Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Brad Duncan

SANS ISC: Your online background check is now public! - Internet Security | DShield SANS ISC InfoSec Forums


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Your online background check is now public!

An email titled "Your online background check is now public" might be half-scary if it was sent to a real person. But if it is a bunch of honeypot email addresses that have nobody associated to them in real life, and they get half a dozen of these emails per week, then it can only be spam, scam, or - most likely - both.

After tolerating and binning these noisy emails for a number of weeks, we finally decided to take a look-see on what is behind them. Turns out they all lead to "instantcheckmate-dot-com", who are peddling "background investigation services".

Sadly, the "background check" for our Honeypot actually wasn't all that extensive. I would have loved to read about the sleazy hidden life of our little Honeypot, especially its speeding tickets (highly unlikely, it is an old i486) and its convictions for possession (more likely, given that on past occasions, smoke has been seen coming from the enclosure), or its sex offenses (unlikely again, given that its ports are all serial, and its slots are all ISA :).

We didn't try the Instant Checkmate "service", so I can't tell if its any good. But given that its offerings apparently need to be spammed, and the spammed URLs change daily, and redirect across four hops to end up on tcgtrkr-dot-com, and finally on instantcheckmate, I'd say the odds are they ain't up to much good.

If you own this "service", you are welcome to comment, after all, your background check is now public :). If you prefer not to comment, you might want to consider removing email addresses that have the word "sans" in them from your spam list, maybe?

Daniel

367 Posts
ISC Handler
I actually tried the service.. however via the onion and a now sanitized email addy. I know of 3 people that have felonies, all three of them showed up with such. Of course, I could also use my pacer account to verify which it did.

Fact is, this is a 50/50 bar, yes you can get data, bit more than Lexus/Nexus or others. However what you do get is completely dependent on the State you live in and more $$$$.. like "candy crush" They claim SSN and some other pie in sky promises that gets pounced when they find out you are in California.

So for me, it was more of.. wonder if X is ??? So there is my 2x visit, first and last..
ICI2Eye

52 Posts
I actually tried the service.. however via the onion and a now sanitized email addy. I know of 3 people that have felonies, all three of them showed up with such. Of course, I could also use my pacer account to verify which it did.

Fact is, this is a 50/50 bar, yes you can get data, bit more than Lexus/Nexus or others. However what you do get is completely dependent on the State you live in and more $$$$.. like "candy crush" They claim SSN and some other pie in sky promises that gets pounced when they find out you are in California.

So for me, it was more of.. wonder if X is ??? So there is my 2x visit, first and last..
ICI2Eye

52 Posts
Tried my Dog's name, and the service did (correctly) say that there are no records they can sell to me. Overall, even the "reputable" background checks services often import data more or less blindly and you should double check the data before using them for example to make a hiring decision.
Johannes

3562 Posts
ISC Handler
I've not received the e-mail as I use spam filters, but I did see the headline on my Yahoo news feed. When I tried to read the full story, however, AVG blocked the news outlet as malicious...
Johannes
1 Posts
I walked the process all the way through to the point of entering payment info. When I bailed out, the site offered me a "trial" membership for one dollar instead of the twenty some dollars for a one month membership.
JeffSoh

31 Posts
Quoting Johannes:Tried my Dog's name, and the service did (correctly) say that there are no records they can sell to me. Overall, even the "reputable" background checks services often import data more or less blindly and you should double check the data before using them for example to make a hiring decision.


You can't be referring to linkedin? Alas all of that data people post isn't 100% laser correct? One would think so given the vast amount of "talent acquisition" jobs created. :dripping sarcasm:
ICI2Eye

52 Posts
The email account I used for the (deliberately slow in order to induce commitment and generate payment?) "research" process is now receiving spam messages.
How surprising ;-)
Daniel

2 Posts

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