Category: Social Engineering

January 26, 2016
Feds Indict More Than 50 in Jury Duty Phone Fraud Scam
Federal officials have indicted more than 50 people, including 15 former prison officials and 19 former inmates, in a long-running vishing and phone fraud scheme that was run through a Georgia prison. Using cell phones smuggled into Autry State Prison by guards, the inmates would call victims, mostly in the Atlanta metro area, and inform them…
Read More →
January 12, 2016
Steal 54 Identities, Get 334 Years in Prison
Civil rights advocates and security researchers for years have been decrying the penalties that result from prosecutions under the United States’ Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), saying they often are too harsh. But those sentences pale in comparison to what a Turkish man is facing after his second conviction for hacking and identity theft.…
Read More →
January 7, 2016
Fake Tech Support Scams Evolve to Include Support, Purchase History
Calling a tech support line can be a fairly miserable experience. Having tech support reps calling you at home to warn you about supposed malware on your PC is even worse. It’s an old scam, but one that’s gotten a vicious new twist of late with scammers who know every detail of a victim’s support…
Read More →
January 5, 2016
How an IRS Employee Allegedly Stole $1 Million from Taxpayers
Few, if any, companies or government agencies store more sensitive personal information than the IRS, and consumers have virtually no insight into how that data is used and secured. But, as the results of a recent Justice Department investigation show, when you start poking around in those dark corners, you sometimes find very ugly things. Beginning…
Read More →
January 4, 2016
Nigerian Email Scams Alive and Well
Nigerian email scams have been ongoing for more than a decade and in that time have morphed, spread, and evolved from simple pleas for money from consumers to highly targeted schemes going after multi-million companies. And though law enforcement agencies have been following them for years, arrests and indictments related to these scams are still rare.…
Read More →
December 28, 2015
On the Wire Podcast: James Chappell
Dennis Fisher talks with James Chappell of Digital Shadows about the state of the underground economy, how he goes about his research into the economy, and the evolution of fraud and attacks. Music by Chris Gonsalves and Ken Montigny. Image from Flickr stream of Dean Hochman.
Read More →
December 17, 2015
Welcome to On the Wire
The Internet is useful for a lot of things—watching videos of dogs dancing to Toto, ordering drone-delivered ice cream—but it has become less-than-useful at the task that it was originally designed for: organizing information and connecting people to that information. The sheer volume of data, opinions, and speculation available on any given topic makes it…
Read More →
December 17, 2015
Anatomy of a Phone Fraud Scam
When Nargess Sadjady answered the phone at her home in London one early evening in August, the man on the other end gave her some disquieting news: There were some suspicious online purchases on her account. The caller spoke with a soft Scottish accent and said he was from the security team at her bank,…
Read More →
December 9, 2015
Social Engineering Protection Comes to Android
Google, as the de facto owner of the Internet, is in a unique position to effect change on the network, and one piece of that equation is the ability to protect users from various threats. That can take a number of forms, and the most recent move from the company is a change to Android that…
Read More →
December 3, 2015
FTC Rule Change Cracks Down on Payment Methods Used by Fraudsters
The Federal Trade Commission is trying to cut off some of the sources of money that flow from consumers to phone scammers by tightening up the rules on how specific forms of payment can be used. The changes come as consumers are facing an onslaught of increasingly sophisticated and persistent campaigns from scammers pretending to be…
Read More →