The New York Fox News video report above by John Seutzman describes a well coordinated attack on 130 automatic teller machines (ATM's) in 49 cities worldwide within 30 mins, which jeopardized sensitive information and netted over $9 million.
Shortly after midnight Eastern Time on November 8 2008, the FBI believes that dozens of people used hacked RBS WorldPay payroll cards (which are similar to debit cards) in a coordinated attack on ATM machines around the world.
Steve Lazarus of the Atlanta FBI said the withdrawals were carried out by a collaborating group of so-called "cashers," who used fabricated cards to pull money out of previously compromised accounts. RBS said that the thieves might also have successfully accessed the US Social Security numbers of 1.1 million customers.
The FBI's Lazarus: "This was a well-coordinated attack by some pretty computer and network savvy people, even at the lowest levels of cashers taking cloned cards to ATMs."
The criminals centrally hacked fake payroll deposits to repeatedly inflate the amount of available cash on each card, money that was then drained at ATMs over and over again.
Google Latitude Google launched their new location-tracking service Latitude this week. Using the GPS hardware found in smart phones (such as Google Android phones, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile handsets) to identify your geological position on a map and share it with people you have control over defining. Along with existing services such as brightkite and Yahoo's fire eagle these geo locator services have some utility.
Yahoo proposes you use fireeagle to 'have fun on the web"
* Show your location on your blog * Share it with your friends * Discover cool stuff around you
You can 'choose what you share'
* You control your data * You choose who to share with * You choose how much to share
What happens if suddenly you can't choose how much you're sharing though, because it got hacked?
Technology enthusiasts always see innovation and openness as a force for good, but the dark side is that there is a large international army of coordinated criminals constantly seeking to exploit weaknesses and opportunities with new technologies.
In the physical world we learn to be wary of our surroundings - we haven't learnt yet to be guarded with how to share gps position location, or how easily it can be compromised on a mass scale, because it is so new.
Law enforcement in many countries use existing gps technology in cell phones to track individuals without their knowledge and can use some phones as bugging devices even if they are turned off.
Unfortunately anything the authorities can do criminals can as well in many cases. The well coordinated collaboration between the various ATM attack army members gives pause for thought about how easy it is to mobilize a techno team of crooks.
The thought of one using your hacked geo location information isn't a pleasant one.