Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Security Software Company Discovers Possible ID-Theft Ring

Filed under
Security

A Florida security software company says it has stumbled across what may be a major identity-theft effort.

Sunbelt Software Inc., which makes software used to protect computers from spyware, says it has discovered a server holding passwords and other personal information that may have been illegally collected using keylogging software.

"One of our researchers here, while doing some research for our anti-spyware tool, came across a server that happened to have a file on it that turns out to be a log file from a keylogger that's been deployed, it looks like, all over the world," David Bove, Sunbelt's director of spyware research, said in an interview.

Bove wouldn't provide more details about how the server was found or where it's located. Sunbelt has contacted the FBI about the discovery, he says. The FBI didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

Keyloggers, whether hardware- or software-based, are used to capture information typed into computers, typically without the knowledge of the computer user. Used by law enforcement, they're a valuable tool for obtaining passwords criminals use to encrypt incriminating information. Used by criminals, they're a valuable tool for emptying online bank accounts and perpetrating identity-theft fraud. Keylogging software is usually distributed through Trojan software, worms, or viruses.

In July 2003, Juju Jiang pleaded guilty in federal court to computer fraud charges for using a keylogging program called Invisible KeyLogger Stealth at a number of Kinko's locations in Manhattan. In March, the British Hi-Tech Crime Unit foiled an attempt to steal some $420 million from a London branch of Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui. The thieves reportedly hacked the bank's systems through information obtained from a keylogger.

Bove says the log file contains user IDs, passwords, and associated URLs, along with IM chat logs that have been captured and transmitted over the Internet by the keylogger. Whoever is responsible has been periodically harvesting the suspected stolen data and resetting the file size, he says. When the file was discovered a week ago, it had 22 Mbytes of data. It currently has 4 Mbytes and is growing at a rate of 200 Kbytes per hour, Bove says.

Sunbelt president Alex Eckelberry brought the discovery to light through a Sunbelt blog posting. "We're sitting upon literally thousands of pages of stolen identities that are being used right now," Eckelberry wrote Friday afternoon.

"There is a LOT of bank information in here, including one company bank account with over US$350,000 and another small company in California with over $11,000 readily accessible," Eckelberry wrote. "This list goes on and on and on."

"We were trying to figure out if this was real or not," Bove says. "And we actually logged into those accounts. That's how we knew how much money was in there. Then we immediately attempted to contact the individuals to let them know."

By Thomas Claburn
InformationWeek

More in Tux Machines

Zorin OS 10 Core & Ultimate have arrived

We are excited to finally announce the release of Zorin OS 10 with the availability of the Zorin OS 10 Core and Ultimate editions. Zorin OS 10 is our best, most beautiful release yet. We have made major strides with the visual styling in Zorin OS. In addition to the refined & perfected desktop theme and the new default FreeSans desktop font, we have introduced a stunning new icon theme, based on the elementary and elementary-add icon themes. This is its first major overhaul since Zorin OS 2.0. Read more

Zidoo's 'X1' is a $59 Android media box that touts its 4K prowess

Bottom line, the Zidoo X1 checks all the boxes when it comes to streaming and playing local media. The X1 is affordable with an MSRP of $59 USD and comes with a one year warranty. Despite its paltry specifications, the X1 was able to handle pretty much all movie files and streaming duties. The only concern would be how well Zidoo would continue to support the device via software updates. While this doesn't quite beat pricing from the likes of the Chromecast or the MK808B it does provide more features. While this is my first time with an true Android media box, I found that the experience as pretty seamless when it was all set up. While the X1 was able to stand up the challenge of 4K, the real question is: when will see more 4K UHD content that is easily accessible. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Dawn of the data center operating system
    How microservices architecture and Linux containers will tame distributed computing for developers and ops
  • 30 Sys Admins to Follow on SysAdmin Day
    Systems administrators: They keep our high-tech world up and running. From capacity planning, to 3 a.m. phone calls, to retiring that 10-year-old server that uses more power than your whole house, sys admins do it all. Open source communities would not be able to thrive without the networks, services, and tools that allow for communication and collaboration, and sys admins are the ones who work thanklessly year-round to keep them going. July 31 is System Administrator Appreciation Day, a day for all of us to express our undying gratitude for sys admins. Sure, you could buy your favorite sys admin cake and ice cream, or perhaps a nice gift card. You could even go as far as not breaking the server for just one day. You also can follow these 30 sys admins.
  • See What Systemd 223 Brings New
  • Sparkfun's pcDuino Acadia Benchmarks Against Other ARM SBCs
    Sparkfun's pcDuino Acadia os a $119 USD development board powered by a Freescale i.MX6 quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC with Mali 400 graphics. There's 1GB of RAM and other connectivity options for this board.
  • Linux Based Solus OS Now Boots in Flat 1.2 Seconds
    Solus OS is a Linux distro that was built from scratch and uses a new desktop environment called Budgie. You can consider it as the next version of the Solus OS as it was built by the same developer team, so they didn’t bother changing the name for a new operating system.
  • Arch Linux 2015.08.01 Has Been Released. Upgrade Now!
    Arch Linux 2015.08.01 has been released and is powered by Kernel 4.1 and includes all the update patches since the 1st of July 2015.
  • uReadIt 3 – The Best Reddit Client For Ubuntu Touch
    As you may know, uReadIt is an open-source Reddit client for Ubuntu Touch, being one of the best native apps for Ubuntu mobile.
  • You Can Now Watch Flash Content With MPV On Ubuntu
    As you may know, Adobe Flash is not the safest thing on the internet this days. Mozilla even disabled it from the Firefox browser a while, due to the vulnerabilities found lately.
  • Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Running on the Rikomatic MK808B
    Ubuntu MATE, the latest member of the Ubuntu family, has been spotted running on the MK808B Plus Quad-Core mini TV box device. The device runs with Android 4.4 by default, but a third party developer has tweaked it to run Ubuntu.
  • LEGO Smart Home
    We spoke to Bhavana Srinivas and Geremy Cohen from PubNub about their LEGO Smart Home model, a proof of concept project that shows how you can use the Raspberry Pi with communication platform PubNub in order to automate your household electronics and other Internet of Things devices. You can read the full piece in the latest issue.
  • Compact module runs Linux on quad-core Braswell
    Congatec announced a compact, low power computer-on-module based on Intel’s 14nm “Braswell” SoCs, and featuring triple display outputs, and up to 4K video.

Leftovers: Software