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Dozens of Websites caught flogging UK Identities

The Times has (opens in new tab) successfully downloaded banking information of 32 people including a judge and a managing director without forking out anything.

An undercover investigation by the newspaper showed how easy it was for criminals - and indeed for almost anyone - to obtain and use details of UK citizens.

The details (opens in new tab) - which included private account numbers, email addresses, PINs and security codes - were obtained from hacking websites which offered the details as a free taster.

More than 100 such websites have been earmarked by the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas who will be working with police forces to take them down although it could be problematic given the nature of the internet and the fact the overwhelming number of those websites are based in rogue states.

The online newspaper reported that a criminal was offering 30,000 UK credit card numbers for less than a pound each.

The news come (opens in new tab) amidst concerns caused by the loss of the details of 25 million child benefit claimants last month and compounds even more pressure on the banks which are liable for loss through fraud.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.