yorkshire (-16.9%) ; Cheshire (-16.6%) ; Humberside (-15.3%) ; Suffolk (-14%) ; Surrey (-13.5%) ; Northumbria (-9%) ; West Midlands (-1.4%) ; Warwickshire (-0.8%).

** 28 UK police forces were able to answer our Freedom of Information Act enquiry, others declined on grounds of being unable to provide the breakdown of data we requested.

The CNET Networks UK Business Technology Awards are now open. Tell us how you excel and you could be taking your place on the stage with the best in technology and business. Enter

CONNECTICUT ADVICE OFFERED ON PROTECTING AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT IN THE WORKPLACE AP9 Privacy Matters 123 Offers Advice on Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft in the Workplace:

AP9 Privacy Matters 123 Offers Advice on Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft in the Workplace

AP9 PrivacyMatters123 Provides Members with a Variety of Credit Monitoring Tools That Can Help Uncover Identity Theft Events

Norwalk, Conn. (PRWEB) May 8, 2007 -- Identity theft is complicated enough, notes AP9 Privacy Matters 123, a leading security and privacy membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC, but when the theft occurs in the workplace, it can have even wider implications, raising questions about employer screening methods and security practices, not to mention the issues it can raise regarding the victim's future career path.

Identity theft can be a rewarding crime, unfortunately, offering perpetrators access to potentially unlimited assets through illegal actions that, when performed by a skilled criminal, are designed to be as difficult to trace as possible. The 'money for nothing' allure of identity theft tends to appeal to a broad swath of people, regardless of their race, gender, education level, employment level or other demographic category. Simply put, an identity thief can lurk anywhere -- even in your office, cautions AP9 Privacy Matters 123.

While there's no way to 'profile' or otherwise identify someone who may be an identity thief, AP Privacy Matters 123 does have a few suggestions for protecting your identifying information as much as possible in a work environment:

-- Guard your Social Security number religiously. Some company documents, including job applications, W-9 forms, health insurance policies and more, need a Social Security number for processing purposes, so be sure to store copies of those documents securely. Other corporate documents -- sick day logs, vacation requests, expense reports and others -- shouldn't require a Social Security number. Don't be afraid to question a request for a Social Security number on such materials. Work with Human Resources and other departments to find ways to replace Social Security number requests with less vital identifying information.

-- Practice safe computer skills. Your computer probably stores a lot of personally identifying information about you, from your name and address to your credit card and even Social Security numbers. Don't leave yourcomputer on and unguarded for any significant period of time; a computer -savvy ID thief can swipe information from your hard drive in less time than it takes to sit through a staff meeting. Also, if you're receiving a newcomputer, make sure the information on your old hard drive will be permanently erased once your new computer has been installed.

-- Keep your password(s) to yourself. An effective corporate security policy should never require you to share passwords with co-workers, even if they're working on projects with you. A password in the wrong hands can potentially cost you every piece of data on yourcomputer, including information that's unique to you. Memorize your passwords, and, if others need access to information on your computer, key your password in yourself rather than sharing it, even with your boss.

-- Protect your personal materials. Storing your purse or wallet in your office desk is fine -- as long as you're sitting in your office. If you're in and out of your office all day, you're at risk fortheft unless you can lock your office drawers with a key that no one else has. If security in your office is poor, consider bringing in only those items you need to get through the day (i.e., driver's license, lunch money, personal grooming items, medications) and leaving everything else (credit cards, Social Security cards, other personally identifying materials) stored securely at home.

Restoring your identity after it's been stolen can require a lot of your time and resources. Your best course of action is to take pre-emptive steps to protect your identity, even in your workplace, reports AP9 PrivacyMatters123.

About AP9 PrivacyMatters123
AP9 Privacy Matters 123 is a leading membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC that offers consumers instant, online access to 3 in 1 credit reports and scores, daily Triple Bureau credit monitoring and more. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in membership programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at
[ With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing
offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs such as AP9 Privacy Matters 123.

TEXAS COMPUTER TAPES CONTAINING STATE DATA MISSING FOR 2 WEEKSState data with Social Security numbers misplaced for 2 weeks | - Houston Chronicle:

May 8, 2007, 2:47AM
State data with Social Security numbers misplaced for 2 weeks

AUSTIN — Nine million state records containing Social Security numbers and other sensitive data used to verify Medicaid claims went missing for more than two weeks, and state officials didn't know for more than half that time.

