Thursday, 06 January 2011

Vital Scottish Court Records Dumped at Recycling Bank

The Scottish Court Service breached the Data Protection Act by failing to take sufficient steps to prevent court documents containing sensitive personal details being accidentally disposed of at a local recycling bank in Glasgow, according to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) report.

The ICO was first made aware of the breach when a Scottish newspaper published details of the discovery of files containing appeal documents on 25 September 2010. Subsequent checks by the ICO uncovered that the papers had been lost by the editor of a series of law reports and that the court service had failed to check how this individual intended to keep the information secure.

The court service has now tightened its procedures around the handling of sensitive information by its staff and other people involved in the court process. The editor of the law reports has also agreed to improve the way in which court documents that include sensitive personal details are handled.

De La Rue Lost 16,000 Tons of Currency Paper Order

French firm Oberthur has stepped up the pressure on takeover target De La Rue, claiming the British bank note maker recently lost out on a major order from a key customer, thought to be the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Last month, De La Rue's management rejected Oberthur's takeover offer of 905 pence a share, or nearly GBP 900 million, claiming it significantly undervalued the company.

The RBI concerns revolve around revelations that in July 2010 De La Rue was forced to suspended production at a Hampshire plant over "quality and production irregularities". It then called in the Serious Fraud Office after establishing that staff "deliberately falsified" paper specification test certificates on banknotes believed to be destined for India.

In a trading update in November 2010 the company warned its production problems could lead to the loss of a top customer, knocking its shares to a four-year low.

Oberthur now says it "has reason to believe that the most recent tender for the supply of 16,000 tons of currency paper by the Reserve Bank of India has been awarded to four competitors of De La Rue".

Oberthur claims "De La Rue has suffered damage to its reputation as a consequence of such recent events, and that the ability of De La Rue to win new profitable contracts and retain existing customers as a standalone business has been undermined".

Italy ID Cards to Use LaserCard's Optical Security

LaserCard Corporation has received an order to supply additional credentials for Italy's Citizen ID Card program - Carta d'Identita Elettronica or CIE. The highly secure, multi-technology ID cards, based on LaserCard's optical security media platform, will be used by citizens for identification and travel. The order is valued at approximately $540,000 and is expected to be delivered by March 31, 2011.

Through Italy's Citizen ID Card security and law enforcement authorities verify the identity of citizens while preventing the counterfeiting and fraudulent use of vital documents. The program includes special-language ID cards that are issued to citizens living in border regions where languages other than Italian are predominant. A small proportion of the cards from this order will be printed in Slovenian.

LaserCard's multi-technology ID cards are also used by 2 Italian government agencies - the Ministry of Justice and the National Police (the Carabinieri), to help protect employees and provide secure access to government services.

Microsoft Windows Now Running on Mobile Phone Chips

Microsoft has shown a full version of Windows running on chips usually found in mobile phones. The desktop version of Windows was demonstrated working with 3 processors built around chips designed by UK firm Arm. The demonstration is significant because before now Windows has been closely connected with Intel chips. Microsoft would not be drawn on when the first products using these chips would go on sale.

Apart from Windows, Microsoft is also trying to use mobile phone chips in applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer.

The reason behind switching to Arm chips is that Microsoft wants to end people's compromises when using any portable gadget. Furthermore, Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live division said: "turning to Arm designed chips should mean lower power consumption and much improved battery life for future gadgets".

About 80% of all mobile phones, including Apple's iPhone4, have embedded Arm chips.

New Year Credit Card Users Charged Double

More than 200,000 people using credit and debit cards have been charged-double as a result of a "system error" on New Year's Eve, Lloyds Banking Group have confirmed.

Card users are expected to discover two identical charges on their statements. The problem is related to the payment processing service provided to retailers by Lloyds TSB Cardnet.

"Lloyds Banking Group apologised for the inconvenience caused and told BBC News the problem lay with a technical error affecting "certain payments from card holders to some merchants. Duplicated transactions have been reversed and card holders are being reimbursed," it said.

US Authorities Held Million Dollar Fraudsters

US authorities have raided the house of 2 foreign exchange students suspected of involvement in a Vietnam-based crime ring that uses stolen credit card numbers, eBay and PayPal to con retailers out of millions of dollars.

According to an affidavit filed supporting a search warrant request, Winona State University students Tram Vo and Khoi Van are suspected of participation in the scam that has hit Amazon, Apple and Rosetta Stone.

The pair is accused of setting up over 150 eBay, and more than 300 PayPal, accounts using stolen identities. The accounts were used to sell video games and iTunes gift cards worth over $1.2 million on the auction site.

To obtain the items they were selling, the men are alleged to have bought them directly from manufacturers using stolen credit card details, shipping the goods directly to the eBay buyers.

The stolen funds were then transferred from PayPal to dozens of bank accounts with outfits such as Wells Fargo and HSBC before being moved on to Vietnam and Canada.

The affidavit, connecting Vo and Van to identity theft, money laundering and wire fraud is related to a US Department of Homeland Security investigation dubbed Operation eMule that has been running since 2009.

According to local press reports the search warrant was issued and computers are seized from the men, but charges have yet to be laid.

Tomax to Use U.are.U Fingerprint Readers

DigitalPersona Inc. announced that Tomax has integrated U.are.U fingerprint biometrics from DigitalPersona into their Point of Sale and Workforce Optimisation software solutions. By using U.are.U fingerprint readers, helps retailers boost productivity through more efficient system login, decrease shrink from unauthorised voids and reduce payroll fraud.

According to The Centre for Retail Research's Global Retail Theft Barometer, employee fraud and theft result in approximately $40.7 billion of retail shrink per year. Additionally, the American Payroll Association estimates payroll fraud can account for up to 5% of total payroll expense. These combine to significantly impact retailers' bottom line, creating the need for solutions such as U.are.U biometrics that secure the retail environment without affecting business processes.

Tomax provides end-to-end thin-client, web-based software solutions that are highly scalable, enabling "Retail-in-Realtime." The company's solutions span common operations such as forecasting, point-of-sale (POS), store systems, reporting, time and attendance and optimisation. This allows retailers to be more agile and respond to changing conditions in customer demand and operations across the organisation.

The company's POS solution includes support for multi-channel environments, tight integration with merchandising and store system modules, full resiliency and support for various pricing and promotional combinations. with integrated fingerprint biometrics provides retailers with a quick, secure solution to effectively manage cash register functions and payroll.

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