Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Hacker Guilty of Payment Card Fraud Worth Over $36 Million

An American citizen named Rogelio Hackett of Lithonia, Georgia has admitted of stealing data of more than 676,000 payment cards from databases he hacked into, and then credited around $100,000 by selling them in online black markets. The hacker has pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The fraud started in the late 1990s, when Rogelio Hackett used to hack computers, only to turn into a cyber criminal in 2002. He used to inject malicious SQL codes into vulnerable websites that accepted credit cards to transact purchases. In 2007, the hacker attacked the server of an unnamed online ticket seller and made off with data for some 360,000 cards, prosecutors said.

Rogelio Hackett then sold the stolen data on websites and IRC channels frequented by fellow credit card fraudsters, charging $20 to $25 per account. According to court documents, he used the money to purchase luxury items, including a 2001 BMW X5 and a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes.

June 2009, Hackett sold 40 counterfeit credit cards for $1,180 to an undercover US Secret Service agent. A raid in his home uncovered the huge credit card racket, and police recovered the stolen data and the machines, Rogelio used to make counterfeit cards. The stolen data was used to make over $36 million worth of fraudulent transactions, prosecutors reported.

Hackett will face a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and fines of at least $500,000. He also faces an additional compulsory 2 years in prison on the identity theft charges.

Czech Republic Plans Contactless and NFC Rollouts

Spokespersons for the Czech Republic banks and telecommunication companies, along with card companies doing business within the country, confirmed the plan of starting contactless payment system before the end of 2011. Country's major telecommunication companies are also expected to begin roll out of NFC-based payments mode by next year.

Marcel Gajdos, Visa Europe's manager for contactless and mobile projects in the Czech Republic, told NFC Times, "We can say there will be a payments revolution in the Czech Republic this year following the contactless payments announcements. The number of acceptance places will increase (e)specially in (the) autumn this year".

At present, there are no payment cards or merchant terminals in the Czech Republic that supports contactless system.

Nanotechnology-based Flash Memory Chips for Mobile Phones

California-based SanDisk, a developer of flash memory cards, has introduced a 64-Gb, 2-bits/cell based monolithic chip based on 19nm technology. The Nanotechnology-based Flash Memory Chip will help the company to develop integrated and detachable storage products ideal for mobile phones and tablet computers. The company is said to start mass production of the 19nm device by the third quarter of 2011.

The 19nm process technology-based products can help its use in new applications and smaller sizes. SanDisk's All-Bit-Line (ABL) design featuring programming algorithms and systems that provide data storage at multiple levels enable multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory chips that maintain high performance and reliability

BIO-key International to Present Tru-Donor ID Biometric Solutions

BIO-key International, Inc., a global leader in finger biometric identification technology solutions, has announced of presenting its Tru-Donor ID Solution at the annual meeting of South Central Association Blood Banks to be held in the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas from April 26-28, 2011.

BIO-key will display Tru-Donor ID and finger biometrics system for identifying donors in any venue including remote blood drives, using mobile devices such as SmartPhones, equipped with finger biometric capability.

BIO-key is currently providing support for The Indiana Blood Center, The Oklahoma Blood Institute and ITxM which is the third largest blood transfusion facility in the United States. According to Pete Lux, Director of Blood Services, Indiana Blood Centre, "BIO-key protects donor privacy and lowers operating costs by reducing duplicate donors".

900 Million Cellular Phone Users will be Chinese in 2011

China becomes the first country to have 900 million cellular phone users, according to market analysts. As per the government statistics, by the end of March this year, the country's mobile phone users had hit 889 million, with a net rise of 30 million in the first 3 months of 2011. Hence, the market analysts believe the total number of cell phone users will surely surpass the 900 million mark sometime in May or no later than June.

The rapid growth of mobile phone users in China can be attributed to the country's 3-G network, which was launched in 2009 and thereafter added 13.5 million new subscribers over the first three months of 2011.

China's smart-phone sales have also helped to increase the number of phone subscribers in the country. While only 21 million smart-phones were sold in 2009 that number rose to 62 million in 2010. Smart-phone sales in China are expected to reach 95 million in 2011.

To note, USA has 302 million mobile phone users, while India has about 790 million mobile phone uses now, as per news sources.

Nokia Smartphone and Mobile Computer Shipments Rose to 24.2 Million Units in First Quarter 2011

Total revenue earned by the Finnish phone maker giant Nokia in Q1 2011 was EUR 10.4 billion, up 9% year-on-year (YoY). Smartphone devices and services net sales reached EUR 7.1 billion (up 6% YoY) in the first quarter of this year.

According to the Company statement, total number of mobile devices reached 108.5 million units in the first quarter of this year (increased 1% YoY), while sale of Nokia smartphone and mobile computer rose to 24.2 million units in Q1 2011, up 13% year-on-year.

Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO said: "In the first quarter, we shifted from defining our strategy to executing our strategy. On this front, I am pleased to report that we signed our definitive agreement with Microsoft and already our product design and engineering work is well under way.

Following a solid first quarter, we expect a more challenging second quarter. However, we are encouraged by our roadmap of mobile phones and Symbian smartphones, which we will ship through the balance of the year. We are fully focused on delivering the needed accountability, speed and results to positively drive our future financial performance".

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