None of the data stored on the 14 computer tapes was compromised before being found Monday, Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said.

A courier delivering the tapes to a vendor placed the tapes inside the wrong bin in a state office building, Goodman said. State officials are now promising to implement new tracking procedures.

"We want to be able to track those records at every point in the process," Goodman said.

The state employment data on the tapes is used to cross-check with Medicaid claims to ensure that clients aren't covered by private insurance. Goodman didn't know how many Social Security numbers the tapes contained but said it is difficult to access the records without specific knowledge.

The quarterly report was being transferred from Northrop Grumman, which maintains the mainframe computers containing the work force data, to the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership, a coalition of contractors that processes Medicaid claims.

The courier picked up the tapes April 18, but more than a week passed before THMP realized the tapes hadn't arrived. The state health commission was notified May 1 and alerted the Office of Inspector General two days later.

THMP located the tapes Friday but didn't notify the health commission until Monday, Goodman said.

The lead contractor for the commission is Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Systems. Spokesman Kevin Lightfoot said the contractor wasn't told the tapes were on their way so didn't initially know they were missing.

The company is now exploring transferring the data electronically to improve security, Lightfoot said.

One of ACS' subcontractors is Accenture LLP, which had its troubled contract with the state severed earlier this year after many technical and operational problems.


Information from: The Houston Chronicle,

GUAM COMPUTERS STOLEN FROM SCHOOL Teen arrested for possession of stolen items, burglarizing school:

Teen arrested for possession of stolen items, burglarizing school

Criminal Investigation Division agents arrested a 19-year-old Mangilao man today. Erik Roy De Castro has been charged with theft by receiving stolen property and destruction of evidence, accused of burglarizing Juan M. Guerrero School back in March.

Police have recovered many of the items stolen from the Harmon campus, including a couch and a refrigerator. They have been unable to locate computers that were stolen during the incident.

COLORADO LAPTOP COMPUTER THEFT ON THE RISE MyFox Colorado | Laptop Theft on the Rise

SEE VIDEO............

Laptop Theft on the Rise

A security camera captured video of the suspect 'casing' the Tattered Cover, then stealing a customer's laptop computer at gunpoint. March 21, 2007.

by Julie Hayden
DENVER -- Police are warning about a new crime trend called "iJacking."

They say there’s been an alarming increase in the theft of laptop computers. In recent investigation, Police arrested a man they called "The Laptop Bandit." He allegedly stole laptops at gunpoint, from suspects in local coffee shops.

While the use of a gun is unusual, police say stealing laptops is becoming more common. Police reports indicate laptops are commonly stolen from parked vehicles, open office areas and other places where people are using them.

"They're really taking them from anywhere people tend to carry these convenient pieces of technology," says Denver Police spokeswoman, Virginia Quinones.

Police say they find a lot of stolen laptops in drug raids. They suspect the thieves trade the computers for drugs, or re-sell them illegally or hack into them to steal identities. Police say the best way to protest yourself is to protect your laptop. Don't leave it in your parked car, or unattended if you are using it in a public place.

Also, police suggest you record the serial number. That way, if anything happens, you can at least get it back if it's recovered.


Probe launched into missing TSA hard drive

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities have launched a "full-blown criminal investigation" into the disappearance of a computer drive holding personal and banking records of 100,000 Transportation Security Administration employees, agency Administrator Kip Hawley said Monday.

"We're doing a full-court press on this," Hawley told TSA employees in a conference call that USA TODAY was able to listen to.

Hawley's comments downplayed the possibility that the portable hard drive had been lost from TSA headquarters in Arlington, Va., on Thursday. The TSA had said Friday that it was "unclear" whether the device was "still within headquarters or was stolen."

Agency spokeswoman Ellen Howe acknowledged Hawley's comments and added that "nothing has been ruled out," including the possibility the hard drive was lost.

On Monday, TSA employees questioned how the drive went missing and whether it would expose the identities of the thousands of armed air marshals, who ride undercover on airplanes to thwart terrorists. Air marshals, who are TSA employees, fear what someone could do with their names, birth dates and Social Security numbers — data that were on the hard drive.

"If that information is out there, it's very easy to find out who they are," said John Adler, executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, whose members include air marshals. Adler said terrorists could use personnel information to find where air marshals live, photograph them and disseminate the photos.

Hawley said air marshals' security "was one of our first concerns" but downplayed the risk to them. The TSA said on its website that "without extensive knowledge of TSA's human resource system, it is extremely difficult to determine what positions employees on the missing hard drive have."

