World View: 'Lagarde List' Scandal May Put Corrupt Greek Politicians in Jail

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • 'Lagarde list' scandal may put corrupt Greek politicians in jail
  • Syrian refugees in Jordan face increasing hostility
  • Millions of South Carolina residents at risk of identity theft

'Lagarde list' scandal may put corrupt Greek politicians in jail

Costas Vaxevanis, leaving court in Athens on Monday (Reuters)
Costas Vaxevanis, leaving court in Athens on Monday (Reuters)

As Europe's economy continues to circle the drain in a deflationary spiral, here's a bizarre story that might end up sending corrupt Greek banksters and politicians to jail. Christine Lagarde is currently the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but in 2010 she was the finance minister of France. At that time, she obtained a thumb drive containing the names of 2,059 Greeks with bank accounts in HSBC's bank in Switzerland, and gave the thumb drive to Greek government officials, so that they could be investigated for using the Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes.

Well, Greek officials never did anything with the list, and at times claimed that it had been lost or misplaced. Finally, the list fell into the hands of Costas Vaxevanis, editor of the "Hot Doc" weekly magazine, and he published the list. But instead of investigating the 2,000 for possible tax evasion, furious government officials brought criminal charges against Vaxevanis for invasion of privacy, and threatened with two years in jail.

Vaxevanis might well have gone to jail, but the case got international attention, and infuriated ordinary Greeks who said that the politicians were prosecuting him because they were embarrassed. On Thursday, the court declared Vaxevanis to be innocent, but that's not the end of the scandal over Lagarde's list. There are many prominent politicians and businessmen on the list, and they are going to be targeted by the far left as causing Greece's problems, just as the far right blames Greece's problems on illegal immigrants. Al-Jazeera and Telegraph

Syrian refugees in Jordan face increasing hostility

There are 200,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, 30,000 of them in the Zaatari Refugee Camp. The Syrians say that the camp has become essentially a prison camp, where they're fed dirty food and are treated "worse than animals." As a result, some Syrians are opting to return to Syria. According to one, "We face a slow death here, or a fast death over there." BBC

Millions of South Carolina residents at risk of identity theft

A cyber attack of "foreign origin" on South Carolina's Department of Revenue taxpayer data base has permitted 3.6 million social security numbers and 387,000 credit cards numbers to be stolen. In addition, data from 657,000 businesses has also been compromised. The breach occurred on August 27, but was not discovered until weeks later, on October 10, and only made public a couple of days ago. Governor Nikki Haley has abandoned political campaigning to give full attention to the breach. The state has since teamed up with Dun & Bradstreet to provide free fraud and identity theft monitoring. However, residents have to sign up to get the free services. If you're a South Carolina taxpayer, you should do so immediately. ZDNet

Although the attack is still under investigation, it appears that the breach was accomplished through a fairly common "sql code injection" attack. However, information so far indicates that the data base was set up in a fairly shoddy manner, with little attention given to security. For example, 3.6 million social security numbers and 387,000 credit card numbers were stolen. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED, so that they would be useless to an attacker who stole them. In the last ten years, I've found that a lot of younger Gen-X programmers have little regard for security, and I've even seen cases where they've actually removed security control because they thought that all Boomers who advocate security controls are full of crap. This is a major problem in the computer industry, and we're going to see a lot more disasters like the one in South Carolina. Dark Reading


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