Prime Time Crime

Scams & Identity theft

Anti Phishing Working Group

The Spamhaus Project

Anonymized isn't anonymous

Scientists showed they can identify you with more than 90% accuracy by looking at just 4 credit card purchases, 3 if the price is included - and this is after companies 'anonymized' the transaction records, saying they wiped away names and other personal details.   (CBC)   REPORT:   Reidentifiability of credit card metadata


State sponsored hackers

TORONTO - Groups advocating for dissidents, refugees and human rights are virtually 'defenceless' against powerful state-sponsored hackers from China and elsewhere, according to a new report.   (Globe & Mail)  MORE:   Targeted digital threats



Experts have a message for anyone with a webcam, baby monitor or home security camera: change your password now, because feeds from the cameras are being posted online by a Russian website.   (AP)


Hacking risks

 As high-tech features like adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and automatic parallel parking systems make cars smarter, it's also making them more vulnerable to hackers.  (CBC)


Next phase of anti-spam law

TORONTO - Starting on Jan. 15, 2015, companies will have to get consent before installing a program on a person's computer if the software has the ability to covertly send electronic messages or has other functionality outlined in the legislation.  (CP)  


Apparent hacking 

Nude photos of more than 100 A-list celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, have been leaked online after reports suggest an anonymous hacker was able to gain access to Apple's online storage system, iCloud.   (AP)   MORE:   Cloud concern   Phenomenon of the naked selfie


Malware takedown

On May 13 and 14, more than 350 homes were searched in 16 countries. The Eurojust release said the investigation was looking at the creators, sellers and users of BlackShades malware.  (QMI)   MORE:   Global hacker crackdown   US DOJ press release  


Fake ID cards

TORONTO - A CBC News investigation has found that a sophisticated fake ID market is openly thriving in Canada's largest city, with shops selling cards as novelty items that are just different enough from government-issued identification to evade police scrutiny.  (CBC) 


Fakes worth more

BOSTON  - In the world of cyber fraud, a fake fan on Instagram can be worth 5 times more than a stolen credit card number.  (Reuters)   PREVIOUS:   'Click farms'  

Data hack

INDIANAPOLIS - Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer, has been hacked, exposing personal information about millions of its employees and customers. (Washington Post)     MORE:   80M records    



Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, 30, ran a criminal ring responsible for Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker, a form of malware known as ransomware,  (Bloomberg)   MORE:   FBI wanted   USDOJ press release   Canadians join crackdown 

Hacking traffic lights

Cesar Cerrudo told CTV's Canada AM that he’s hacked into the traffic systems of Seattle, Washington and New York City just to prove his point.  (CTV)


EBay cyberattack

EBay Inc said that hackers raided its network 3 months ago, accessing some 145M user records.   (Reuters)   


Explorer security flaw

Microsoft was scrambling to repair a security hole in its widely used Internet Explorer web browser, saying it had detected attempts to exploit the flaw.   (AFP) 


Internet of Things attack

SUNNYVALE - Proofpoint has uncovered what may be the first proven Internet of Things (IoT) - based cyberattack involving conventional household "smart" appliances.  (Proofpoint) 


Password dump

More than 2M stolen passwords used for sites such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo and other web services have been posted online.  (BBC)   MORE:   Look what I found


Cybercrime report

Cybercrime cost Canadians $3B in the last 12 months, up from $1.4B the year before, according to a new report.    (CTV)   2013 Norton Report .pdf   2012 Norton Cybercrime Report   .pdf      



M2M - machine to machine communication - is being called the Next Big Thing.   (Asia Sentinel)


Killing hackers is justified

The Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (pdf) analyzes the rules of conventional war and applies them to state-sponsored cyberattacks. (Verge)   MORE:   Rules for cyberwar  


A 'significant' problem

TORONTO - Gaps in the cyber security efforts of Canadian corporations could be leaving them open to sophisticated attacks by hackers.   (CP) 


'Bait apps'

Tuck a youngster quietly into the backseat of a car with a cellphone and a game app and you might end up footing a bill for thousands of dollars worth of "virtual" berries or gems.   (CBC) 


