Ancestry search turns up man who stole dead child’s identity

A man who assumed the identity of a baby who died in 1972 was arrested on charges of Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft after the child’s aunt discovered the ruse through Ancestry.com. Prosecutors said Jon Vincent stole Nathan Laskoski’s identity after escaping from a halfway house in March 1996 and used his new name to start another life. Vincent had been convicted of indecency with a child. The real Nathan Laskoski died at age 2 months in 1972. Authorities said Vincent first obtained a Social Security card as Laskoski in 1996. He held jobs, received a driver’s license and married and divorced as Laskoski. When Nathan’s aunt did a search on Ancestry.com, a genealogy website, his name came up as a “green” leaf on the website, meaning public records showed he was alive. The aunt told Nathan’s mother, who did more research and learned that someone had obtained a Social Security card under her son’s name. Nathan’s mother also found public marriage and divorce records, and filed an identity theft complaint with the Social Security Administration. Source: Sci-Tech Today

Radio frequency used to hack emergency siren system

Dallas city officials added extra encryption and other security measures to outdoor warning sirens after they were hacked, and the city is evaluating critical systems for potential vulnerabilities, including financial systems, a flood warning system, police-fire dispatch and the 911/311 system. The hack came over a radio frequency, not a wired computer network, causing all 156 emergency sirens to activate for about 90 minutes. Source: Computer World

Ready Player One: Nintendo will pay you $20,000 to hack system

Hacking the Nintendo Switch gaming console could score you a $20,000 payday. Nintendo will pay rewards ranging from $100 to $20,000 to people who identify bugs and vulnerabilities in the Switch. It’s looking for help finding flaws that could allow piracy, cheating or showing naughty stuff to kids. Nintendo will reward the first reporter of a qualifying vulnerability. Source: CNet

Tools of the spy trade revealed in latest WikiLeaks release

WikiLeaks released a new cache of 27 documents allegedly belonging to the CIA. A CLI-based framework named the Grasshopper has been built by the CIA to enable building “customized malware” payloads to break into Microsoft’s Windows operating system—even bypassing the anti-virus. The leaked documents appear to be a user manual for spies only to be accessed by the members of the agency. Source: Tech Worm

British officials suspect Russian interference in Brexit vote

A British voter registration site that crashed in the run-up to last year’s EU referendum could have been targeted by a foreign cyber attack, some members of Parliament say. The “register to vote” site crashed on June 7 last year just before the deadline for people to sign up to vote. The U.K. government and electoral administrators blamed a surge in demand after a TV debate. But MPs on the parliamentary Public Administration Committee say a foreign cyber attack could not be ruled out. Source: BBC News

Authorities slice up global computer network’s spam attacks

U.S. authorities are working to dismantle a global computer network that sent millions of spam emails worldwide each year. Russian man, Pyotr Levashov, who is alleged to be at the head of the scheme, was arrested in Spain. The Justice Department said it was working to take down the Kelihos botnet, which at times had more than 100,000 compromised computers that sent phony emails advertising counterfeit drugs and work-at-home scams, harvested log-ins and installed malware that intercepted bank account passwords. Source: ABC News

Bad guys look for cheat codes in GameStop breach

GameStop is investigating a potential security breach on its website involving customer data and credit cards. The breached data could include customer card numbers, expiration dates, names, addresses and the three-digit card verification values typically found on the back of credit cards. Source: Fortune

Military men and women square off in cyber war games

The National Security Agency is hosting its 17th annual Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), challenging students at the U.S. Military, Naval, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies, as well as undergraduate and graduate students from the Royal Military College of Canada. Their mission is to defend networks they have created from a red team composed of U.S., Canadian and industry cyber warriors. Source: Federal News Radio

Partnering up to provide protection

Travelers is making pre-breach cybersecurity services available to policyholders through cyber security firm Symantec, which will provide resilience readiness assessment, security awareness training videos and a security coach help line. “As technology continues to evolve and adversaries become more sophisticated, it’s important for businesses to understand the broad scope of potential trouble spots in their IT infrastructure and how they can mitigate or reduce these risks,” said Pascal Millaire of Symantec. Source: Business Insurance

Fear of medical device hacks has pulses racing 

Regulators and medical-device makers are bracing for an expected barrage of hacking attacks. Tens of millions of electronic health records have been compromised in recent years; now, attention is turning to medical devices such as pacemakers and insulin pumps. The Food and Drug Administration is coordinating with other agencies on how to respond if a serious medical device hack were to occur. Source: The Hill

There are bad dates, then there are really bad dates

A Phoenix man was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges after police say he stole a woman’s purse and credit card while on a date with her. David Harlow created an online dating profile using the pseudonym “Brad” and chatted with the identity-theft victim for a few weeks before setting up a date with her, police said. During a date, the woman went to the restroom and allowed Harlow to watch her belongings. When she returned, he had left with her credit card and purse, police said. Source: The Arizona Republic

Yahoo hack suspect to sit in jail awhile, eh?

A Canadian judge denied bail to a man whom the United States wants to extradite to face charges of involvement in a massive hack of Yahoo email accounts. Prosecutors argued that Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen born in Kazakhstan, posed a flight risk. Justice Alan Whitten agreed, remanding Baratov in custody until May 26. The United States says Baratov worked with Russian intelligence agents who paid him to break into at least 80 email accounts. Source: Reuters

This payoff isn’t what you’re looking for

Payday loan firm Wonga suffered a data breach affecting up to 245,000 customers in the U.K. Some 25,000 more customers in Poland also may be affected. The types of personal data that may have been compromised includes names, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, the last four digits of bank card numbers (but not the whole number) and/or bank account numbers and sort codes. Source: Tech Crunch

 

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By Byron Acohido