(image by d70focus, used under a Creative Commons license)
From the Times Online Technology section:
The identities of more than four million Britons are being offered for sale on the internet, The Times has learnt.
Highly sensitive financial information, including credit card details, bank account numbers, telephone numbers and even PINs are available to the highest bidder.
At least a quarter of a million British bank and credit card accounts have been hacked into by cybercriminals, exposing consumers to huge financial losses. Most of the personal data has been gathered as a result of “phishing” — a process whereby members of the public are duped into handing over their key details, such as user names, passwords and credit card details.
And, then, the best bit:
The database is held by Colin Holder, a retired senior Metropolitan police officer, who served on the fraud squad. He has collected the information over the past four years. His sources include law enforcement from around the world, such as British police and the FBI, anti-phishing and hacking campaigners and members of the public. Mr Holder said he had invested Â£160,000 in the venture so far. He plans to offset the cost by charging members of the public for access to his database to check whether their data security has been breached.
So. Let’s just re-cap that shall we? A former Fraud Squad officer from the London Metropolitan Police has acquired the personal details of 4 million citizens and intends to charge them to check if their data is on there – so they can figure out of they’ve been potentially ripped off? Is that right?