    Cyberbullying charges 

OTTAWA - Robert Campbell, 42, was hit with 27 counts of criminal harassment, 85 charges of defamation libel and 69 more of identity fraud after an 8-month probe called 'Project Winter.'    (Toronto Star)    MORE:   International cyberbullying

Hacking operation

NEWARK - 4 Russian nationals have been charged with running a hacking organization that over 7 years penetrated computer networks of more than a dozen major American and international corporations.  (AP)   MORE:   5 indicted


Blackmail syndicate

MADRID - The suspects persuaded people in foreign countries to expose themselves in front of webcams or send explicit material.  (BBC)  MORE:   Blackmail gang smashed   'Sextortion' ring busted  

Law will be hard to police

TORONTO - A new law designed to help unclog Canadians' email inboxes takes effect July 1, but the CRTC is warning that it won't be able to respond to every complaint it receives.  (CP)    



OTTAWA - Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, 19, a student at Western University was arrested.  (CBC)

Heartbleed suspect

First Heartbleed hack arrest

CSEC unaware of Heartbleed bug

Agencies knew for 2 years

SINs stolen

Heartbleed Bug 

Change your passwords

RCMP asked CRA to delay info  

Hacker sentenced

Jeremy Hammond

2012 Stratfor email leak

Criminal No. 1:13-cr-383  .pdf  

Guilty plea

'Biggest attack in history

Hacktivism has gone mainstream

FBI probe call hacking

Hacked conference call

Mexican websites

Double standard on 'secrets'


Hacking group announces end

War on Web anonymity

Head hacker was a mole

Hackers boss an informant

Hacked neo-Nazi websites reveal

Hector 'Sabu' Monsegur 

US indicted Anonymous

US indicts Anonymous members

Alleged hackers indicted 


Canadian connections

Ron Paul linked  

Anonymous hacks company


Hackers expose officials

Stratfor scandal  

Stratfor subscriber base posted  

Anonymous not anonymous

Hackivist response to FBI arrests

Anonymous NATO security breach

Hackers vow more cyber attacks

FBI takedowns

FBI raids homes  


Ethical hacking?  

Personal information released

Doing it for the 'lulz'    

Manage your online reputation

Sony cyber attacks  

Hacktivism hit on Iran


Malaysia next target

3 suspects arrested  

1 in 4 hackers 'is an FBI informer'  

IMF target of computer attack  

Nation-state behind attack

Anonymous arrests

Censorship in Turkey  

Anonymous attack on Turkey

Internet privacy  



NEW YORK - Ross William Ulbricht was convicted on charges he created a multimillion-dollar marketplace on the Internet by promising buyers and sellers anonymity through use of encryption and bitcoins.    (AP) 


Rise of cryptocurrencies 


Bitcoin lawsuit

Mark Karpel 

Market capitalizations


Ripple   Litecoin   

Peercoin   Dogecoin 

Mt Gox

EU, US cyber arrests

Raid shuts 400 'dark net' sites

Silk Road marketplace 

Panic sell-off

Horrible investment idea

Virtual currency skyrockets   

Seized Bitcoin

FBI tracked down the suspect

Silk Road shut down

Silk Road founder arrested

Silk Road busted

Police can't find the victim

Deep Web

Feds use civil forfeiture

Bitcoin bank closes

Flexcoin bank

Major online exchange vanishes 

Crisis Strategy Draft  

Mt Gox shuts down

Mt Gox files for bankruptcy   


Father a person of interest

OTTAWA - The father of a Barrhaven, teen at the centre of a massive 'swatting' investigation is now being treated as a person of interest in this past week's cyber-attack campaign.    (QMI) 


Attack KOs websites

Cop named  

Teens charged

Swatting investigation

Swatting incident


Data breach

LOS ANGELES - JPMorgan Chase disclosed that the breach compromised customer information pertaining to roughly 76M households and 7M small businesses.  (AP) 

Breach part of scam


Data breach increase 

More retailers victims   

Target data breach


'Russians' behind cyberattack  


 'Suicide' code

The creators of the Flame malware have sent a "suicide" command that removes it from some infected computers.   (BBC)  

