| Episode #: 99|
Airdates: July - Jan '01 (see
Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)
Information theft is rising to troubling levels.
Brady & Associates, a fast-growing Data Security firm out of Dinuba, California
has created personal firewall and intrusion detection systems that allow users
easier access to their data in order to more accurately assess the severity of
intrusion attempts and report those attempts to the proper authorities.
Do you know where your credit card is? Safely
tucked inside your wallet, you say. But how safe is your account, never mind the
card? These days, a credit card number is a valuable commodity to thieves. And
you don't need the plastic to use somebody's credit card number, particularly
in this era of Internet and catalog shopping. The same applies to debit cards.
A thief armed with a debit card number can go on a shopping spree, financed by
your checking account.
That's right, Mark, and the
big concern nowadays is how careful you are when it comes to guarding your personal
information, especially information like the pin number to your ATM card? And
you're probably are very careful. But what about your social security number and
other critical personal data about yourself? By now, most of us know how important
it is to protect that too. Yet, you'd be amazed at just how easy it is for someone
to get hold of it. In the wrong hands, your ATM number can wreck your bank accounts,
but a thief with your social security number can wreck your life. Well today we
look into the world of information security. Correspondent ••.. reports.
Tech-savvy criminals are devising new ways to get their
hands on card information. They've figured out that card fraud beats holding up
someone at gunpoint. Instead, they're hacking into Internet databases filled with
customer card data and copying account details encoded on a card's magnetic stripe.
And Credit card fraud is quickly becoming the bank robbery of the future. Criminals
today have realized that credit cards and the banking system are easy pickings.
Not surprisingly, the Internet is fueling such
fraud. It not only helps criminals retrieve account data quickly and efficiently,
but it allows them to perpetrate scams from anywhere in the world. Thieves can
E-mail account information overseas to cohorts, who then produce counterfeit cards.
Or items can be purchased from an Internet merchant, allowing the fraudster to
cloak his identity and leave few clues to track him down.
Well today, we've decided to give you, the consumer and business
owner, the tools with which to defend yourself and your information.
growth in electronic-commerce sites provides criminals with a world of merchants
to patronize for products that are easily fenced. And no matter how somebody might
get a hold of a consumer's financial information, the ability to abuse it on the
Internet is huge.
According to the U.S. Secret
Service, the fastest-growing ploy used by criminalsparticularly organized groups
overseasis to nab card data by "skimming" them off a genuine card.
The magnetic stripe on the card's back is encoded with
a cardholder's name, account number, expiration dateand a code unique to each
piece of plastic. Without the last number, the card cannot be counterfeited. But
thieves are buying magnetic stripe readersavailable for about $400 on the Internetand
altering them to record all of the data on a magnetic stripe with a mere swipe
of the card.
If you've never heard of BlackICE
Defender, ZoneAlarm and WinRoute Pro, you soon will. You'll want to find out as
much as you can about these products and the latest edition to the market, Firewall
Prism. By using discreet 'plug-in' modules you can tailor your firewall and reporting
needs to provide yourself with the most reliable information from your firewall.
Brady & Associates, a Data Security firm, out of
Dinuba, California, says that information theft is rising to troubling levels.
They've created a marketing & distribution system incorporating personal firewall
and intrusion detection systems that allow users easier access to their data in
order to more accurately assess the severity of intrusion attempts and report
those attempts to the proper authorities.
Your data is literally just a hack away. Hackers take Web
site security measures as a challenge. And they're stealing passwords and credit
card numbers every day.
In January, 2000,
hackers stole 250,000 credit card numbers from an online CD store. They tried
to blackmail the store, and when the store didn't pay they published 10,000 of
those passwords to the world. And your email is also an open book. Anyone with
an email "sniffer" program can jump into the flow of email traffic, targeting
email with your name or your company's name.
deleted your email so that nobody can read it?" This is what Bill Gates heard
as his email was read out loud in open court. Corporate espionage is going on
worldwide. And Governments are aiding their national corporations in this endeavor.
Governments are continually intercepting electronic
communication all over the world, and sifting through it using a technology called
Topic Spotting. The program ClearICE Report Utility was created to meet the needs
of users of BlackICE Defender in order to support the reporting of data and the
notification of the alleged intruder's Internet Service Provider and produce hardcopy
An even less sophisticated method of filching card numbers is found free on the
Web. It generates numbers using the same algorithms as those used by banks. Anyone
with modest computer skills can produce up to 999 card numbers from one card.
Early last year, the Federal Trade Commission charged several individuals and
businesses with illegally billing 783,947 credit and debit card accounts for Internet
services. How did the companies get the information? From a bank, which sold them
Still, the experts say no detection
system is foolproof, and the industry has attempted several new fixes. Visa and
MasterCard have introduced validation codes and other solutions, which include
technology that will read the properties of the magnetic stripe.
associations are also working with merchants to help detect fraud in phone and
Internet transactions. And while the industry is pushing for widespread adoption
of a secure electronic transaction protocol, Brady & Associates says that
the only real way to secure yourself is to be proactive and wrap your information
with the proper firewall protection systems. ClearICE, they say, is one that seamlessly
integrates into the BlackICE Defender using the ClearICE plug-in to gain the upper
hand on serious hackers and "script kiddies" as well.
Brady & Associates says that their solutions are perfect for
adding protection to additional computers on your network or providing protection
to your home or small business.
Those of you who
have become victims of hacker onslaught know how frustrating it is when you try
to figure out who is attacking your machine and why. The attacks may have stopped,
but there is no easy way to track down the offenders. The ClearICE Report Utility
is said to let users of BlackICE Defender produce reports and provide access to
the data created by BlackICE Defender. ClearICE can print out a report on an attacker
that BlackICE Defender identifies as a real attack. It shows you the mac address,
the name, the IP address, and can send an e-mail notification automatically to
the attacker's Internet Service Provider (ISP).
And these info defense programs are now the leading download on the Internet.
Touted as the best tools available for reporting attacks to ISPs that are detected
and intercepted, these programs are said allow you to analyze the log file and
alert ISPs of malicious activity.
Used in conjunction with other
personal firewalls these programs allow users easy access to their data in order
to more accurately assess the severity of intrusion attempts and report those
attempts to the proper authorities.
On Camera: (Close)
In the future, many worry that more card fraudsters
will go a step further. Identity theft is a huge problem, and a clever con artist
can use your personal or account information to establish a parallel identity.
Victims of fraud are quickly learning the trade-offs of whiz-bang technology.
Privacy is a rare bird these days and becoming much more rare every time we invite
someone to access our personal information for the sake of convenience. Something
to think about. From Dinuba, California, I'm •••. Reporting for Business World