Id Theft Alerts

November 18, 2010
Colorado Supreme Court Mystifies

The Colorado Supreme Court has issued a mystifying ruling. By a vote of 4-3 they said that stealing someones social security number does not constitute "criminal impersonation". The ruling came in a case where Felix Montes-Rodriguez used his real name but a stolen number to obtain a loan for a car.

Since a SSN is the most important piece of information when seeking credit the ruling makes no sense.. Identity theft experts are all puzzled by the decision.

The state legislature has passed new laws to make it clear to the court that stealing is still stealing in Colorado.

Security Scans Published

35,000 security scans from the U.S. courthouse in Orlando have been published on the tech site Gizmodo. The photos are not very revealing but raise concerns about the scanners that the TSA is using at airports.

The two arguments for the TSA scanners are that 1) the images don't show anything and 2) aren't saved. The raw images might not be too revealing but by inverting the image in Photoshop they show surprising detail. The TSA claims that the images are not stored but the 2008 requirements for the machines included the ability to "store and send images." Maybe they don't save the pictures today but the feature is built into every scanner just waiting to be turned on.

If you are traveling next week and support personal privacy then participate in National Opt-Out Day. Skip the x-rays for a pat down to let the TSA know how you feel. The bonus is you miss all the dangerous radiation.
Stealing Your Password at Starbucks

People using a Firefox add on called Firesheep can now easily steal cookies on public Wi-Fi networks. The cookies contain the site address, user name and password for other users on the network. Once taken it is easy to log in using their credentials.

If you are using a public network at the local coffee shop then you should only pass information using a secured connection. To check if the site is secure then the address should start with "https://" instead of "http://". If it doesn't then don't fill out any forms or log in to any sites.
Data Breach Class Action

It cost Heartland payment systems $41.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit for their data breach. Now there is a settlement in the class action lawsuit with D.A. Davidson & Co. They have agreed to set up a $1 million settlement fund to reimburse class members for damages that resulted from their data breach.
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