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Banks accept Dubai assassins' stolen IDs

Quite a few countries around the world had passports of their citizens copied as part of the assassination of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. While the photos disemminated by the media were undoubtedly of the assassins, the rest of the details were of real citizens.

Many media outlets in Australia happily splashed hi-res images of the full passport pages last week. And I think some in the UK were similary careless.

So what, you might say. These documents were already compromised.

But, in Australia it seems the compromised passports were still valid on at least one government database - and this happened to be one that many banks, retail brokerages and online betting sites use for new customer validation.

Read the results of that little blunder here on iTNews.com.au - or, if you want the TV experience, here on MediaWatch.

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Comments: (1)

Stephen Wilson
Stephen Wilson - Lockstep Group - Sydney 01 March, 2010, 19:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Excellent work this by Elton and iTNews.

It exposes serious limitations in the state of Electronic Verification today.  What are these systems other than fancy black lists?  When digital identity data can be stolen so easily (without the victim even being aware of it) how can EV systems provide much assurance? 

EV is seemingly locked into the cybercrime arms race, with no end yet in sight. EV tries to stay one step ahead of the bad guys by having slightly more up-to-date or slightly richer stocks of personal information against which to verify identity.

The systemic concern I have is that EV has yet to provide any fundamental resistance to ID theft. Worse, by synthesising new wash lists, some EV services are likely to be adding to the extraneous third party stockpiles of personal information waiting to be raided by organised crime. It seems obvious that we wouldn’t need EV if it wasn’t so easy to take someone’s digital identity data and replay it behind their backs.

Elton Cane

Elton Cane

Journalist copywriter and marketer

writer & tech geek

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Information Security

The risks from Cyber cime - Hacking - Loss of Data Privacy - Identity Theft and other topical threats - can be greatly reduced by implementation of robust IT Security controls ...


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