Feeds

US ID thieves target kids

...as UK banks give crooks a helping hand

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
You dirty RAT! Hong Kong protesters infected by iOS, Android spyware
Did China fling remote access Trojan at Occupy Central?
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.