With the global economy teetering dangerously on the very brink of recession, it appears no one is to remain exempt from these financially fraught times – including identity thieves.
In such sheer abundance is the amount of stolen data being sold online that prices have plummeted to an all-time low, Fox News reported this week.
So fierce is competition among cyber crims, that crooks are being forced into legitimate "mainstream business tactics" to lure customers, with many offering volume discounts on stolen details to encourage larger orders. In some cases, creditcards are being sold in batches of 500 for a total of £100 – that’s 20p each, less than half the price reported during the first half of 2007.
But despair not, cyber crims. It looks as though there’s still money to be made in the online theft business. Today saw reports hit the news of stolen and sensitive US military equipment (including fighter jet parts wanted by Iran and nuclear biological protective gear) attracting tops bids on eBay.
Groom gets tasered
In other bizarre news from the last seven days, US police tasered a groom and cuffed his drunken bride last Saturday following complaints of disturbances during their wedding reception. When officers arrived for the second time, Terese Williams reportedly became aggressive, removing his shirt and taking a "fighting stance", police said.
Both Williams and his cousin were tasered and handcuffed for "allegedly resisting arrest", while his new wife accompanied them to the cells "on suspicion of public intoxication". Honeymoon plans for the newlyweds may need to be put on hold, local news speculated, as Mr Williams is reportedly on parole for robbery.
Ben Hackendrom of 'Xbox 360 laptop' and 'Wii laptop' fame did it again this week – this time managing to squeeze an original 60GB backwards-compatible PlayStation 3 into a laptop.
Boasting all the usual trimmings (USB ports, stereo speakers and amp, HDMI connection - the list goes on), the PS3 laptop is destined to be auctioned off for charity – keep an eye on Engadget for details.
On a less techie note (but noteworthy nevertheless): A New Zealand man has been charged with assault after "using a hedgehog as an improvised ninja star", The Register reported. The 27-year-old could end up behind bars for five years after he threw the hedgehog at a teenager, causing several puncture marks.
He was arrested shortly afterwards, "for assault with a weapon, namely the hedgehog," said Senior Sergeant Bruce Jenkins.
"It is unknown whether the hedgehog was dead or alive at the time," commented the New Zealand Herald, "but it was dead when it was collected as evidence".