Archives for identity theft



“Is Everything We Know About Password-Stealing Wrong?”

The next time your bank or credit-card company frantically calls and texts and e-mails you (all at the same time) to say it has noticed “suspicious activity” on your account — like buying gas in a ZIP code a bit poorer than your own — and says it has suspended your account “for your protection,” tell them to read this paper, by Dinei Florencio and Cormac Herley of Microsoft Research. A key passage:

We show that, in spite of appearances, password-stealing is a bad business proposition. … It is worth, at the outset, dispelling a widely-held misapprehension about password-stealing. Thieves certainly steal passwords, and money is certainly a large part of their motivation, but when they successfully extract money from financial accounts individual consumers do not pay. In the US, Regulation E of the Federal Reserve limits consumer liability, in the event of fraud, to $50 (this is separate from the $50 limit for credit-card fraud, Regulation CC) and covers “any electronic transfer that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer or magnetic tape.” In the US banks, brokerages, and credit unions are governed by this regulation and most go beyond it and o ffer a zero liability policy to consumers.

(HT: Peter Baehr)



This Identity Theft I Can Live With

This week in reader e-mail brings a note from a 46-year-old man in Rockland County, N.Y., a director in a private company that outsources invoicing for telecommunications companies and newspapers. It turns out that he and I have something in common. Here is a tale of identity theft I am happy to report: Hello Stephen, […] Read More »



The FREAK-est Links

New company plans to stop online identity theft. (Earlier) Does discrimination start in the brain? Obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking slash your chances of living to 90. (Earlier) How do non-New Yorkers psychologically perceive New York? Read More »



The FREAK-est Links

Is PTSD the only result for Iraq veterans? Just how dangerous is personal data on the Internet? (Earlier) How do people describe themselves with one word? An experiment. Is Jan. 21 truly the “most depressing day of the year”? Read More »



The FREAK-est Links

17 people indicted for identity theft in New York. (Earlier) Economists and psychologists tackle speed dating. Everything you ever wanted to know about U.S. cities. A foolproof strategy for winning at Monopoly. (Hat tip: BoingBoing) Read More »



The FREAK-est Links

Should age be measured according to “years left to live”? (Hat tip: Marginal Revolution) Study profiles the average identity thief. (Earlier) More baseball promotions: free tacos for stolen bases. (Earlier) Rock Paper Scissors goes high-tech. (Earlier) Read More »



The FREAK-est Links

Is the U.S. “war on cancer” focusing on the wrong things? Britain studies the economic impact of higher education. Chinese-made Cub Scout badges recalled for lead. (HT: Consumerist) Identity data: the newest hot commodity for businesses. (Earlier) Read More »



The FREAK-est Links

Excel expert gives away free copies of his books online. (Earlier) Mayor Bloomberg targeted by identity thieves. (Earlier) The Rubik’s Cube World Championships — the next Rock, Paper Scissors? Steve Pinker calls the modern age “the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.” (Earlier) Read More »