Flame virus   N

ew advanced cyber threat  

Flame Q&A    

New cyberweapon discovered  

 US 'key player in cyber attacks'


Caught flat footed

TOKYO - Japan was likely caught flat-footed by a recent spate of cyber attacks against the heart of its government and defense industry, experts said, warning that the country's credibility and diplomatic relations could suffer unless prompt countermeasures were put in place.  (Reuters) 

Ministry hit by cyber-attacks 

Data stolen in cyber-attacks

Cyber attack

Canadians don't know enough

Conference Board of Canada

Building capacity in cyber security

Age of cyber warfare is 'dawning'


Cloud storage spied on

WASHINGTON - Cloud computing has exploded in recent years as a flexible, cheap way for individuals, companies and government bodies to remotely store documents and data.  But it has now emerged that all documents uploaded onto cloud systems based in the US or falling under Washington’s jurisdiction can be accessed and analyzed without a warrant by American security agencies.  (Independent)  

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Rise of America's lunatic fringe 

Speaking with silence


Your online choices 

Former general named   Stuxnet

Twitter censor country-by-country

Online privacy  

Cookies crumble

Google tracking users  


Censorship in India

HTTP cookies

web beacons

deep packet inspection

Online behavioural advertising  

Online tracking rules  

Tips for online privacy  

Apple acts on tracking bug

Who owns your location?   

Apple denies iPhone tracking  

Apple cites bugs  

Your phone has sold you out  

iPad recording your movements

Big Brother

Greed & Corruption: copyright  


Smartphones skim

A technology designed to make it easier to pay with your credit card may be putting Canadians at risk of fraud and identity theft, say security experts.  The chips can also be read with a device millions of Canadians carry with them every day: a smartphone.   (CBC) 

Espionage on games

A group of hackers believed to be based in China have been hacking computer games companies, stealing plenty of vital data, including games’ source code, as part of a big cyber espionage campaign.  (TechWeek)   MORE:   Winnti: More than just a game 



BERLIN -  The Berlin-based Chaos Computer Club (CCC) said it had analyzed a "lawful interception" malware programme called Federal Trojan, used by the German police force.   (BBC)   MORE:  Federal Trojan   DigiTask admits sale of spyware   Hackers crack government spy software

FBI breach

WASHINGTON - A hacking collective says it has gained access to an FBI computer and recovered millions of unique identifying codes belonging to users of Apple devices.  (CTV)    MORE:  FBI tracking Apple users   FBI denies leak   Smartphones spyware   The smartphone who loved me


Stolen IDs used

OTTAWA - Criminals are increasingly using stolen social insurance numbers and doctored birth certificates to obtain legitimate driver's licences and passports, an internal RCMP report says.  (CTV)   

Class action filed

OTTAWA - A Newfoundland lawyer has filed a class-action lawsuit after a federal agency lost the personal information of more than half a million people who have student loans.  (CTV)  PREVIOUS:   Data missing


Credit card fraud

CHARLOTTETOWN - A celebration at the University of PEI's Shinerama campaign for cystic fibrosis research has been cut short after it was discovered close to $100,000 of the donations came from stolen credit cards.  (CBC)

Government fears

OTTAWA - The Public Safety Department worries Canada is becoming a digital launching pad for - not just a target of - malicious cyber-activities, confidential briefing notes reveal.    (CP)   MORE:   Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security 


Greek ID theft

ATHENS - Greek police have arrested a 35-year old computer programmer suspected of attempting to sell the 9M files containing identification card data, addresses, tax ID numbers and licence plate numbers. Greece’s population is 11M. (Reuters)

Smart meters interfering

About 200 customers of the Central Maine Power Company recently noticed something odd after the utility installed smart meters in their homes: in some cases other wireless devices stopped working, or behaved erratically.    (Security Week)  


Government hacked

OTTAWA - Hackers attacked 2 of Canada's federal departments stole classified information before being discovered.   (CBC)   Government's system under attack.

