In the wake of the government shutdown, some federal employees without work or source of income have resorted to an online website called Unfurlogh.us It sounds a lot like how it looks, un-furlough us! With most Americans scrambling for ends meat to get bills paid in a down economy, some federal employees did not think twice before uploading their information to the site after being furloughed.
On the third of October the site went live. 1776 co-founder Donna Harris says, ” The site was created in just under five hours using the open source tools of Drupal by a small D.C.- based information tech firm Blen Corp. in partnership with 1776, a business start up incubator also out of D.C.
It also didn’t take long for a thread of comments from the Facebook group ‘Hacker News’ which group contains over 22,700 Facebook likes to catch on to the sites easy access to information. With no password protection login available to protect available freelancers, and no user agreement to sign up, many federal employees have put themselves at risk for identity theft.
Personal information such as first and last names, resumes, emails, and detailed job descriptions are just some of the personal information posted on the website. According to a the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), statistics show that more than 12 million cases of identity theft take place annually in the United States and Americans only reported just over 279,000 cases which is up 11% from 2010.
According to a CBS News article, “Nationwide, employment-related fraud accounted for 8 percent of identity theft complaints last year. But in states with large immigrant populations, employment-related identity fraud was much higher: 25 percent in Arizona, 15 percent in Texas, 16 percent in New Mexico, 12 percent in California.
Some skeptics are asking can the government guarantee protection for consumers who use Obamacare? It presumably would eliminate the need for individuals to seek private health insurance from employers and to use the only alternative of a federally backed insurance program that would store a massive amount of personal information including medical history and identification information such as home address, etc. in there database.
According to VeriSign, one of the world’s leading internet protection companies,”It’s groups like the Russian Business Network (RBN), based in St Petersburg, Russia who has no legal identity; it is not registered as a company; its senior figures are anonymous and only known by their nicknames. Its web sites are registered at anonymous addresses with dummy e-mails”. This global trend of cyber attacks is growing at an alarming rate and has the potential to have a dooming effect on the global economy.
Reuters states, “In the latest twist, a computer virus widely used to steal credit card data, known as Zeus, has been modified to create bogus Instagram “likes” that can be used to generate buzz for a company or individual.”
Cyber experts at RSA, the security division of EMC Corp. says, ” These fake “likes” are sold in batches of 1,000 on Internet hacker forums, where cyber criminals also flog credit card numbers and other information stolen from PCs. 1,000 Instagram “followers” can be bought for $15 and 1,000 Instagram “likes” go for $30, whereas 1,000 credit card numbers cost as little as $6.
As PC World put it, “A zero day vulnerability” to computer software often opens the door to id theft. If you are one of the millions still using Microsoft’s XP operating system, you face the risk of being attacked.
Websense says, “The vulnerability affects all versions of Internet Explorer, but the exploits seen so far target only Internet Explorer 8 and 9 running on Windows XP and Windows 7 systems and estimates that nearly 70 percent of Windows-based PCs are vulnerable.