Botnet Steals Over a Million Social Security Numbers

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If you live in the US and are a citizen, you know exactly what Social Security is and you know by heart your number. Unfortunately, this system comes under attack on a personal basis and the effected person usually deals with credit card fraud or worse. Now, there has been a shocking discovery that a botnet managed to steal social security numbers and other important information of over a million Americans, including artists, political figures, and even directors of top US agencies.
This shocking news prompted multiple government agencies to open an investigation looking into this matter. According to recent discoveries, a website called SSNDOB.ms was stealing info from LexisNexis servers and two other companies that specialize in background checks. With this, hackers were able to steal 3.1 million diverse records. The worst part is that the malware used had no problem evading even the top-of-the-line anti-virus security systems. There is no report on who these hackers are, but the FBI is expected to comment on this issue in the following weeks

Dev’s rush to create NSA-proof email

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In the aftermath of Edward Snowdens leak of NSA information, developers from far and beyond have been working around the clock to build an NSA proof email. Because of the NSA’s massive data collection service which is implemented on major  US based companies, creating such an email service is not tedious, but very difficult.

Although to some this idea of secure, NSA-proof email may seem new, it has been a reality for HushMail and Lavabit, who were known by many people in high places of their service quality, and not to mention their service. This allowed many high profile people communicate without the worry of having their conversations observed. Unfortunately, due to government stress, the canadian based Hushmail was forced in 2007 to subvert its own security. Six years later, Lavabit management made the decision to completely whipe out their email service, deleting all traces of user emails due to concerns of privacy due to the US government. The next day after this happened, another secure email company followed in Lavabits footsteps and shut down its’ email service as well due to the same reasons.

 

In this time and day, the need for secure email is rising higher and higher, yet the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting smaller…until now. Kim Dotcom, the man behind the MegaUpload scandal, recently announced that he will be starting a similar email service to HushMail and Lavabit, not to mention continuing work on his new website Mega.co.nz, the successor of MegaUpload. On top of this, a project called Mailpile just raised more than $100,000 on the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo to fund a web-based, encrypted email client.

 

With these two services currently in the making. the only service still fully accepted and available, is Scramble. Scramble is an encrypted webmail software coded by recent Stanford University computer science graduate Daniel Posch.s still in the “proof of concept” phase. He released it last week on theLiberationtech message board and he wants his peers to review the code and the concept. “I’m putting it out there as open source, trying to get people interested,” he said. “For it to be foolproof, you need peer review by other security engineers.”