Commons employee charged

OTTAWA - A 28-year-old man was arrested for allegedly hacking into Quebec’s main government website last spring, and putting it out of commission for more than two days.   (CTV)


CSIS on hacktivism

OTTAWA - Canada's spy agency says the online collective Anonymous isn't just a thorn in the side of the powerful, but the new model for digital hacktivism.   (CP)  PREVIOUS:  Security implications of a shifting news and media environment

Crime stoppers app

TORONTO - The app includes interactive features that enable Toronto-area residents to alert police in real time about a crime or potential crime through photos, video, emails, text, and a button that autodials Crime Stoppers. (CP) 


UN internet treaty

DUBAI - The ITU has no technical powers to change how the Internet operates or force countries to follow its nonbinding accords.  (AP)   MORE:   Internet regulation   WCITleaks


Earlier this year the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the outfit in charge of addresses in cyberspace, allowed applications for new suffixes.  (Economist)



OTTAWA - The RCMP believes fraud is approaching the size and scope of the drug trade.  March is fraud prevention month.   (CBC)   MORE:   Preventing Fraud in the Digital Age RCMP scams & fraud   Competition Bureau  

File-sharers monitored

LONDON - Anyone using file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the latest film or music release is likely to be monitored, UK-based researchers suggest.   (BBC)  REPORT:  Direct monitoring in BitTorrent  .pdf


Credit card ring

TORONTO -  Police allege the racket tampered with automated bank machines, using data readers to scan information on the magnetic strip and pin cameras to get personal identification numbers.  (QMI)   MORE:  Global ATM scam   1,500 scammed by ATM

Cyber security at risk

Canada has fallen short in protecting its critical infrastructure from a whole host of risks, says a new report published by public policy think-tank Macdonald-Laurier Institute.  (QMI)   REPORT:  Canada's Critical Infrastructure   .pdf


9 years for lotto scam

LOS ANGELES -  Henry Anekwu of Vancouver was also ordered to pay about $500,000 in restitution.  (AP)  MORE:  9 years for scamming elderly out of homes

Patent application

Microsoft has filed a patent application for a computer system that will allow advertisers to target customers based on their emotions.  (CBC)


'Spam king'

SAN FRANCISCO - A Las Vegas man accused of sending more than 27M spam messages to Facebook users faces federal fraud and computer tampering charges.  (AP)

Sanford Wallace  

'Indestructible' botnet

More than 4M PCs have been enrolled in a botnet security experts say is almost "indestructible".  The botnet, known as TDL, targets Windows PCs and is difficult to detect and shut down.  (BBC)


Credit cards seized

EDMONTON - Police say what started as a vehicle stop to check out a stolen licence plate has led to a major bust: they reveal more than 1,000 credit cards, thousands of electronic credit card numbers and equipment used to manufacture counterfeit credit cards were recovered late last month.  (CTV)   MORE:  4 charged  


BARCELONA - The 35 year-old Dutchman accused of masterminding the worryingly vast DDoS attack that nearly swamped anti-spam organization Spamhaus and its partners last month has been arrested in Barcelona.  (TechWorld)   MORE:   Suspicion of launching biggest cyberattack in history    Cyber Van   DDoS


Spyware targets dissidents

University of Toronto’s spy-busting Citizen Lab has raised the alarm on a new tool that is used against opposition sympathizers who try to secretly bypass government censorship. (Toronto Star)   REPORT:  Iranian anti-censorship software has a backdoor

Spying device

HONG KONG - For years now Chinese authorities have been installing spying devices on all dual-plate Chinese-Hong Kong vehicles, enabling a vast network of eavesdropping across the archipelago.   (Epoch Times)  RELATED:  Canadian software censors the net


Most data breaches are inside jobs

Organized cyber-criminals and malicious insiders were responsible for most corporate data breaches in 2009 according to a new report by Verizon and the Secret Service.  (SF Gate)  REPORT:  2010 data breach investigations report  .pdf

Alleged ticket scammer

TORONTO - Roger Neiley, 27, faces 60 charges for allegedly selling thousands of dollars worth of non-existent tickets, mostly for Toronto venues, over the Internet.  He was sentenced to three months in jail back in 2007 for his role in a similar scheme run by his roommate, Shaun Nixon.   (QMI)


