How Serious a Problem Is Computer Hacking? by Patricia D Netzley

By Patricia D Netzley

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Some of these criminals have the money refunded to an address that cannot be tied to them, such as a vacant house with an unmonitored mailbox. Others have the refunds sent electronically to a temporary bank account, which lowers their risk of getting caught still further. In either case, the IRS can take months or years to detect and rectify the problem, which means that criminals are often able to strike a victim more than once. For example, one such victim of ID theft and fraudulent tax returns, 57-year-old Marcy Hossli of Lake Worth, Florida, still had not received her 2010, 2011, or 2012 refunds as of April 2013.

56 Financial Infrastructure Though Operation Last Resort caused no real damage, it raised concerns about the government’s ability to address a major hacking attack. Another attack, apparently by the same group, heightened those concerns. Less than a week after the attack on the sentencing website, hackers breached the website of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center in order to post a spreadsheet there that displayed private information of more than forty-six hundred executives at banks and credit unions.

Today we are launching the first of these. ”53 The “fissile material” was sensitive information, and the “multiple warheads” referred to nine encrypted files, each named for a different US Supreme Court justice. Links to these files were posted on the government website. The group also posted a warning: If the government did not reform computer crime laws, the hackers would release information that would allow others to decode the files to reveal government secrets. Serious or Trivial? The attack was purported to be tied to the January 2013 suicide of 26-year-old Aaron Swartz, a prominent computer programmer, website cofounder, and Internet activist.

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