Krebs alleges, Experian was duped into selling personal information about millions of Americans by a scammer.

 

Fraudster bought names and address from Experian, says Krebs

Data broker duped

By       Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Security,     22nd October 2013 02:30 GMT

Brian Krebs alleges a subsidiary of data aggregator Experian was duped into selling personal information about millions of Americans by a scammer.

Detailing his investigations here, Krebs accuses a Vietnamese national indicted in New Hampshire, Hieu Minh Ngo, of using the handle “hieupc” to operate Superget.info, which marketed itself as allowing lookups of individuals’ social security numbers, drivers’ license records, and financial information.

The link to Experian, Krebs reports, came via its acquisition of a company called Court Ventures. He writes that Superget.info gained access to Court Ventures’ databases by posing as a private investigator. He claims that a third party, Marc Martin, CEO of Info Search (which had a data sharing arrangement with Court Ventures), says payments for access to the datasets came as transfers from Singapore.

Experian told Krebs it has worked with authorities on the arrest of Ngo, via this statement: “Experian acquired Court Ventures in March, 2012 because of its national public records database. After the acquisition, the US Secret Service notified Experian that Court Ventures had been and was continuing to resell data from US Info Search to a third party possibly engaged in illegal activity. Following notice by the US Secret Service, Experian discontinued reselling US Info Search data and worked closely and in full cooperation with law enforcement to bring Vietnamese national Hieu Minh Ngo, the alleged perpetrator, to justice. Experian’s credit files were not accessed. Because of the ongoing federal investigation, we are not free to say anything further at this time.”

Krebs says Ngo operated a second similar site called findget.me, and along with Superget.info, he held and offered access to data on “more than half a million people”.

Meanwhile, data aggregators – in particular, their control over who they sell data to – is bound to come under the spotlight even more than it already has, with hints that the Federal Trade Commission is becoming more active in the field.

 

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/22/fraudster_bought_names_and_address_from_experian_says_krebs/

Up to 13 surgery patients at risk from brain disease that SURVIVES sterilization after one man died during operation

  • One patient  had brain surgery in May then died in August from fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob  disease
  • Incurable  condition can survive standard sterilization
  • Up to 13  people in several states may have been exposed to the  disease

By  Daily Mail Reporter and Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 17:49 EST, 4  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 18:27 EST, 4 September 2013

Officials in New Hampshire have raised the  horrifying possibility that up to 13 people in multiple states have been exposed  to a rare, degenerative and incurable brain disease through surgical  equipment.

Authorities at the Catholic Medical Center in  Manchester said on Wednesday that they believe one person who had brain surgery  in May died of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in August.

As the faulty proteins that cause the fatal  disease can survive standard sterilization, officials have notified eight people  who had brain surgery in that time and say up to five patients in other states  could have been exposed.

Fears: Authorities at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire, have raised concerns that up to 13 people have been exposed to a rare, degenerative and incurable brain disease through surgical equipment 

Fears: Authorities at the Catholic Medical Center in  Manchester, New Hampshire, have raised concerns that up to 13 people have been  exposed to a rare, degenerative and incurable brain disease through surgical  equipment

 

Worries: Dr Joseph Pepe, president of Catholic Medical Center, (right) said that officials are 95 percent certain that the patient who had brain surgery at the facility then died in Worries: Dr Joseph Pepe, president of Catholic Medical Center, (right) said that officials are 95 percent certain that the patient who had brain

Worries: Dr Joseph Pepe, president of Catholic Medical  Center, (right) said that officials are 95 percent certain that the patient who  had brain surgery at the facility then died in August had the disease. It could  then have been passed on through medical equipment (left)

 

 

Authorities in New Hampshire have now  quarantined the equipment in question until an autopsy on the original victim is  complete. Some of the surgical instruments had been rented.

Dr. Joseph Pepe, president of Catholic  Medical Center, said that officials are 95 percent certain that the patient who  had brain surgery at the facility then died in August had the  disease.

While the idea of this degenerative brain  disorder being passed through contaminated equipment is terrifying, the chances  of the patients being exposed to the degenerative brain disease are  remote.

The disease has only been transmitted this  way four times, never in the United States.