The TSA has not ruled out the possibility that an insider took the drive.

Aviation-security consultant Rich Roth said the data theft "shouldn't affect the air marshals at all." Terrorists who are determined to spot air marshals can simply watch passengers boarding planes early, he said.

The FBI and Secret Service have joined the investigation, which began Thursday after employees in the TSA personnel office who frequently use the hard drive found it missing.

Howe, the TSA spokeswoman, said the drive is about the size of a desk telephone.

Paul Stephens, a policy analyst at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer advocacy group, questioned why a federal security agency would store sensitive information on "something that could be carried away in a briefcase" and not on a larger, less-portable device. External hard drives store data such as text files and photographs and are plugged into acomputer.

Cris Soulia, a TSA screener in San Diego and a former Navy computer technician, said he was "dumbfounded" that the agency would store personnel records on a portable device.

"That's really irresponsible," Soulia said.

Howe declined to address why the records were stored on an external hard drive, saying it is "an element of an ongoing investigation."

Stephens said stealing hard drives "is a bit unusual" and usually indicates that "the purpose of the theft was to obtain the data." Many data breaches are the unintentional result of someone stealing a computer to sell it and the computer happens to hold personnel information, he said.

The clearinghouse has tracked hundreds of security breaches that exposed 154 million data records.

Posted 9h 19m ago

Monday, May 07, 2007

TEXAS SCHOOL COMPUTER THIEVES CAUGHT ON CAMERA MyFox Dallas | Security Cameras Catch Carrollton School Thieves

Security Cameras Catch Carrollton School Thieves
Do You Know the Homestead Elementary Burglars?
All three suspects in the break-in.

CARROLLTON -- Carrollton police hope surveillance video will help them catch three vandals who tore apart Homestead Elementary School last week.

The Lewisville ISD school has had at least two breaking in the last month. This time, cameras caught three young men -- two with short hair, one with long hair.

All three wore gloves as they broke down the doors with fire extinguishers and stole a dozen laptop computers.

Take a look at the photos taken around 5:30 in the morning last Wednesday; they're posted in the sidebar. If you can identify these suspects, call Carrollton police at 972-466-3256.

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US NIST PUTS ITS SECURITY GUIDELINES IN ONE BASKET NIST puts its security guidelines in one basket:

NIST puts its security guidelines in one basket

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a database to help agencies collect data needed to assess information technology security programs and produce reports for action plans.

The Program Review for Information Security Management Assistance database, which can be downloaded at, is part of PRISMA, a tool NIST developed for reviewing the complex information security requirements and posture of federal information security programs. It brings together guidelines from NIST publications, federal standards, best practices and requirements in the Federal Information Security Management Act.

PRISMA provides a framework for an independent, in-house review of the maturity of an agency’s information security program. It requires documentation of security policies, procedures and implemented controls.

It also requires a review of the agency’s organizational structure, culture and business mission. After the assessment, the PRISMA team identifies problems and develops a weighted list of corrective actions.

The PRISMA framework was released in January in NIST Interagency Report 7358. The database, which is in Microsoft Access 2003 and can help generate a report in Microsoft Word, was made available in April.

If you are having trouble finding guidelines or standards for your IT security assessment, NIST also has released a “Guide to NIST Computer Security Documents,” a PDF that indexes the more than 250 publications the NIST Computer Security Division issues.

AUSTRALIA SECURITY WILL HAVE TO BE BUILT INTO DEVICES Australian IT - Laptop lock down (Chris Jenkins, MAY 08, 2007)

Laptop lock down
Chris Jenkins
MAY 08, 2007
THE scenario is all-too familiar. A big deal signed off, a few drinks to celebrate. Push on for a bit, then cab it home. A good time had by all. But, oh dear, where's the BlackBerry?

If it's not the BlackBerry, it's the laptop. Come back to the car, the window's smashed and the computer is gone. And not only the laptop. Gone too are the contact lists, the sales plan and the intelligence on competitors, all worth far more than a $2000 piece of kit.

With more companies giving staff laptops or handhelds to take home, concern over the security of these devices, and the data that resides on them, is growing. Vodafone business product manager Mark Corless says some laptops lack even basic password protection, an oversight brought home very quickly when the hardware goes astray.

"That can be a stake in the heart for some customers. There's a very quick realisation of how important that information is," he says.

Sometimes, the consequences take on national significance.

