Thursday, October 8, 2009

Check Washing

We've discussed this in some of my classes.

Thieves can remove ink from your check and re-write it without compromising any safeguards, including your legitimate signature. Takes forgery to a new level.

Here is a great illustration if YouTube lets the video stay up.

Watch this if you write checks, or accept them for that matter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Norton Risk Assessment Tool and Videos

Norton has a very interesting and entertaining Online Risk Calculator and several videos posted here to help illustrate the issue of Identity Theft and the "cybercriminal black market."

They remind us that Identity Theft has surpassed the criminal drug trade according to the US Department of Justice.

The assessment will even tell you what they estimate your value to be on the black market.

And then they offer some illuminating videos to illustrate the point. I found it entertaining. You may find it more disturbing. We have discussed these issues in class.

I enjoyed taking the test and particularly the videos at the end which are also available in the top navigation via the link "Explore Digital Dangers."

Consider visiting the site and taking the quiz and watching the videos. I've provided links directly to three of the videos, Bank of Nikolai, S.O.L. and Cyber Hunting in my list of Identity Theft videos at the right.

I do want to comment on the low value they may estimate your Identity to be worth. I have seen other studies with low values for credit card, social security number and other information. Remember, in a supply and demand economy, a low demand (price) indicates a high supply (availability). This may be because there is so much stolen data available. estimates at least 339,674,601 records have been compromised in the US since 2005 as of October 2, 2009. The US Census Bureau estimates today's US population to be 307,645,025. More data has been compromised than there are people living in the country.

Also, I like to point out that if a thief steals your car, he can sell it or part of it only one time before he is out of inventory, but if a thief steals your Social Security Number or Driver's License Number he can sell that information until he gets tired of repeating it because he can't run out of inventory, he can only decide when and if the information is too risky or unprofitable to resell again. So the low value of Identity Theft information supports the fact that there is a lot of information out there that thieves want and it is easy for them to obtain, not vice-versa.


Welcome to my blog. The primary purpose of this Blog is to provide links to source material that I may have quoted in a presentation or training or researched in answer to a question I have been asked.

I hope this site helps you share this information with others and/or conduct your own research. Please contact me with any questions. Thank you for visiting.