Want to avoid getting mugged? Buy an Android phone – or even better yet, a Blackberry. No, they don’t have any crazy criminal-prevention apps or burglar whistles built in; thieves just don’t want them. Or at least one pair of thieves in Manhattan don’t want them. Apparently, two robbers have been accosting Columbia University students for their iPhones. No other phone will do! The crooks even let one victim keep a perfectly good Droid, police say.
Think the odd, stilted language of the L337 pre-teens on Halo is hard to understand? Apparently, trying to communicate with credit card thieves is even worse. But while incomplete sentences and gibberish slang is annoying on Xbox Live, it’s a boon in hacking chat rooms, because the poor English on display makes it easier for good guy spybots to pass themselves off as just another foreign credit card scraper. An Austin security firm called CSIdentity is doing just that.
Losing a laptop full of travel photos and bookmarks hurts, but losing the laptop and USB decryption key for a high-ranking Royal Air Force officer stings just a tiny bit more. Great Britain authorities are on the hunt for suspects in a high profile laptop theft, but you might be surprised to learn that it is but one of 66 so far this year, bringing the grand total up to 658 machines in the past four years.
I’m not sure whats worse, the fact that top-secret information is contained on mobile computers at all, or that the thief managed to sneak it out of the Ministry of Defense, an ultra secure government facility without anybody noticing. “This has the potential to become one of the most serious security breaches at the Ministry for a very long time” said a spokesman for the MoD. “An investigation by the MoD police is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further”.
According to Intel stolen laptops cost companies almost $50,000 per year, per machine, so I don’t even want to speculate on what a laptop full of “top secret” government data would fetch. I suppose the only consolation is the fact that so many are stolen, I doubt anything contained on the laptop was still a secret anyway.
GPS tracking? Biometric readers? Anyone else have a few suggestions for these guys? Clearly they need them.
Joseph Kohl, a 75-year-old Floridian, proved to be more than a match for a much younger thief. With his life’s very first laptop at stake, Kohl decided to give chase to the 29-year-old thief. Kohl was joined by an off-duty cop - who fortuitously happened to be at the scene - in the pursuit.
Kohl was waiting for his wife outside a Best Buy store after having bought a laptop and a printer, but Samuel Dallas Jarvis showed up instead. Jarvis then proceeded to grab Kohl’s laptop and set out on a run. But, apparently, his pickup was not anything to write home about as he could not really bolt out of the blocks as he would have liked; his elderly victim had to merely run about 8 feet to nab the crook.
When the off-duty cop showed up, it was game, set, match, and laptop to Jarvis. “I have no idea what computers are about, but I didn’t want him taking my first one,” Kohl said after the incident.
According to a report recently published by the FBI, the most stolen gadgets here in the US are laptops, followed closely by cell phones and their smartphone counterparts. And the report is quick to note that the theft numbers of these items is continuing to rise.
Back in 2008 there were 109,000 stolen laptops, and only 18 percent of those made it back to their owners. During the same year nearly 80,000 cell phones were given the five-finger discount, which is an increase of 33 percent from 2006.
TVs are a hot item on the list as well, with 53,000 of them stolen in 2008. Many of these were LCD TVs, which are apparently much easier to steal thanks to their smaller profile. This number is a 130 percent increase from 2006.
Let this be extra incentive to you, folks! Keep your gadgets safe at all times, don’t let them talk to strangers and hope that if they are taken, that you’re in the lucky fraction that get theirs back. We’d certainly want you to be.
A surge in the volume of stolen data has caused the price of hacked bank and credit card details to fall sharply, Reuters reports. According to researchers for Finjan, a Web security firm, account details with PIN codes that once sold for $100 or more might now only bring in $10 to $20. Taking its place are new types of stolen data, such as patient healthcare information that can be used to commit insurance fraud or to acquire prescription medication to sell on the black market. Other data commanding a high price now includes business information, company personnel files, and intercepted commercial emails.
Click the jump to see what new types of data are commanding a bigger premium, an why your banking institution might not always have your back.
You are not the only one confronting difficulties retaining uninterrupted possession of your USB Flash drive, but large organizations – or their mortal employees – are also prone to misplacing their USB Flash drives brimming with sensitive data.
But there was a twist in the tale as the captain was eventually nabbed and the drive recovered. But a lieutenant borrowed the flash drive and in turn gave it to a clumsy sergeant who lost it. The sergeant did a pretty good job as the drive has gone missing without a trace. The Japanese military kept the one-year old incident under wraps as it didn’t want the troop deployment maps to be scoured by internet users.