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Tax Day, 1920. These days, electronic filing is the norm and fraud linked to electronic tax returns is a major problem, says Michael Bruemmer of the firm Experian. (Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress.)

Podcast: Fraud Linked to Stolen W-2s a growing Problem for Uncle Sam

In-brief: Experian Vice President of Data Breach Resolution tells The Security Ledger that tax ID fraud linked to stolen W-2 forms is up 25% this year, just the latest trend in a long running problem securing tax returns from scammers. But what’s the solution? 

Reports by security researchers say that hundreds of thousands of customers of CloudPets had their information exposed online in an unsecured customer database.

Updated: The CloudPets Incident is Everything That’s Wrong with Consumer Internet of Things

In-brief: the apparent leak of data on owners of CloudPets connected stuffed animals underscores lax security and privacy practices that are common among connected products firms. (Updated with comment from Troy Hunt. PFR 2/28/2017.)

AT&T said it saw a spike in scans for vulnerable IoT devices in the months leading up to the Mirai botnet attacks. (Image courtesy of AT&T)

AT&T: Mirai’s Rise Seen in IoT Vulnerability Scans

In brief: In a new report, Internet provider AT&T said that scans for vulnerable IoT devices spiked in the first half of 2016, months before the Mirai botnet, made up largely of IoT devices, launched denial of service attacks on DYN and other targets.

Data theft long ago reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. So why don't policy makers act?

Silent Epidemic: Data Theft has become a Public Health Crisis | Digital Guardian

In-brief: One in four Americans was the victim of data theft, but policy makers can’t find the spirit to act. What if I said that there was a disease that affected one in four adults in the U.S.? This disease caused pain and hardship and the costs of curing it were considerable – ranging to thousands of dollars per patient? And, again: one in four people contacted this disease – 25% of the adult population?Most epidemiologists would consider a disease that widely spread to be an “epidemic.” After all, the CDC considers an influenza outbreak to be an “epidemic” when around 7% of morbidity (deaths) in a given observation period are due to the flu. Here in the U.S., however, there’s a long-standing affliction bearing down on a quarter of the population, but nary a mention of the words “epidemic.” In fact, officials who monitor this disease are loath to […]

The Necurs botnet has been updated to support denial of service attacks, Anubis Networks reports,

Locked and Loaded: Huge Botnet Updated for DDoS

In-brief: Researchers at Anubis Networks claim that Necurs, one of the world’s largest botnets, has added a feature for launching denial of service attacks.