Posts Tagged ‘American Express’

Don’t Look Now But You’ve Been Targeted For Identity Theft

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Ok, so you play by the rules.  You don’t surf porn sites, you don’t gamble online, you even make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.  So how is it you’ve been targeted for identity theft?  You can thank Epsilon for that.

In last week’s Wise Guy Wednesday column, we wrote about the security breach at Epsilon.  To bring those of you who have yet to read last week’s article “Privacy on the Internet? Fuhgeddaboutdit!”, here is a brief review.  Epsilon is a marketing company focusing on Internet technologies such as social media and captures information such as email addresses.  Large corporations such as Disney, American Express, Target, Citibank, Chase, TD Ameritrade and hundreds of others are all clients of Epsilon.

In the old days (before last week), most email based attacks were very generic, the email tried to get you to enter specific information or go to an embedded link.  But because the contents could apply to anyone, like a good boy, you ignored it.

Now because of the Epsilon breach, hundreds of thousands of people are susceptible to very targeted email attacks.  As Epsilon knows that you shop at Target or maybe you vacation at one of the Disney properties.  You receive an email from Target describing a great new barbecue grill and the special low pricing.  By clicking the link you are assured to reserve on in your name.  Or perhaps you get an invitation from Disney and they would like to offer you two nights free if you stay for three nights at one of their resorts at Walt Disney World.  All you need to do is click the link and login.  In both of these scenarios, you click the link, enter your information, and game’s on!

If your like many people, at this point you just want to hire a HITman to take care of the genius who let the breach happen in the first place.

This article was written by The Boss of HITman Services, a computer and IT company, based in Clifton Park and serving the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties of New York.

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Privacy on the Internet? Fuhgeddaboutdit!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Privacy on the Internet?  Are you kidding me?  We know who you are.  We know where you live.  We know where you go.  In fact, we know everything about you; and there’s not much you can do abodit!

Most everyone has their shorts in a bunch over the latest security breach by Epsilon.  Epsilon is a marketing company focusing on Internet technologies such as social media and captures information such as email addresses.  Large corporations such as Disney, American Express, Target, Citibank, Chase, TD Ameritrade and hundreds of others are all clients of Epsilon.

Epsilon’s email system was breached and as a result, possibly millions of email addresses have been stolen.  While Epsilon states that no personally identifiable information has been given out, this opens up the very strong possibility of computers being compromised; and massive identity theft as unsuspecting people click embedded links in fraudulent emails they receive.

As hard as one might try to retain some form of anonymity or privacy, if you use Google or make any online purchases, you can fuhgeddaboutdit.  Google keeps from months to years of everything you search for and as has been shown by the latest security breach, companies such as Epsilon store millions of pieces of information from thousands of its corporate clients on what you buy.

Other than taking a baseball bat to your computer or moving to a secure family compound with no connection to the outside world, this is one of the unintended consequences of today’s technology.

This article was written by The Boss of HITman Services, a computer and IT company, based in Clifton Park and serving the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties of New York.

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