Thursday, December 05, 2019

Mozila Firefox and Google Chrome have new tools to check your email addresses for breaches, and the results are pretty shocking.

Clifford Colby has an article in CNET on how to check the dark web for your logon passwords after a data breach, link. 

I tried this with Mozilla Firefox Monitor and found seven violations.  The most glaring was “People Data Labs”   There was a breach of over 600 million accounts (potentially) in October 2019. This seems to be a generalized data broker company selling to advertisers.  Here’s another supporting story.

I’m a little concerned about in March 2019 because that happened when I was trying to get a digital wallet to work. There is very little value involved, however.  Here’s a story from the ITRC. Over 700 million violations.  This seems to be a pattern. 

I also have them from Ticketfly (2018), MySpace (2016), Linkedin (2016), and Adobe (2013).

I have very little on Myspace and haven’t looked at it for years. I look at Linked In occasionally.

The pattern of these breaches suggests mostly Russian, Chinese or former republic origins (maybe North Korean) for the hacks.

 These could explain some robocalls (which increased in 2018), some spam (that looks very silly). 

You would wonder if data breaches could complicate the enforcement of (and even liability problems for creators) associated with COPPA, and maybe CCPA, as third party plugins or cookies might be feeding these companies.  
There have also been emails claiming I purchased Apple products in Indonesia. Kazakhstan and Belarus, and no bill for them ever showed up.  Of course I haven’t been to these places.  Programmers don't have good legitimate jobs in these countries. 
Google Chrome offers a similar tool but it appears your devices need to be synced first.
In 2013, a pickpocket robbery on the DC Metro resulted in about $27000 attempted smart card fraud before the systems stopped it.  Metro had to eat this one. The perp was arrested later on another crime.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Equifax settlement up for approval in federal court, and many oppose it

Charlie Wertzel opines in the New York Times, “One Man can Bring Equifax to Justice (and Get You your Money)”.

That’s if judge Thomas Thrash in Atlanta rejects the Equifax settlement and recognizes many more lawsuits from victims.  The trail is Thursday, Dec. 19.

This is sounding a bit like Dupont in the movie “Dark Waters”.

Or it reminds me of YouTube and COPPA (and FTA).  Because the supposed COPPA violations by YouTube’s subterranean behavioral advertising might place some minors in danger of identity theft, although I haven’t heard this connection made very often.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Secret consumer scores approach "social credit" trustworthiness idea being implemented in China

NBC Nightly News reports tonight on “Secret Consumer Scores” from data miners, where browsing habits, yelp reviews, some social media posts, and other purchases are tracked by less well known companies, video here

Kashmir Hill reports for the New York Times here.  Even your Airbnb or Uber behavior seems to be fair game.
NBC interviewed Jason Tan, CEO of “Sift”, who says he detects fraud patterns with AI. 
We are getting closer to China’s “social credit score” of trustworthiness all the time.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Media turns attention to "Mylife" and maybe similar sites

I did a major story about online reputation and the site “” on my main blog today, and I see that this site had been mentioned here July 26, 2017.

The possibility of wrong individuals being mixed up would seem to exist, as would be the possibility of vengeance or “cancel culture” behavior as we have seen from activists trying to punish speakers personally for “privilege”.  It certainly can contribute to harassing unpopular persons with "smears". 

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Could being mimicked overseas be a problem? Not really that likely, it seems

CNBC has some basic advice on how to protect yourself from bank account drainings and wire fraud, which may be more likely when you travel a lot.

I’ve wondered about the idea as I get phishing emails claiming I have made various purchases in third world countries. 

But frequent checking of all your accounts at home (or even when traveling domestically) would seem to make it impossible for anyone to copy you abroad. 

Yet I have wondered what would be the consequences if you for some reason then traveled to one of those countries.
Here is a resource on what to do if your passport number is breached (from the Identity Theft Resource Center). 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"Memory Theft": can it lead to "trading point of view"? Not quite identity theft

I’ve talked about identity theft a lot here, but what about something lower level, memory theft?

That occurs when some tells someone else’s story as if it were theirs and may actually think it happened to them (particularly with sexual or intimate events).

Psychology Today had a revealing article by Ira Hyman, Ph. D., on April 28, 2015.   This concept is possibly relevant to my novel in development, “Angel’s Brother”.  And in my screenplay Ephiphany I propose that people can share accounts telepathically through special brain reading software controlled by an “outside auditor” character who decides the permission levels for other characters on the space ship.  

Short film by Ollieread is called “Remember Me #3” based on a game.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Payroll processing company gets in trouble, it seems some employees of clients get stiffed, at least temporarily

Employees of various small businesses suddenly found payroll deposits withdrawn, sometimes mistakenly several times, as a result of an apparent collapse of a payroll services firm, MyPayrollHR. Patrick Thobodeau explains for Techtarget here

An intermediary company Cachet in California seems to be intervening to restore accounts.
But it is not clear how long it will take to restore payroll amounts stolen or whether some employees could be stiffed, having to beg on social media crowdfunding sites.

The FBI is involved.

This is an incredible case.