 

Horrifying: The disease is degnerative, rare and incurable. In this photo the screen shows the incidence of CJD on a human brain (indicated with black rings round the white cells)  

Horrifying: The disease is degnerative, rare and  incurable. In this photo the screen shows the incidence of CJD on a human brain  (indicated with black rings round the white cells)

 

The disabling condition causes rapidly  progressive dementia, behavior changes, memory problems, loss of balance and  other impaired coordination.

It affects about one person in every one  million people per year worldwide according to the National Institutes of  Health. In the U.S there are about 200 cases per year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2411844/Up-13-people-multiple-states-exposed-incurable-rare-brain-condition-contaminated-hospital-equipment.html#ixzz2dzG64NTT Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Former Justice Souter: ‘Pervasive civic ignorance’ in U.S. could bring dictatorship

By Eric W. Dolan Monday, September 17, 2012 18:20 EDT

Justice David Souter screenshot

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter thinks the decline of civic education is putting the United States in danger.

During a question and answer session last week at University of New Hampshire School of Law, Souter described “pervasive civic ignorance” as one of the biggest problems in the United States. He warned that Americans’ ignorance about their own government could lead to a dictatorship.

“I don’t worry about our losing a republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion, he said. “I don’t worry about it because of a coup by the military, as has happened in some other places. What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed people will not know who is responsible, and when the problems get bad enough — as they might do for example with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown — some one person will come forward and say ‘Give me total power and I will solve this problem.’”

“That is how the Roman republic fell,” Souter continued. “Augustus became emperor not because he arrested the Roman senate. He became emperor because he promised that he would solve problems that were not being solved.”

“If we know who is responsible, I have enough faith in the American people to demand performance from those responsible. If we don’t know, we will stay away from the polls, we will not demand it and the day will come when somebody will come forward and we and the government will in effect say, ‘Take the ball and run with it, do what you have to do.’ That is the way democracy dies.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by PBS Newshour, below:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/17/former-justice-souter-pervasive-civic-ignorance-in-u-s-could-bring-dictatorship/

US cancer body oversells mammograms: experts

AFP 2 Aug 2012

Medical experts on Friday accused a major US breast cancer foundation known for its high-profile “pink ribbon” campaign of overselling pre-emptive mammography and understating the risks.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation uses misleading statistics in its pro-screening campaigns, two doctors from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in New Hampshire wrote in the BMJ medical journal.

“Unfortunately, there is a big mismatch between the strength of evidence in support of screening and the strength of Komen’s advocacy for it,” professors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz wrote.

They take issue with a Komen poster comparing the 98-percent five-year survival rate for breast cancer when caught early, with a of 23-percent rate for later diagnosis.

Comparing the two figures did not tell you anything about the benefits of screening, they argued, and in reality a mammogram only narrowly decreases the chances that a 50-year-old woman will die from breast cancer within 10 years from 0.53 percent to 0.46 percent.

Breast cancer treatments are more effective today, and some question whether screening mammography has any benefit whatsoever, wrote the pair.

They accused Komen of overlooking the potential harms, with up to half of women screened annually over 10 years experiencing at least one false alarm that requires a biopsy.

Screening also results in overdiagnosis — detecting cancers that would never have killed or even caused symptoms in a person’s lifetime, and unnecessary treatment.

“The Komen advertisement campaign failed to provide the facts,” said the piece. “Worse, it undermined decision making by misusing statistics to generate false hope about the benefit of mammography screening.”

In 2010, a report in the New England Journal of Medicine said mammograms have only a “modest” impact on reducing breast cancer deaths.

Komen, in a response to the BMJ comment, insisted that early detection enables early treatment, which gives the best shot at survival.

“Everyone agrees that mammography isn’t perfect, but it’s the best widely available detection tool that we have today,” said Chandini Portteus, the foundation’s vice president of research, evaluation and scientific programmes.

“We’ve said for years that science has to do better, which is why Komen is putting millions of dollars into research to detect breast cancer before symptoms start, through biomarkers, for example.”

In February, Komen was embroiled in a controversy over its decision to stop funding for an abortion clinic group in the United States.