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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Identity theft!

There was a story in the Dallas Morning News yesterday about how several Texas school districts are handing pertinent information, such as Social Security numbers, over to a private software company. The information in question happens to be identifying data for kindergartners in these schools. Oh, and all of this is being done without the parents' permission.

That just sounds wrong on principle. But here is the statement in the article that really stood out to me:

A privacy expert says thousands of 5- and 6-year-olds are vulnerable to identity
theft as a result.

When I read this, I just had a mental image of little schoolchildren crying and claiming, "But I didn't get my chocolate milk yet! You gave it to someone else!"


Please continue to tell people about Fractorix, as the more views it registers, the more visible it will become to people outside of the education field. And if you haven't yet left a comment over on YouTube, please go and do that!


Unknown said...

There is a new type of credit and debit card fraud, thanks to the advent of the new contactless payment systems.

These cards, over 50 million of which were issued last year in the United States alone, are embedded with a miniature micro-processor and an antenna that broadcasts the account information of the card holder at 13.56 MHz. These contactless pay stations use a system that is not only inexpensive to duplicate on the home hobbyist's workbench, but quite inexpensive, as well. In fact, $20 and a trip to your local Radio Shack will give you all you need to become a thief of this sort.

They call themselves "Cloners."

The reason for the name is the process they use. They set their antenna, which fits easily into purse or pocket, to "ping" for cards that are RF (Radio Frequency) Enabled. The card responds by transmitting all necessary information to charge the account. This is, after all, what it was programmed for. The laptop or PDA gathers, or "Harvests" the data received. They do this in the most public of places, and it is absolutely undetectable when occurring.

From that point, the thief will then carry the information home or to another suitable location and begin the cloning process. Another wave of the antenna over a blank card, which can be purchased for two or three cents, and they have a form of payment that is electronically indistinguishable from the original.

Sadly, Organized Crime and Terrorist organizations such as the LTTE out of Sri Lanka are using credit card fraud like this to fund their destructive activities.

Does that scare you? It should, and it did us. To respond to this threat, Wisteria House Products of Phoenix Arizona has developed the Armadillo Dollar. It is a simple, low-cost device you slide into your wallet that blocks the transmission of these radio waves.

If you decide you want to put another layer of protection between you and the wireless thief with our product, use the code “TopDog” when ordering. That’ll take $5.00 off the regular $25.00 price, at least while we’re introducing it to the market.

It is, quite simply, the BEST RF-Shielding product of its kind in the world.

You have my word on it.

I am Ron Hatton.

We are and proud to be All-Americans!

Mister Teacher said...

Gee thanks, Ron, if indeed that is your real name.

Anonymous said...

I'm ticked off that TEA is requiring schools to give this information to the private company. I've told friends, who's children will enter kinder next year, to write a letter especially forbidding the school giving out this information. They are going to include it in the enrollment papers when they turn them in at the school.