In 2003, Australian officials were left scrambling when thieves using forged identities stole a laptop from the Department of Transport in Canberra and servers from the Australian Customs service in Sydney.

In the US last year, the personal information of more than a million former US servicemen and women was compromised by the theft of a laptop used by an employee of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

In Australia, the theft of companies' mobile computing hardware is fairly common.

In last year's AusCERT Computer Crime and Security Survey, 58 per cent of companies surveyed reported having laptops stolen, up from 53 per cent in 2005.

Nine per cent of companies said handhelds had been stolen last year, up from 8 per cent in 2005.

Forrester ICT consulting director Andrew Milroy says the risks are growing in line with increased usage of mobile devices.

At the same time, hardware such as PDAs and smartphones grows ever more capable of storing large amounts of data.

"It's difficult to put a number on, but the risk is increasing substantially," Milroy says. "Not many people understand the risks they are taking by putting so much mission-critical information on these devices.

"It's a risk that people have been talking about for the past couple of years, but it has become a lot more real lately."

After five years of being relatively flat, business interest in mobile applications has tripled in 2007, Vodafone's Corless says.

Many industrial-strength applications such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems from the likes of SAP and Oracle are now commonly available in mobile form.

The risk is amplified by the fact that devices and the applications they run are often linked to corporations by high-speed mobile data networks.

Forrester predicts overall demand for mobile data services in Australia will grow at 18 to 20 per cent annually over the next five years.

In Australia at present, Milroy says, the theft of a laptop or handheld is more likely to be the work of an opportunist.

Fortunately, while devices are stolen regularly, it seems there has been little effort dedicated to exploiting the information many of them contain.

There is also no real evidence of deliberate industrial espionage, Milroy says. "I can't imagine that you would tell someone to follow a guy around and nick his BlackBerry."

Such actions remain a possibility, though, and awareness of the security required for devices used outside the office is gradually increasing, just as awareness of identitytheft has cranked up over the past couple of years, Milroy says.

Nevertheless, there is still some way to go before organisations realise what they are up against, he says.

"It's just going to take a few years before people start taking that risk as seriously as they really should."

The reluctance of organisations to talk about their security embarrassments could be masking the true extent of the problem in Australia, IDC senior software analyst Patrik Bihammar suggests.

"One problem is that we don't have the same disclosure laws here in Australia as the US does," he says.

In California, for example, companies are required by law to notify the public if personal data has been compromised. As with all security problems, awareness is a key issue in the battle to prevent laptops and handhelds from handing over the keys to the castle

"Although security is a big issue, I don't think it is paramount in people's minds. They are just thinking about how they can do more and more with these devices in different locations," Milroy says.

Dealing with the security of portable devices needs to be part of the overall approach to IT in a company, Milroy says. "Ideally it would all go in line with effective backup and business continuity. It's one of these cultural things that it's going to take people a while to catch up on."

Many people don't follow basic backup procedures, such as saving to network drives, on their desktop PCs, so archiving data is even less likely to happen with mobile devices, he says.

There are also more concrete approaches. Corless says the BlackBerry is possibly the most secure mobile device at present.

After five unsuccessful password attempts, it will automatically wipe all data, he says.

Safeguards are built in to prevent the data being wiped accidentally. Because BlackBerries are often used as a mobile extension of the desktop, they tend to carry a lot of critical information.

This also means that if they are regularly synced, data-wiped or lost, they can easily be restored to a new handset.

The ability to use a wireless data connection to remotely wipe the data on a device has become a popular safeguard, with products available for a range of device classes.

Companies need to have policies in place before things go wrong to ensure that appropriate action can be taken, Corless says.

For example, it can be a problem for carriers when people ring up and ask to have devices either struck from the network or wiped altogether if the person making the request is not the owner of the device or is not authorised to make the request.

For some users, Vodafone creates custom access point names (APNs), which define a group that is allowed to access the network.

If a device is not in the group definition, it doesn't get access.

"Unless we have enabled you to communicate back to your corporate office, it won't happen," Coreless says.

Coca-Cola Amatil and electricity utilities are among the Vodafone customers employing this strategy, he says.

Some organisations restrict mobile devices to being thin clients that store no data locally.

That way, if they are stolen, all the thief gets is a basic operating system and some hardware.

But such a strategy limits the device to online-only use, meaning that if a network is not available, neither is the data. Using data live from the data centre also places greater demands on network performance, which can easily fluctuate while operating in a wireless environment. IDC's Bihammar says data on mobile devices should be encrypted as a matter of course.

