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Intel Briefing – June 2012



Malware installed on travelers’ laptops through software updates on hotel Internet connections.
Recent analysis from the FBI and other government agencies demonstrates that malicious actors are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while establishing an Internet connection in their hotel rooms, the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported May 8. Recently, there have been instances of travelers’ laptops being infected with malicious software while using hotel Internet connections. In these instances, the traveler was attempting to setup the hotel room Internet connection and was presented with a pop-up window notifying the user to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software was installed on the laptop. The pop-up window appeared to be offering a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.

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U.S. Senate panel launches investigation of painkillers, drug companies.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported May 9 the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance opened a bipartisan investigation into financial relationships between companies that make narcotic painkillers and various non-profit organizations that have advocated their use for the treatment of pain. Citing investigative reports by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, MedPage Today, and others, the committee is seeking financial and marketing records from three companies that make opioid drugs, including Oxycontin and Vicodin, and seven national organizations. “It is clear that the United States is suffering from an epidemic of accidental deaths and addiction resulting from increased use of powerful narcotic painkillers,” said a joint statement from committee members. The Senators said there was growing evidence that drug companies have promoted misleading information about the safety and effectiveness of the drugs with help from nonprofits they have donated to.

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Identity thieves could rake in $26 billion in tax refunds.
Criminals who file fraudulent tax returns by stealing people’s identities could rake in an estimated $26 billion over the next 5 years because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cannot keep up with the amount of the fraud, the U.S. Department of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said May 8. “Our analysis found that, although the IRS detects and prevents a large number of fraudulent refunds based on false income documents, there is much fraud that it does not detect,” the inspector general said in prepared testimony before a joint hearing of two House subcommittees. The TIGTA report is the first detailed analysis of the tax refund fraud problem, which could affect any taxpayer. His projection of $26 billion was larger than any other estimate of identity theft tax fraud. In 2011, according to TIGTA, the IRS reported that of the 2.2 million tax returns it found to be fraudulent, about 940,000 returns totaling $6.5 billion were related to identity theft.

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Posted by FanningCommunications on Jun 1st, 2012 and filed under Intel Brief. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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