Crime Awareness: Joker’s Stash Carding Market to Call it Quits

Joker’s Stash Carding Market to Call it Quits

Good news for us decent folks: One of the largest shops for stolen credit card and identity information on the dark web is closing it’s doors.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!


26 Secrets an Identity Thief Definitely Doesn’t Want You to Know

26 Secrets an Identity Thief Definitely Doesn’t Want You to Know

Good information on a problem that effects thousands of people every month in this country.

Security begins with forming GOOD habits. If you are not doing the things suggested, start now!

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!


U.S. Army Changing Dog Tags For First Time In 40 Years


For the first time in 40 years, the U.S. Army is making changes to a century-old piece of hardware, dog tags, the identification implements that hang around each soldier’s neck.

For a low-tech thing like the aluminum dog tag, the reason for the change is decidedly high-tech, the threat of identity theft. On the new dog tags, the service member’s Social Security number will be replaced with a randomly-generated, 10-digit Department of Defense identification number.

“If you find a pair of lost ID tags you can pretty much do anything with that person’s identity because you now have their blood type, their religion, you have their social, and you have their name. The only thing missing is their birth date and you can usually get that by Googling a person,” Michael Klemowski, Soldiers Programs Branch chief, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, said in an Army press release.

The change was mandated in 2007, but it has taken the military this long to replace the Social Security number with the 10-digit idea number through a number of systems, Klemowski said.

While identity theft may be among the most impersonal of crimes, the dog tags are anything but that.

“Dog tags are highly personal items to warriors of every service and to their families as well,” says a Library of Congress tribute to the dog tag produced in 2012. “The tag itself individualizes the human being who wears it, despite his or her role as a small part of a huge and faceless organization. While the armed forces demand obedience and duty to a higher cause, dog tags, hanging under service members’ shirts and close to their chests, remind them of their individuality.”

The tags became part of the Army field kit shortly before World War I. By July 1916, the Army was issuing two of the tags to each soldier, one that would stay with the remains of those lost in battle and one that would go to the burial unit, according to the Armed Forces History Museum.

The tags “bring comfort and help calm the fears of soldiers facing death,” the Library of Congress tribute says, allowing them to know they would not be forgotten or become an unknown casualty.

Klemowski said the change would not be immediate for all soldiers.

“We are focusing first on the personnel who are going to deploy. If a soldier is going to deploy, they are the first ones that need to have the new ID tags,” he said in the Army release.

Read the Original Article at CNN

Reversing the Cyber-Crime Paradigm: The “Cyber-Robin Hood”




An Orange County, Fla. family says a hacker breached their phone and Netflix accounts to pay off the family’s bills.

The Hennigs discovered the sorta well-meaning hack when AT&T alerted Kathy Hennig that she owed $1,300 because the card listed for her account was a stolen credit card.

Kathy learned that the same card was being used on her Netflix account when she received an alert indicating the card had expired. When she asked to know the last four digits of the card, Netflix gave her the exact sequence of the stolen card used for the phone account.

“There’s no other person in my situation where somebody compromised my account changed the credit cards and started paying my bills, there’s no such thing,” Hennig said.

Hennig says the only other information she has about what went down is that the two hacked accounts are linked to the same email and the accounts were switched at about the same time.

When Hennig called AT&T to try to clear up the switcheroo, she was banned from using a credit card to pay off her cellphone account ever again.

“It blows my mind,” she says. “It makes me look like such a liar because why would someone hack into an account just to get a stranger to pay the bill?”

Hennig has a long history with the phone company and a pristine credit history.

News 6 investigator Mike Holfeld contacted AT&T spokeswoman Rosie Montalvo and in less than 24 hours, the company agreed to remove the credit card ban.

Montalvo says AT&T has never seen a case like this before.

Read the Original Article at NextGov

Skimming Off the Top

by HCS Technical Staff


“What is a card skimmer?”

Card skimmers are nasty little devices that are designed to surreptitiously steal information off your bank card or credit card by reading the magnetic strip when you conduct a transaction at either an ATM machine, a self-checkout lane at a store, gas pump, a DVD rental kiosk or any other device that can read your bank card.

Card Skimmer from a Gas Station Pump

They are often placed over or right along side the targeted machine’s reader to cross the path on which you will insert or swipe your card.

“Doesn’t my PIN protect me?”

Unfortunately, not really.

Depending on your bank’s practices, there is a wide variety of information on the bank card that can be used to readily steal your identity.

Often times you will not notice if your card has been skimmed since this is more of a “slow burn” crime than the archetypal “stolen wallet leading to a bunch of random shoe purchases” scenario!

Skimmers are often used in conjunction with other devices that can steal your PIN as well.

“What do the bad guys need my card for? It’s only got $2.14 on it!”

Bank card information is like having the majority of pieces for a puzzle. The puzzle being your identity.

“Carders” will often bundle up stolen bank card numbers and sell them as a “grab bag” in some very dark corners of the Internet.

“What do skimmers look like?”

This is where things can get complicated. Since a skimmer can be readily home fabricated using the right circuits and parts, there is not really a sole-source of manufacturing for them. Credit card readers for smart phones can also be reconfigured into skimmers.

This means that skimmers will often look totally different from each other and function in different ways.

Skimmers are often used in conjunction with fake keypads and/or pinhole cameras to steal the PIN attached to a particular bank card.

Fake Keypad on ATM

Fake Keypad on ATM

Go to and type in “card skimmer” and become familiar with the images that show up.

“How do I protect myself?”

As a general rule of thumb, if something seems out of place on an ATM machine or Kiosk, don’t use it!

Oftentimes something attached to an ATM may jiggle, feel loose, or just seem or feel out of place.

If you think that you have found a skimmer, leave the area, and call your local police department. The reason I say leave the area, is because the skimmer device is often being watched by the bad guy who planted it or someone working as a lookout for the guy who planted it who would not take kindly to you disrupting his business. Also if the bad guy doesn’t realize the police have been called, he is more likely to get caught when the police arrive after you call them.

Tell the dispatcher you saw one of those devices that steals your bank card number attached to a kiosk/ATM and give the dispatcher the location.

Check your bank account regularly and look for transactions that you can’t remember.

Check your credit report regularly to look for accounts that may have been opened in your name.

Use a prepaid VISA or other payment card for things like grocery shopping, DVD Rentals, online gaming accounts, and other services. It will reduce any damage done by skimmers and allow you to better stick to a budget!

Generally if you are diligent in watching for signs both before the skimming attack and afterwards, you can reduce what could be a source of major problems into a minor nuisance.