This year’s Norton Cybercrime Report found that a whopping 65% of Internet users worldwide – nearly two-thirds of us – have been affected by cybercrime. Well, whether or not your family falls into that 65%, if you ever wonder what that cybercrime looks like, the New York Times Magazine took readers inside that world this week. It tells the story of Albert Gonzalez, mastermind of the “the biggest digital heist in American history,” involving the theft of tens of millions of bank cards. He went from being arrested by a New York City detective for “cashing out” at an ATM with stolen debit cards to becoming an informant for the Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Task Force (“one of the most valuable” the government ever had) and betraying members of his inner circle. But while he was doing both of those things, he was – with the help of his own hacker crew – also gaining access to “roughly 180 million payment-card accounts from the customer databases of some of the most well-known corporations in America” (e.g., T.J. Maxx, Target, Barnes & Noble, and JCPenney). His story spans that of cybercrime’s “evolution” from hacking and data mining (large databases of, e.g., credit card numbers) to “war driving” (sitting in parking lots or near big-box stores and “burrowing through stores’ vulnerable wi-fi networks” with laptops and powerful antennas, grabbing debit card numbers) to doing “SQL injections” into retail Web sites (going through Web sites to get to the customer data in the SQL databases behind them). Read the story to find out how the feds figured out it was their own informant committing these crimes and arrested him for the second and hopefully last time. It’s a page-turner.
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments