If anyone knows or has information pertaining to Art from Illinois, please contact me. I bet you have some great stories.
Anyway, being away from my desk for that two-day seminar has really made the work pile up. It's not really a good thing, and it's going to get worse thanks to the three-day weekend. I have a lot of stuff that I need to put off until after the holiday, and everybody else is doing the same thing. Some of the things they're procrastinating on are things I'm waiting for. Next week will be short and very busy.
The seminar was worth it, though. As I said, it got me away from my desk for two days, I learned lots of stuff, and we all regaled each other with stories of the stupid disputes we're working on. The woman presenting the seminar also discussed some of the tools being used to commit fraud. I got all nostalgic when she showed us an old version of Credit Master. Remember Credit Master? Even if you don't, somebody you know does.
Credit Master is a program for comitting credit fraud. You select an issuing bank and the number of accounts you want created, and it spits out a list of account numbers which, though they may not correspond to real cards, pass the security-check algorithm that determines whether or not they're valid. I tell you all this because a) a ridiculous amount of effort is required to use fictitious account numbers in the United States in 2005, and b) if there's one piece of advice I can offer about committing credit fraud, it's "don't." Just don't. It's not worth it, especially in the US, where your chances of getting caught are astronomically high.
Back when I was in high school, everybody I knew had a copy of Credit Master. Everybody played with it a little, but we were all afraid to use it, partly because of the normal paranoia associated with something like that, but also largely because I had a good friend who got into a ridiculous amount of trouble for maintaining an AOL account with a generated Visa card (this was back when you could actually do that kind of thing -- the industry has better security now).
Anyway, between seeing that version of Credit Master and an old ATM hacking manual which probably came from an old issue of Phrack or THC, I got all nostalgic -- not that I'd talk to any of my coworkers about it. If I'd been rampantly breaking laws and committing acts of fraud I wouldn't even write about it here, let alone make it publicly viewable, but that doesn't mean that I'd want to admit to the people who control my paycheck that I once programmed something called The Uncle Meat Utilities which, mercifully, shows no results if you google it.