At a glance.
- Identity theft trending up in New Zealand.
- Report: LAPD conducted trials of social media surveillance software.
- Adult web cam site exposes data as well as the other stuff it intended to expose.
- Revenge porn arrest on the Old Line State's Eastern Shore.
New Zealand identity fraud on the rise.
New research from Netsafe reveals that identity fraud in New Zealand has increased a staggering 86% in the last fiscal year, and investment fraud is up 37%. Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Dalziel, NZ Police Cybercrime Unit told Scoop News, “Kiwis are trusting people, and that can make this country appear to be a soft target to overseas scammers.” New Zealand Consumer Protection is urging people to be on the alert for scammers, and to report any incidents so that action can be taken. MBIE Consumer Protection National Manager Simon Gallagher says, “One of the best tools we have to combat them is people reporting it when they happen, to the financial provider, agency, or business, and to the police.”
LAPD linked to controversial surveillance tech.
The Guardian reports that documents obtained by non-profit the Brennan Center for Justice show that in 2019 the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) trialed controversial social media surveillance software from analytics company Voyager Labs. Like its competitors, Voyager Labs’ software allows law enforcement to gather and analyze large amounts of social media data to support criminal investigations. But Voyager claims they can go even deeper, asserting their artificial intelligence can suss out users’ beliefs and pinpoint individuals’ ideological dispositions, and the company’s tools assist police in creating phony social media profiles in order to engage in undercover surveillance. Experts say Voyager’s tech could violate civilians’ free speech and privacy rights and facilitate discrimination like racial profiling, and Voyager’s case studies often target social activists and minorities. Though the LAPD’s trial with Voyager concluded in November 2019, and a department spokesperson says they’re not currently using the software, the department had conversations with Voyager about pursuing a partnership as recently as this year.
Adult cam site data decloaked, disrobed (metaphorically).
Not that this would directly affect you, but a researcher at Comparitech has discovered an unprotected database containing highly sensitive user and model data from Cyprus-based adult cam website StripChat, Threatpost reports. Comparitech head of security research Volodymyr “Bob” Diachenko says the misconfigured cloud database contained approximately 200 million StripChat records, including 65 million user records with email addresses, IP addresses, and even model tip amounts and activity timestamps. 421,000 model records revealed usernames, gender, studio IDs, tip menus and prices, live status, and “strip score.” Diachenko explained, “The exposure could pose a significant privacy risk for both StripChat viewers and models. If the data was stolen, they could face harassment, humiliation, stalking, extortion, phishing and other threats, both online and offline.”
Maryland mayor arrested for revenge porn.
A mayor in the state of Maryland has been charged with fifty counts of distributing revenge porn, CBS Local Baltimore reports. Cambridge Mayor Andrew Bradshaw allegedly posted nude photographs of a previous romantic partner captioned “with racial slurs and sexually explicit language” to various forums on Reddit devoted to degrading photo subjects. 47abc explains that Maryland’s Revenge Porn Statute “prohibits the nonconsensual distribution of a private visual representation of another which exposes their intimate body parts with the intent to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce the person depicted.” To upload the photos, Bradshaw created multiple Reddit accounts with usernames that included the victim’s name and birthdate. The Dorchester Star adds that if convicted, Bradshaw could face up to two years incarceration and a $5,000 fine for each count.