Vietnamese Hacker who stole identities of 200 million American, sentenced to 13 years

After breaking into the computers of several business entities and stealing the personal identification information of over 200 million Americans, a Vietnamese hacker has finally been sentenced for 13 years in prison.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday, released a report announcing that Hieu Minh Ngo, 25, bagged $2 mn from hacking and stealing the personal identification and selling it to other cyber criminals.

A District Court in New Hampshire finally sentenced Ngo on Tuesday for various fradulent charges, as reported by the Financial Times. Ngo was arrested in february 2013, soon as he entered America.

Back in his home in Vietnam, Ngo was active from 2007 till 2013, for breaking into computer systems and stealing identifiable information like Social security numbers, credit card details, bank account, phone numbers, and advertising about the data on his websites, from where the fellow hackers used to buy the information.

A press release by the Justice Department specified that 'Ngo admitted that he offered access to PII (personally identifiable information) for 200 million U.S. citizens, and that more than 1,300 customers from around the world conducted more than three million "queries" through the third-party databases maintained on his websites'.

The Internal Revenue Service stated that the information sold on Ngo's website to other hackers was used to file income tax returns for more than 13000 people, who saw $65 million returned on their behalf.

'Criminals buy and sell stolen identity information because they see it as a low-risk, high-reward proposition,' Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said a statement.
'Identifying and prosecuting cyber criminals like Ngo is one of the ways we're working to change that cost-benefit analysis.'

The US Office of Personnel Management revealed that the hackers have stolen more than 21.5 mn social security numbers till now, and out of them 1.1 mn include fingerprints.

Sentencing Ngo has finally taken an initiative for stopping cyber crimes that are breaching the personal identity of civilians.

Digital Constitution hacked, to promote online gambling

Digital Constitution, the Microsoft web site which protects online privacy in a digital world, was hacked to promote online casinos.

According to ZDNet, which first reported about the hacking, the Digital Constitution was running an older version of WordPress when the spammy links were discovered.

Though the links were removed from the front page in the hours following the ZDNet report, a variety of other pages continued link to the gambling sites.

The news reports says that it is unknown how long ago the site was hacked to promote online gambling, whether other Microsoft websites were hacked or not. It is still not clear who was behind the attack.

Ars Technica noted that it was not unusual for hack-by-numbers exploit kits to automatically inject malicious links into vulnerable pages that when viewed by vulnerable computers, perform drive by download attacks.

However, when the company was asked, the Microsoft answered not more than "it's fixed."

According to the news report, the attacker had injected text with keywords like "online casino," "poker, "craps," "roulette," and "blackjack." New pages were added to inject to show content that embeds content from other casino-related websites. 

Hackers steal $24k from Mahwah businessman’s bank account

After big corporations and the government agencies, hackers are now targeting individuals. The hackers stole $240,000 from a local businessman’s bank account in Mahwah by hijacking his phone number.  

According to a report published on CSB New York, at first, the hackers followed and observed the local businessman and gained enough his personal information to convince his bank to wire $240,000 overseas.

Chief of Police James Batelli said that the phone number of the businessman had been hijacked so when the bank called to verify the hackers answered. However, the bank did not get a clue that it was talking to the hackers overseas.

“That is call forwarded to Brussels and the person on that end answers all the proper security questions, which was social security numbers, mother’s maiden name, hospital they were born in; and the bank thinks they’re talking to the person authorized to allow that transfer to go through,” said Batelli.

Batelli said that in order to protect personal information, people should regularly change their security questions.

Kreditech Suspects Insider In Data Breach

Kreditech, a Germany-based  micro-loan startup is investigating a data breach of personal and financial records of thousands of its online applicants, according to Brian Krebs report.

A Web site accessible via Tor, a software that transfers  Internet traffic  to a global network of relays, included links to countless documents, drivers licenses, national Ids, scanned passports, and credit agreements taken from Kreditech’s servers.

A group of  hackers 'A4' professes to have posted the screen shots of the hundreds of gigabytes documents of Kreditech.

Kreditech head of communications Anna Friedrich said, “There is no access to any customer data. This incident stemmed from a form on our website that was stored data in a caching system that deleted data every few days. What happened was that a subset of application data was affected. We are collaborating with the police, but unfortunately there is no more further information that I have to share.”

Further adding Friedrich said that Kreditech believes the data was leaked by an insider, can be former or current employee.

Kreditech, has raised $63 million from investors since 2012. The company grant credit to applicants using traditional data scoring and social media, and provide loans  in Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Mexico, Australia, Russia,  Peru, the Dominican Republic and Kazakhstan.

Twitch advises users to change passwords after potential hack

Gaming video broadcaster Twitch recently announced that the site could have potentially been hacked and all users should set new passwords for their accounts on the website.

The company has given out an official statement on the matter saying that hackers could have gained access to personal account information of its users. The website has not given out any information as to how hackers accessed the user information.

Not taking any chances, Twitch has expires the passwords of all its user accounts and also accounts linked from Youtube and Twitter. The company has gone a step further and also asked users to change their similar passwords on other websites.

Twitch is also contacting users personally via email, who they think might have been directly impacted because of the potential breach. In the email (obtained from Twitter user Chris Seymour) Twitch has further stated the information of the affected users at risk.

The email read, 'We are writing to let you know that there may have been unauthorized access to some of your Twitch user account information, including possibly your Twitch username and associated email address, your password, the last IP address you logged in from, limited credit card information (card type, truncated card number and expiration date), and any of the following if you provided it to us: first and last name, phone number, address, and date of birth.'

Twitch has declined to comment publicly what personal information of its users might be at risk.

LAX Police investigating credit card breach at Tom Bradley International Airport

Police have begun investigating what appears to be a credit card fraud at one of the shopping vendors at the Tom Bradley International Airport.

The police are being reclusive on the matter and haven failed to comment what led them to finding out about the credit card breach. They have also refused to tell the press about which shopping vendor might have been compromised for card payments. No suspects have been identified as of yet by the police.

The Tom Bradley International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world, and the third in United States. The terminal has three levels and 18 gates and 39 airlines operate out of their. There are dozens of vendors present throughout the airport.

LAX Police have asked anyone who finds unauthorized charges on their card statements at the airport terminal after March 4 to call  (424) 646-6100 immediately.