Cash Cow

A Connecticut man pleaded guilty to charges that he stole nearly $5 million from Domestic Bank in his role servicing the bank's automated teller machines.

John DeMilo, 42, helped run New England Cash Dispensing Systems, which operates a network of ATMs that carry the Cranston, R.I., bank's brand, PCWorld reported Nov. 9.

In a sharing arrangement, NECDS provided some of the cash to Domestic's ATMs, but systematically shorted Domestic and appropriated its cash to cover its own funds, the article said. The fraud lasted from 2007 to 2010.

DeMilo faces up to 30 years of jail time. He is the second executive to plead guilty in this case since October, PCWorld reported.

Domestic announced Oct. 20 that it was changing its name to Admirals Bank.

Check, Please

A restaurant in Seattle's Capitol Hill section is said to be responsible for the theft of more than 100 credit and debit card numbers.

The Secret Service's Seattle Electronic Crimes Task Force says the likely cause was software, installed at the point of sale, that captured account numbers, according to a Nov. 12 story by KIRO TV.

Though the numbers were stolen in Washington State, the card numbers were used in other states, including Iowa, Indiana and New York, the report said. In many of the cases the fraud was detected early by banks and halted. In others the criminals used debit cards to first access credit card accounts and then to drain savings accounts. The Secret Service did not name the restaurant involved.

Origin Story

A New York Times Magazine profile on Albert Gonzalez, the convicted mastermind of many of the large card breaches in recent years, shed some light on how he became a hacker.

Gonzalez' interest in hacking started when his first computer, which he bought when he was 12, was infected with a computer virus. The process of removing the virus — and questions of where it came from and why it was made — fascinated the young Gonzalez, the Nov. 14 article said.

Within two years, Gonzalez had hacked into NASA, and he soon began using stolen credit card details to make online purchases.

Charge It

Talk about being taken for a ride. The multimillionaire Hong Kong entrepreneur Tony Chan's car trip from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to New York City cost him a whopping $800,000.

That amount was allegedly charged by his driver in increments on Chan's American Express card starting in July, the New York Post reported Nov. 15. Chan allegedly did not notice the charges, which ranged from $4,300 to $20,000.

Bank security specialists spotted the unusual activity and notified the authorities. Prosecutors recently filed charges against the driver in Brooklyn Federal Court, the article said. The driver has denied any wrongdoing.

Security Watch is a weekly roundup of news and developments in data security and their impact on financial services companies.
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