back to article Victims stranded as ID thieves raid Aussie driver licences

One in five Australian identity theft victims reporting to a government-backed crime monitor ID-Care have had drivers licences stolen, according to Dr David Lacey of national ID theft support service ID Care. ID Care was founded in 2014 with a budget of AUD$800,000 (£515,402, US$575,452) and receives cybercrime victim …

  1. mr. deadlift
    Mushroom

    Good lord,

    a government organisation taking action out side their day-to-day scope.

    ...does not compute.

    annoying to know something as simple as a digit change could circumvent such an easy fraud exploit.

    jeezus, just allocate a range to drivers that i dont know they might need through their lifetime, not just one, farkkk.

    oh no, ipv6!

    does not compute...

    governance in general sucks. plainly fucking sucks.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Good lord,

      jeezus, just allocate a range to drivers that i dont know they might need through their lifetime, not just one, farkkk.

      Well obviously not a simple range - just look what happened to American Express....

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Good lord,

      "Those victims have little recourse because no state will reissue a new driver licence number"

      But what sort of security system relies solely on a short personal number as any sort of protection?! That's ridiculous - the problem is whatever organisation is stupid enough to allow a license number to have any meaning in terms of personal identity. It's like being able to take someone's money just by knowing their bank account number...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good lord,

        It's like being able to take someone's money just by knowing their bank account number...

        Sound like it'd be a pretty SWIFT compromise... (pun intended)

  2. elDog Silver badge

    One only has to hope that certain ID-Care personnel have their IDs swiped.

    Justice comes in many flavors. This one would be vanilla with sprinkles.

    Only problem is that these non-reissue rules only apply to the plebes.

    Sorry, AUS - you're starting to be as backwards as my US.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    circumvent

    Couldn't they re-do their driving test thus forcing a new license and therefore number, or does a system that can't re-issue a number have the ability to tell you have a licence already and wont let you do the test.... (in which case you claim you are John Smith JR)?

    1. Daniel Voyce
      Go

      Re: circumvent

      This might have the added bonus of ensuring they can actually drive, as an expat I am astounded at the complete ineptitude on the roads out here!

      1. Mike Green

        Re: circumvent

        As am I. I drive for an hour each way to work every day, and virtually every other day I witness, or I am nearly a victim of, some insane manoeuvre some idiot tries to pull on the roads in Sydney. Literally things I would never even think of trying in busy rush hour traffic seems to be common place here. People going through red lights at speed, general racing of each other, swerving across 3 lanes, being cut up regularly, having people pull out in front of me, tailgating, oncoming cars turning right in front of my car so that I have to slam on my brakes are just some of the things I see every day. My car, which I bought brand new in 2008, has been hit 3 times, once by the neighbour opposite as he rolled down his drive into the road, once by a lady going through a red light, and once parked in a car park, and now has a 'if this car is hit again it's a write off' plaque in it. I seriously started getting life insurance for the first time as I wasn't sure how long I'd last. A friend of mine who was a 25 year-old young mum was killed by a disqualified driver who was doing 100km/s in a 60 zone while drunk and got 3 years which would equate to 18 months. Every day there are calls for people to be more responsible while driving as deaths are an everyday occurrence. I had thought it was just me, but conferring with my colleagues seems to reveal the same viewpoint. I don't remember it ever being this bad in the UK. Shocking.

        1. Oengus Silver badge

          Re: circumvent

          " and virtually every other day I witness, or I am nearly a victim of, some insane manoeuvre some idiot tries to pull on the roads in Sydney."

          You must come across the good drivers. I usually witness these behaviours multiple times each day. As I go to work at virtually the same time each day it is often the same drivers that I see. I now know their cars and leave a good distance between me and them. It never ceases to amaze me how these people keep their license.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: circumvent

          I look at an Australian police reality show from time to time. Forget the name but it is the one in NSW that deals with random breath tests.

          I can never believe the stupidly low sentences or even dismissals that these people get. Low range drink driving - 1 month ban or a 12 month good behavior bond, I presume that is like a UK suspended sentence. Or a $500 fine, peanuts.

          3rd time high range drink driving - 1 year ban

          Insane.

          I do think the zero alcohol limit for new drivers is a good idea though

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: circumvent

            "I do think the zero alcohol limit for new drivers is a good idea though"

            You can't set the bar lower than .02 BAC because that's about the NATURAL level for your average human (are there really people like Vimes who have a naturally low BAC that makes them a bit knurd by nature). And a low bar would really suck for a person with a high natural BAC or who regularly uses mouthwash...

      2. GrumpyOldBloke

        Re: circumvent

        There is only one road rule in most of Oz; smile for the revenue camera / collector. Not too hard to master. Everything else is flexible and is resolved with an exchange of insurance details.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Revenue camera"

          It's only a revenue camera if you're too inept to keep under the speed limit/not run red lights.

          1. foo_bar_baz
            Trollface

            Re: "Revenue camera" / Bad driving

            There's a good solution they have adopted in Russia.

            Dashcams.

            Film bad driving. Post on YouTube. Profit.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: "Revenue camera" / Bad driving

              "There's a good solution they have adopted in Russia.

              Dashcams."

              Mostly there to deal with crash for cash and bogus pedestrian injury claims (Russian laws has a presumption of driver fault, the cameras are there to prove otherwise)

              There are a number of Australian dashcam channels on youtube. The driving I've seen isn't any worse than the driving I've experienced in the UK - and underscores that automated drivers don't need to be perfect, just consistent and better than most humans - which isn't difficult on either count.