Browser flaw

Dozens of websites have been secretly harvesting lists of places that their users previously visited online, everything from news articles to bank sites to pornography, a team of computer scientists found.  (Fox)

New botnet

"The ZeuS Compromise" may sound like a great movie, but it's actually a newly uncovered, massive hacking network affecting more than 74,000 PCs in 2,400 business and government systems around the world.  (Fox)   PREVIOUS:  Botnet


Canadians more aware

Sometime in the days leading up to Halloween, the 8,120th Canadian contacted police about being ripped off in a mass marketing scam, surpassing the total number of such victims reported for all of 2009.  According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, 95% scammed never report it.   (CBC)  

Security flaw

Computer-security researchers at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands revealed how the smart-card technology, called MIFARE, can be hacked.  (CBC)    PREVIOUS:  Security-chip credit card   Smart card   Smart card attack   Hijacking smart cards  


Telemarketers still calling

MONTREAL - Express Transaction Services Inc. and some affiliated companies face several charges under the federal Competition Act and Criminal Code, following an investigation and police raids at its Montreal facilities in 2007. (CBC)  

Telemarketer arrested

US v Mouyal   .pdf   


Back in business  

Telemarketer $1M fine

CRTC's do-not-call-list enforcement

$15M fine for scam

Deceptive telemarketing charges

$158M scam  

Secrecy shrouds no-call probe

CRTC urged to stop tele-hackers

Bogus telemarketers

Thousands complain about CRTC’s do-not-call

Fake 'do not call list'

CRTC targets small fry

14 years

Police bust telemarketing fraud ring

LA wants accused scam artist

Operation Tele-PHONEY

Telemarketing fraud

Scammers fleece seniors

Telemarketer pleads guilty

Mobile phone crime blitz

Telemarketers face jail



Legal warning scam

The Reveton Trojan, once downloaded and activated, causes computers to seize and display a fraudulent message purporting to come from the RCMP, CSIS, FBI or some other law-enforcement agency.  (CBC)

Cyber scam

Zeus Trojan  

Clamp down on cyber fraud  

Cyber crime ring take down  

More than 60 charged in scheme  


Man charged

OTTAWA - A 56-year-old Ottawa man is facing counterfeit-related charges after sheets with Ontario's holographic design were found at Ottawa's airport.   (CP)  

1M Canadians victims

A stunning 15M Canadians were repeatedly targeted by mass-marketing fraudsters in the past year and 1M were victims.  (Ottawa Citizen)


E-spionage threat

The e-mail message addressed to a Booz Allen Hamilton executive was mundane - a shopping list sent over by the Pentagon of weaponry India wanted to buy. But the missive turned out to be a brilliant fake. Lurking beneath the description of aircraft, engines, and radar equipment was an insidious piece of computer code known as "Poison Ivy" designed to suck sensitive data out of the $4B consulting firm's computer network.  (Business Week)

Lost data discs 'endanger protected witnesses'

LONDON - Hundreds of people in police witness protection programmes have been put at risk by the loss of millions of child benefit records.  The missing data discs are understood to contain both the real names and the new identities of up to 350 people who have had their identities changed after giving evidence against major criminals.  (Telegraph UK)   PREVIOUS:  Data on 25M lost in post


'Spam King' suspect seized

SEATTLE - On just two groups of servers, in just a few months, federal investigators found more than 200 million spam messages linked to 27-year-old Robert Alan Soloway.  (Seattle PI)   PREVIOUS:  Man's arrest could reduce spam    Vancouver man who 'owns the Internet'

AOL wants to dig for gold

WASHINGTON - AOL believes a renegade Internet spammer buried gold and platinum on his parents' property in Massachusetts and wants to bring in bulldozers to search for the treasure and satisfy a $12.8 million judgment it won in federal court.  (CBS/AP)  PREVIOUS:  Return of the 'Kosher Nazi'


Court fines Scientology

PARIS - The Church of Scientology in France has been found guilty of defrauding its followers and its leaders have been handed fines and suspended prison sentences. However, the court did not ban the organization’s activities in France.  (AFP)  

Church of Scientology

'Criminal organization'

