RealTime IT News

MSNBC: dumb data thief advertises on YouTube

The professionals just don't do it on YouTube. They have more exclusive hangouts, IRC chat rooms where malware, personal data, and other valuable items are traded in criminal markets for cash or in barter transactions, according to Symantec's recent Internet Security Threat Report.

MSNBC reports that one dumpster diver did not know this protocol and instead advertised the personal information contained in files for sale on the Internet's most popular user generated video content Web site.

MSNBC's Bob Sullivan claims to have contacted the thief, who offered 100 records in exchange for cash transferred through PayPal.

The video has been removed from the site, but the report says the thief was offering "Name. Sex of the individual. Social Security number of the individual. Mother's name. Their current street address ... License number. Their date of birth. Kind of work they are in, the industry that they're in. And their net worth. That's including real estate and any liquid assets. And I could get a good credit read on them as well."

Sullivan wrote that although the theft of a person's identity leaves no "no blood, no shattered glass, no broken locks" it causes real damage.

It's often too easy, he concluded. "Identity thieves, in the end, are real people stealing real money and causing real harm. And surprisingly often, they are friends, family members, or co-workers who initiate the crime by stealing personal information found on papers left around offices or homes. The stolen data can be surprisingly easy to come by, as this ID theft 'commercial' shows."

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