          2. Myvekk

            Re: "Revenue camera"

            Or if you are simply observant enough to see them. Most of the time I see the camera, then watch the people who suddenly brake at the alst moment or the flashas they go past. Or more usually watch as the officer waves them over or starts after them wiyh flashing lights because the driver was to oblivious to not see a police car parked on the side of the road! Because they are often just there to catch thw ones who are not paying attention, and that is fine by me.

          3. Mark Exclamation

            Re: "Revenue camera"

            "It's only a revenue camera if you're too inept to keep under the speed limit/not run red lights."

            After all, going a couple of kms over the speed limit means instant accident!

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: circumvent

        " as an expat I am astounded at the complete ineptitude on the roads out here!"

        As an expat from another country living in the UK, I'm astounded at the ineptitude on the roads here. Older drivers being the worst offenders.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: circumvent

          Isn't the word 'immigrant'?

          As an immigrant, I delight in the differences I find between where I now live and the old country.

        2. Trixr Bronze badge

          Re: circumvent

          Being an "expat"/immigrant who's lived in both the UK and Australia, I have to say UK drivers are much better on average than Aussies in traffic. If it's a big highway with nothing much around, yes, the Aussies are better (not so much dithering).

      5. DainB Bronze badge

        Re: circumvent

        What, whole country is driving on a wrong side of the road ?

    2. Diogenes

      Re: circumvent

      Nope. They are for life.

      When I moved from NSW to Queensland my NSW drivers licence # was 1234XX*. I had a new licence issued in Qld & surrendered my NSW licence. On moving back to NSW 22 years later I found I was issued licence number 1234XX*.

      *Not actual number.

      1. Jonathon Desmond
        Thumb Up

        Re: circumvent

        I can verify the same thing happened with my Queensland licence following a gap from 2001-2014 - the number on the new licence was the same as the old one that I surrendered in the UK.

        I didn't re-apply from scratch, but apparently the system would have matched me now to the old me anyway even if I had.

  4. G.Y.

    Schiller:

    Mit die dummheit kaempfen goetter selbst vergebens

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Schiller?!

      More like "shill for the Goethe Institute", am I rite?

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Schiller:

      Yes, it's 'die Dummheit', but the phrase is 'Mit der Dummheit kämpfen selbst die Götter vergebens!'. Because grammar. Apparently stupidity has a flexible gender in German - make of that what you will...

      As to "No state will reissue a new driver license number meaning that once the document is stolen, victims could be considered permanently compromised." - I re-read that three times, but all I came up with is 'WTF?' each time.

      1. Geronimo!

        Re: Schiller:

        On a side note: The gender stays the same (Female). The article changes due to the word "Mit" (with) in front of "Dummheit", causing it to change from Nominativus to Dativus.

    3. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      According to my German-English dictionary

      Mit der Dummheit kämpfen selbst Götter vergebens.

      With stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.

  5. Adam 1 Silver badge

    It feels really weird to be standing up for the RTA or whatever they call themselves these days, but it seems to me that fingers are pointed towards the wrong people.

    There are two numbers, a licence number and a card number. The card number changes each time that a new card is issued, so can be in effect "cancelled". Why are credit agencies etc using the licence number if they are a target for identity thrives? There are many reasons why someone needs to share that ID. Just try signing up for any service, setting up any account, superannuation fund, insurance, loan, school enrolment for your kids or whatever without having to provide it to be photocopied.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "Why are credit agencies etc using the licence number if they are a target for identity thrives?"

      Probably because they need a permanent ID number to be able to report to the government for whatever reason. It's one reason US Social Security numbers are still used sometimes even though the government discourages its use: because some aspect of their business requires it (say an employer or a medical provider).

      1. Ian Ringrose

        The “permanent ID number” should not be used as part of a ID check

        It is OK to use the “permanent ID number” as a key in a database, however it should not be used to confirm someone ID, as so many people know it. Likewise a physical driving licence should never be used to confirm someone ID unless the phone is confirmed to match the person.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The “permanent ID number” should not be used as part of a ID check

          What do phones have to do with it?

      2. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Yes. By all means require/hold that number. Just stop tricking yourself into believing that knowledge of it somehow authenticates the holder of that information.

        It's kind of like your date of birth. It's a data point about someone but it is unchangeable and hardly secret.

        Additionally, licence numbers are almost certainly vulnerable to enumeration attacks. Something amiss with a licence number should be a red flag to investigate a bit deeper. No more. No less.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once a drivers ID is stolen?

    They're afraid their driving license is STOLEN and it compromises their IDs? Oh.... pooor Aussies.

    Over in Blighty they're going to give us an online driving license, from the same agency that SELLS our car data to garages simply to look at the car details:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/05/20/digital_driving_licence/

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: Once a drivers ID is stolen?

      "Over in Blighty they're going to give us an online driving license"

      Never mind, they're thinking of the same here in Australia. Conditional, not across the board, but still thinking about it.

      1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

        Re: Once a drivers ID is stolen?

        "Conditional, not across the board, but still thinking about it."

        For very small values of "thinking", I assume.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Once a drivers ID is stolen?

          "For very small values of "thinking", I assume."

          It's a government department. It's a given, not an assumption.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Counselling?!?!

    > About eight percent of victims are sufficiently distressed that they require face-to-face counselling, he says.

    ... that they require hand-to-face counselling...

    FTFY.

  8. thelionroars

    Was this recorded?

    I can't find a recording of this on the AUSCERT Youtube channel, nor any link to the slides on the conference page. Does anyone know if they are around somewhere?

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