Feeds

US ID thieves target kids

...as UK banks give crooks a helping hand

Security for virtualized datacentres

US-based identity thieves are using the details of children to conduct fraudulent trades, according to New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton who reckons up to 400,000 kids may become victims of identity theft, AP reports.

Clinton is proposing legislation to fine credit card firms and banks who issue loans without checking the age of beneficiaries. It beggars belief that financial institutions aren't doing this already. The Democrat's proposed legislation is part of her campaign platform ahead of the upcoming US mid-term elections.

The Senator cited an anecdote about one fraudster who used the details of a seven-year-old to purchase a $40,000 houseboat to support her contention that identity thieves purloining the details of children constitute the fastest growing segment of the crime, which is prevalent on both sides of the Atlantic.

In related news, UK banks have been criticised for carelessly discarding customers' bank statements in garbage bags in what the information commissioner described as an "unacceptable" breach of data protection rules, AFP reports.

Reports of insecure disposal practice at branches of HSBC, Halifax, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Post Office have prompted the UK's data protection watchdog, Richard Thomas, to launch an investigation that began in Southampton but has now been extended across the UK.

"A number of banks have been very careless with people's personal information," he told The Times, adding he's personally seen bags full of unshreaded bank statements.

"The bank's the first to say, 'Be careful with your personal information, shred everything, burn everything. Don't leave any fingerprints around because identity theft is a growing problem'. But if the banks themselves are being careless with the information, that seems to me to be wholly unacceptable."

According to fraud prevention service CIPAS, 16,077 Brits were victims of identity theft during the first quarter of 2006, 17 per cent higher than incidents of the crime recorded in the last quarter of 2005. The crime is reckoned to cost banks £1.7bn ($3.25bn) a year.

Thomas has the power to levy unlimited fines on banks guilty of carelessly throwing away customers' financial records, but he'd rather they put their own house in order.

A spokesman for Thomas's office said a number of allegations of customer data being disposed of in an inappropriate way had come to Thomas's attention in recent weeks.

Ian Mullen, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association, told BBC Radio that instances of financial documents being found in dustbins were isolated. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.