"Laptop and device encryption and data leakage protection are not as common as they should be," he says.

"Data or whole-disk encryption is clearly the first step to make it difficult for criminals to access any data on the device," he says.

"Organisations need to have the right policies in place and the right technologies to enforce the polices and lock down intellectual property from leaking out of their organisations.

"Whether through loss of mobile devices and physical media or through email, instant messaging and other messaging protocols." As ever, the organisations most at risk of having their data compromised orstolen via portable devices are the ones that lack the resources to enforce security policies.

Small and medium businesses are considered at particular risk.

For larger companies, compliance, both with external laws and with internal policies, is looming as a larger issue and is forcing organisations to develop appropriate security policies, Milroy says.

"Organisations are being forced to be much more transparent. If you are public and you are being scrutinised, you want to be seen to be complying with certain standards, whether they're mandatory or not," he says.

Like the growth of internet use in organisations, the arrival of fleets of mobile devices is a tidal change unlikely to be held back by security concerns.

For that reason, security is eventually going to have to be built into devices, Milroy says.

"If it's not built in, you're not going to be able to sell it."

The Australian


Govt offices robbed
07 May, 2007

KANYE - Operations at the Department of Roads, Transport and Safety office in Kanye were halted on Friday after P2 391 was stolen from the cash box during lunch time.

Kanye Police Station Commander Superintendent Mpho Modisaotsile said the employees left the doors unlocked when they went out.

He said the culprits broke open the cash box and stole P2 391 out of a total of P9 544.90 in it.

The officer-in-charge of the Department of Roads, Transport and Safety in Kanye, Mr Ephraim Mokotedi said they found a spade at the scene, which they suspect was used to break open the cash box.

A pair of sunglasses was also found.

Mr Mokotedi could not say when they would start operations since they were still waiting for an audit to be conducted.

No one had been arrested at the time of going to press.

Meanwhile, Southern District Council authority have engaged a private security company after a spate of office thefts in which valuables were stolen.

In one such case,
the revenue office was broken into a week ago and two computers worth P12 000 were stolen.

The computers were found missing when employees reported for work on Friday.

Superintendent Modisaotsile said that two weeks earlier another office in the RAC was broken into at night and a
laptop worth between P6000-P8000 was stolen.

He added that they had also received reports that fuel was stolen from government vehicles at night.

Southern District Assistant Council Secretary, Mr Sylvester Smart said they have budgetted for provision of private security services.

The company,Watchdog, started work at the Rural Administration Centre this month.

Mr Smart said the councils night watchmen who looked after the RAC have been deployed to other facilities such as schools and clinics. BOPA

UK OFFICE COMPUTERS BEING TARGETED BY THIEVES Thieves Targeting Office Computers (from Thisisdorset):

Thieves targeting office computers
By Dee Adcock

COMPUTER thieves are targeting commercial premises in Dorchester.

Police are warning businesses to tighten security following a spate of break-ins across the town.

Inspector Les Fry of Dorchester Police said police believed the 10 burglaries could be linked.

He said: 'At this stage we have an open mind but it looks as though they are connected. It's likely to be the same person or persons.'

He said the victims included commercial, NHS and local government offices.

He added: 'Computer equipment is the main focus, especially laptops.

'Other items have also been taken - anything electronic that is small and easily portable.'

Crime reduction officer PC Sean Cannon said: 'The common method of entry has been via smashed or forced windows.

'Offenders have either then entered the buildings or merely reached through and removed equipment.

'In several instances building alarms have not deterred crimes.

"Even when tripped, alarms do not necessarily deter the quick hit-and-run burglaries where equipment is readily available and unprotected."

PC Cannon said the culprits were likely to be looking for new targets and he urged proprietors and staff to tighten security and reduce the risk of being burgled. He said they needed to do more than check their insurance cover.

He said: "Consideration must be given to the significant disruptive effects that go with this sort of crime and the effects on staff morale and the potential issues of data security."

Inspector Fry said police wanted to hear from anyone being offered cheap computers, especially laptops with data still on the hard drive.

He said: "Whoever is doing this is stealing to sell. If anyone is offered anything like this and they have any suspicions please contact the police on 01305 222222. It's also important that anything of value is secured out of sight - don't leave laptops on view to tempt a thief.

"Valuables should all be security marked to make it easier to return stolen goods to their owners."

He added: "We have had spates of burglaries in the past but this latest one is the first of its kind in a long time."