Celebrities lead charge against Scientology

Scientology fined for fraud

Hackers war on Scientologists

L. Ron Hubbard

A. E. van Vogt

Non-Aristotelian logic

Office of Special Affairs

Operating Thetan documents

  spells out a simple two-step process to block junk mail


The Bi-national Working Group on Cross-Border Mass Marketing Fraud in its report on Identity Theft identifies the following means of theft: 

Physical Methods

Mail Theft

Theft from Residences and Personal Spaces


Electronic Methods

Misuse Of Personal Data in Business Transactions

Phishing, Spoofing and Pretexting

Theft from Company or Government Databases

The report also deals with the scope of Identity Theft: 

In the United States, identity theft-related complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) increased from 86,212 in 2001, to 161,836 in 2002, to 214,905 in 2003 -- an increase of nearly 250 percent.   In the first two quarters of 2004, the FTC received an additional 130,217 identity theft complaints. This means that the average number of complaints that the FTC received per week has consistently increased: more than 1600 per week in 2001, more than 3100 per week in 2002, more than 4100 per week in 2003 and more than 5000 per week in the first half of 2004.

In Canada, the PhoneBusters National Call Centre received 7629 identity theft complaints in 2002 from Canadians reporting total losses of more than CAN$8.5 million. In 2003, PhoneBusters received 14,526 identity theft-related complaints from Canadians, reflecting reported losses of more than CAN$21.8 million.

Statistics gathered by PhoneBusters in 2003 and the first half of 2004 indicate the largest number of complaints surrounding identity theft relate to credit cards or false application for a credit card (32 percent) and cell phones or false application for a cell phone (10-12 percent). Similarly, the FTC reports that in 2003, 33 percent of identity theft victims reported that their identifying information was used for credit card fraud and 16 percent of victims reported that their identifying information was used for fraud in ordering phone service. Cell phones accounted for 10.4 percent of this total while landline phones accounted for 5.6 percent. Due to challenges categorizing the statistical information, law enforcement in both countries has reason to believe that actual instances, particularly of credit card "takeover", may actually be much higher.

More Information on Identity Theft

Support centre launched

The Canadian Identity Theft Support Centre, funded by the feds and private partners, has been set up to help victims dealing with the fallout of identity theft.  (QMI) 

Government of Canada: Identity Theft

The 'Social Engineering' of Internet Fraud

US FTC: Identity Theft

Reducing the Rick of Identity Theft

'Synthetic' identity fraud cost 

TORONTO - Thousands of driver's licences with fake names are circulating in Ontario, with many being used in a new type of fraud that's plaguing the financial industry, growing exponentially and costing Canadians up to a billion dollars a year, experts say.  (CBC)    

Suspected terrorist links  


Identity theft factory found

Identity thief gets sentence

Ottawa missed chance to deport

Data theft worse than first reported

Fake companies, real money

How easy it is to steal ID

An identity theft nightmare

Credit card leaks continue

New scam uses counterfeit checks

Scam artists target online checks

Con artists target phone system

Identify theft

Debit machine scam

BC a global centre for fake ID

Thieves after more than credit card

How credit-card data went out door

Debit card scam

Shocked retailers tighten up

ChoicePoint previous identity theft

Bank of America Security Lapse

Keep thieves out of your account

Crooks are phishing for your life

California sets fines for spyware

The makers of computer programs that secretly spy on what people do with their home PCs could face hefty fines in California.  From 1 January, a new law is being introduced to protect computer users from software known as spyware.  (BBC)

If you have not installed Spybot or AdAware think about doing so.  It’s free. – Chris 

Freeze on anti-spam campaign

Anti-spam plan overwhelms sites

Spoofing' a growing fraud problem

Mounties charge virus suspect

Firms warn of new Mydoom worm

'Sasser' teen released other worms

Teen 'confesses' to Sasser worm

Man sentenced to 14 years

150 cyber criminals caught

Warning on hard drives' security

Online job scammers steal millions

Digital crooks craft of 'phishing'

Two adware firms battling in court

For a more complete list

Spam domain blacklist


For a more complete description of scam letters:

Crimes of persuasion: Nigerian Letter Scam

Prime Time Crime

Recent Headlines