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.: Ameritrade warns 200,000 clients about potential data breach - 21st Apr 2005

"A computer backup tape containing account information of more than 200,000 Ameritrade Inc. clients was apparently lost or accidentally destroyed while being shipped, prompting the online investment brokerage to notify the clients of a potential breach.

Donna Kush, a spokeswoman for the Omaha-based company, today confirmed that a package of data backup tapes was damaged in transit in late February by a shipping company that isn't being named. Four of the tapes in the package disappeared after the package was damaged but three were later found by the shipper during a search of its facility, she said. The fourth tape is still missing and is presumed to still be lost in the facility or to have been destroyed accidentally..."
[ComputerWorld]




.: Rules aimed at digital misdeeds lack bite - 14th Apr 2005

"Federal and state lawmakers, compelled by headlines of a computer-crime wave, are scrambling to introduce bills that would tighten cybersecurity and make it easier for prosecutors to file charges and impose stiffer penalties.

Digital thieves have rarely been so audacious. Data breaches at ChoicePoint, LexisNexis, the University of California and elsewhere, in which the personal records of thousands of Americans were pinched, underscore the brazen tactics of criminals marauding like gunslingers on a lawless Internet, security experts say..."
[USA Today]




.: Surveillance Works Both Ways - 14th Apr 2005

"Surveilling the surveillers. It's an idea that Number 6, the nameless hero of the classic British TV show The Prisoner, would have loved.

In an attempt to establish equity in the world of surveillance, participants at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in Seattle this week took to the streets to ferret out surveillance cameras and turn the tables on offensive eyes taking their picture. Following wearable computing guru Steve Mann into a downtown Seattle shopping mall, about two dozen conference attendees, some of them armed with handheld cameras, snapped photos of smoked-glass ceiling domes in Nordstrom and Gap stores, which may or may not have contained cameras..."
[Wired]




.: LexisNexis: Data on 310,000 people feared stolen - 12th Apr 2005

"Data broker LexisNexis said Tuesday that personal information may have been stolen on 310,000 U.S. citizens--nearly 10 times the number found in a data breach announced last month.

An investigation by the firm's Anglo-Dutch parent Reed Elsevier determined that its databases had been fraudulently breached 59 times using stolen passwords, leading to the possible theft of personal information such as addresses and Social Security numbers. LexisNexis, which said in March that 32,000 people had been potentially affected by the breaches, will notify an additional 278,000 individuals whose data may have been stolen..."
[news.com]




.: New Technique for Tracking Web Site Visitors - 4th Apr 2005

"According to Jupiter Research, 58% of web surfers deleted cookies from their system in 2004. This has sent a loud message to marketers in regard to consumer's preference as to tracking their online activities. The marketers have responded with PIE. Persistent Identification Element (PIE) is a technology that uses Macromedia's Flash MX to track you even without using cookies.

When a consumer goes to a PIE-enabled website, the visitor's browser is tagged with a Flash object that contains a unique identification similar to the text found in a traditional cookie. In this way, PIE acts as a cookie backup, and can also restore the original cookie when the consumer revisits the site..."
[CMP]






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