Weird Tech: ID thieves hit by recession

Prices for stolen data have reached bargain-basement levels

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.

Ironic twist

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.

PS3 laptop

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.

And finally…

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".

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.