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‘con’ Archives

ATM Skimmers Get Wafer Thin

ATM Skimmers Get Wafer Thin

Police in an unidentified European nation have retrieved wafer-thin ATM skimmers that are so small that they can be fitted inside the credit-card insertion slot. Brian Krebs describes the finding: That’s according to two recent reports from the European ATM Security Team (EAST), an organization that collects ATM fraud reports from countries in [...]

Talented shoplifting family show their stuff on video

Here's a family that works together like a well-oiled machine to steal a case of beer. I wish there were more episodes of their show. They probably have other neat tricks up their skirts.

Canada’s new plastic $100 bill is all tricked out

A helpful YouTube video put out by the Bank of Canada explains the new security features. For example, a suspicious money taker should note that although the polymer bill is nice and smooth, there should be raised ink on the big number 100, the "Bank of Canada" text and the shoulders of the portrait of Sir Robert Borden, the prime minister of [...]

Identity theft marketplace sells mothers’ maiden names, dates of birth, etc

Identity theft marketplace sells mothers’ maiden names, dates of birth, etc

Many websites will allow you to "recover a lost password" if you (or a crook) can supply your date of birth, mother's maiden name, etc. So, of course, crooks buy and sell data like dates of birth, mothers' maiden names, Social Security Numbers, and other easily mined minutae. Brian Krebs reports from superget.info, a site that sells would-be [...]

How Two Scammers Built an Empire Hawking Sketchy Software

How Two Scammers Built an Empire Hawking Sketchy Software

Creating fear and then profiting from it, where have I heard that before? Sundin had already written some firewall software called Computershield. It wasn’t as effective as mainstream antivirus programs, but it didn’t have to be; the genius would be in the sales pitch. After rebranding it WinAntiVirus, IMI began buying pop-up ads that blared [...]

Anonymous pre-paid credit-cards and money laundering

Anonymous pre-paid credit-cards and money laundering

The $107 billion prepaid credit-card business has attracted money-launderers, according to US customs officers; what's more, the anonymous cards are exempt from border regulations that require you to disclose when you bring $10,000 in or out of the country: Visually, the cards are barely distinguishable from credit or debit cards and the most [...]

In-depth look at SpyEye crimeware

In-depth look at SpyEye crimeware

Brian Krebs has an in-depth look at SpyEye, a "crimeware" trojan horse that is used to harvest personal information (especially banking credentials) from infected Windows machines. SpyEye's keylogger is capable of prioritizing the information it grabs by paying special attention to information from browser forms, including Chrome and [...]

Sales pitch from an ATM-skimmer vendor

Brian Krebs tracked down a black-market retailer of mobile-phone-based ATM skimmers that capture your PIN and transmit it to fraudsters over the GSM network. The vendor gave him the whole sales-pitch for the efficiency and safety (for the criminals) of GSM-based skimmers. It's a fascinating read, unless you use ATMs, in which case, it's a [...]

Inside a stolen credit card site

Inside a stolen credit card site

Brian Krebs brings us a fascinating look at the inner workings of a site that sells stolen credit card numbers to fraudsters; the site is structured like a bizarro-world PayPal, with soft come-ons, hidden fees, and lots of upsell pressure. The trouble is, the minute you seek to narrow your search using the built-in tools, the site starts [...]

The Student Loan Scheme

The Student Loan Scheme

Click above for full infographic

Documentary about the guy who “hacked” a gameshow and won $110k

Cliff Notes: Unemployed ice cream truck driver figures out a way to always win on Press Your Luck, gets on the show, and takes them for $110,000. Youtube playlist

Hackers discover how to make ATMs spew cash

Hackers discover how to make ATMs spew cash

Barnaby Jack of IOActive is slated to give a "Jackpotting Automated Teller Machines" presentation at the Black Hat USA security conference in Sin City in late July. "I've always liked the scene in Terminator 2 where John Connor walks up to an ATM, interfaces his Atari to the card reader and retrieves cash from the machine," Jack said at the [...]

Commercially available ATM skimmers

Commercially available ATM skimmers

Brian Krebs continues his excellent series of posts on ATM skimmers, this time with a report on the state of the art in commercially available artisan-crafted skimmers that can be bought through the criminal underground... Generally, these custom-made devices are not cheap, and you won't find images of them plastered all over the Web. Take [...]

“Free” credit report site disclosures now mandatory

“Free” credit report site disclosures now mandatory

It pleases me to learn that a new Federal Trade Commission regulation went into effect requiring those sleazy sites like Freecreditreport.com to display this disclosure: THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Read more at FTC.GOV. You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under [...]

Freecreditreport.com FINALLY taken to task by the FTC

Freecreditreport.com FINALLY taken to task by the FTC

The singer of those FreeCreditReport.com jingles might sound a bit less peppy now that the Federal Trade Commission is making the company behind the ads -- credit bureau Experian -- face the music. Heavy-handed disclosures aimed at ending years-long confusion over free credit reports will begin to appear in the ads next month. The changes are [...]

ATM Skimmers Part II

ATM Skimmers Part II

Brian Krebs continues to scare the pants off the public with his ongoing series on sophisticated ATM skimmers (devices that capture your card number, working with a hidden camera to catch your PIN). His slideshow of next-gen skimmers has me convinced that there's no way I'd notice a skimmer on an ATM that I was using: "According to Doten, the U.S. [...]

Hamburger, or $115 seafood platter? How restaurants use marketing psychology to make the sale.

Hamburger, or $115 seafood platter? How restaurants use marketing psychology to make the sale.

New York magazine breaks down the menu at Balthazar, with help from author William Poundstone, to show you how tricks of typography make a difference in what you choose to eat (and pay for). Columns Are Killers According to Brandon O'Dell, one of the consultants Poundstone quotes in Priceless, it's a big mistake to list prices in a straight [...]

The psychology of being scammed

The psychology of being scammed

Security consultant Bruce Schneier lists psychological principles that con artists use to scam people. They are from a paper titled Understanding scam victims: seven principles for systems security, by Frank Stajano and Paul Wilson. These remind me of the principles described in two of my favorite books: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by [...]

HOWTO: Use con-games to improve information security

HOWTO: Use con-games to improve information security

"Understanding scam victims: seven principles for systems security" by Cambridge University's Frank Stajano and Paul Wilson is an excellent look at the principles involved in "short cons" (confidence games that only take a few minutes to "play") and how they can be applied to information security. The authors examine the mechanics of scams [...]

Vegas uses computers to bust card counters

Vegas uses computers to bust card counters

As if Vegas casinos don't already rake in enough money from suckers, now they are developing technology to automatically detect people who count cards. The anti-card-counter system uses cameras to watch players and keep track of the actual "count" of the cards, the same way a player would. It also measures how much each player is betting on each [...]

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