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Fear and Loathing ID Theft

Do you avoid stores that have had a credit card breach?

Do you avoid stores that have had a credit card breach?

You are not alone. About 52% of people avoid merchants who have had a data breach according to a recent Lowcards survey. They surveyed over 400 random consumers to better understand the impact of identity theft on consumer behavior. 17% said they or a family member was a victim of identity theft over the last year with half the cases being credit card theft. 94% said they are more concerned or equally concerned about ID theft. They estimate that there were 13.5 million cases of credit card identity theft in the United States over the last 12 months.

These concerns are also changing the way some people shop.

Over half (56%) are taking extra measures to protect themselves from identity theft. Some of these behaviors include using a debit card less (28%), using cash more (25%), ordering online less (26%) and checking their credit report more (38%). These are all reasonable responses to the ever challenging game of protecting your identity and is important since 89% of security breaches and data loss incidents could have been prevented last year, according to the Online Trust Alliance’s 2014 Data and Breach Protection Readiness Guide.

The game is changing however, and mobile is the new stadium. Let’s check that scoreboard.

Most of the security reports released thus far in 2014, like the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report and the Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2013 show that threats to mobile devices are increasing. We are using them more and using them for sensitive activities like shopping, banking and storing personally identifiable information. It is no wonder that the thieves are targeting mobile and getting very good at it. Kaspersky’s report talks about the rise of mobile botnets and the effectiveness since we never shut off our phones. They are always ready to accept new tasks either from us or, a foreign remotely controlled server with SMS trojans leading the pack. Mobile trojans can even check on the victim’s bank balance to ensure the heist is profitable and some will even infect your PC when you USB the phone to it.

stat_ksb_2013_04

Distribution of exploits in cyber-attacks by type of attacked application

I guess the good news is that people are becoming much more aware of the overall risks surrounding identity theft and breaches but will the convenience and availability of mobile put us right back in that dark alley? Mobile threats are starting to reach PC proportions with online banking being a major target and many of the potential infections are delivered via SMS messages. Sound familiar?

Maybe we can simply cut and replace ‘PC’ with ‘Mobile’ on all those decade old warnings of:

Watch what you click!

ps

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.