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Crime

Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company 116 116

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-directly-to-jail dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Two Uber executives were arrested by French authorities for running an illegal taxi company and concealing illegal documents. This is not the first time Uber has run into trouble in France. Recently, taxi drivers started a nation-wide protest, blocking access to Roissy airport and the nation's interior minister issued a ban on UberPop. A statement from an Uber spokesperson to TechCrunch reads: "Our CEO for France and General Manager for Western Europe were invited to a police hearing this afternoon; following this interview, they were taken into custody. We are always available to answer all the questions on our service, and available to the authorities to solve any problem that could come up. Talks are in progress. In the meantime, we keep working in order to make sure that both our customers and drivers are safe following last week’s turmoils."
Transportation

After Protest, France Cracks Down On Uber 176 176

Posted by Soulskill
from the apparently-there's-not-an-app-for-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Just a day after taxi drivers began a high-profile protest of Uber in France, the nation's interior minister has issued a ban on the car-sharing service UberPop. The minister stated that the service was illegal, and ordered police to begin seizing vehicles defying the order. French president Francois Hollande agrees that UberPOP "should be dismantled," but says the state isn't legally permitted to seize cars itself without court authorization. "UberPOP is a car-sharing service offered by Uber, which brings together customers and private drivers at prices lower than those charged by both traditional taxi firms and even other Uber services. UberPOP differs because it allows non-professional drivers to register their car and transport other passengers. It has been illegal in France since January, but the law has proved difficult to enforce and the service continues to operate, AFP news agency reports."
Biotech

Building the Face of a Criminal From DNA 59 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
Dave Knott writes: It sounds like science fiction, but revealing the face of a criminal based on their genes may be closer than we think. In a process known as molecular photo fitting, scientists are experimenting with using genetic markers from DNA to build up a picture of an offender's face. Dr. Peter Claes, a medical imaging specialist at the University of Leuven, has amassed a database of faces and corresponding DNA. Armed with this information, he is able to model how a face is constructed based on just 20 genes (this number will soon be expanded to 200). At the moment, police couldn't publish a molecular photo-fit like this and hope to catch a killer. But that's not how Dr. Claes sees the technique being used in a criminal investigation. "If I were to bring this result to an investigator, I wouldn't necessarily give him the image to broadcast. I would talk to him and say okay, you're looking for a woman, with a very specific chin and eyebrow structure."
Crime

Dallas Police Falsely Credit TrapWire System For Arrests 31 31

Posted by timothy
from the for-large-values-of-zero dept.
In April, the Texas Department of Public Safety told a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, inspired by information leaked by Wikileaks to ask about ways that the agency might be compromising citizen's privacy and other rights, that the TrapWire behavioral analysis system employed in combination with surveillance equipment posted at various high-profile locations around the state had resulted in 44 arrests. However, after numerous public records requests for more information about those claimed arrests, the agency admitted that the true figure is somewhat lower: namely, zero. The story naturally involves "millions" of dollars (though an exact figure for the zero-arrest system isn't named), and Austin-based Stratfor, a company that's been named a few times here on Slashdot.
Crime

Security Oversights and Complacency Set the Stage For Killers' Escape 80 80

Posted by timothy
from the if-clint-eastwood-can-do-it dept.
HughPickens.com writes: The NY Times reports that although no single lapse or mistake in security enabled two killers to break out of the Clinton Correctional Facility two weeks ago, it is now clear that an array of oversights, years in the making, set the stage for the prison break and for the ensuing manhunt. According to the Times, a sense of complacency had taken hold that in some ways might have been understandable: "There had not been an escape from the 170-year-old prison in decades, and officials say no one had ever broken out of the maximum-security section. ... 'As the months go by, years go by, things get less strict,' says [retired corrections officer] Keith Provost. ... [U]nlike many prisons and jails across the country, there are no video cameras on the cellblocks at the Clinton facility that might have detected suspicious activity." And although prison rules forbid putting sheets across cell bars to obstruct viewing, in practice, officers say, inmates frequently were allowed to hang sheets for lengthy periods. Officials say there is a good chance that the two men had been at work on their plan for weeks, maybe months. Night after night, the authorities have come to believe, the two men stuffed their beds with crude dummies, slipped out of holes they had cut in the back of their cells and climbed down five stories using the piping along the walls. They then set to work inside the tunnels under the prison, spending hours preparing their path of escape before returning to their cells unobserved. No contemporary prison break has reminded me so much of the 1962 breakout from Alcatraz (theories on survival aside).
Spam

86.2 Million Phone Scam Calls Delivered Each Month In the US 193 193

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-an-undercount-to-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a report from Help Net Security which assigns some numbers to the lucrative fraud-by-phone business in the U.S. -- and it's not just the most naive who are vulnerable. "Phone fraud continues to threaten enterprises across industries and borders, with the leading financial institutions' call centers exposed to more than $9 million to potential fraud each year," says the article. "Pindrop analyzed several million calls for threats, and found a 30 percent rise in enterprise attacks and more than 86.2 million attacks per month on U.S. consumers. Credit card issuers receive the highest rate of fraud attempts, with one in every 900 calls being fraudulent."

What's been your experience with fraudulent robocalls? I've been getting them on a near-daily basis -- fake credit card alerts, "computer support" malware-install attempts, and more -- for a few years now, which makes whitelisting seem attractive. ("Bridget from account services" has been robo-calling a lot lately, and each time she says it is my final notice.) My biggest worry is that the people behind these scams, like spammers, will hire copywriters who can fool many more people.
Security

E-Detective Spy Tool Used By Police and Governments Has Major Security Holes 64 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-got-a-problem dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes: A controversial intercept tool called E-Detective from Taiwanese based company Decision Group has a major security hole which could allow a hacker to remotely execute code and read all the data captured by the software. Considering over 100 law enforcement agencies and governments around the world use E-Detective, this could be a big problem. According to the International Business Times story: "E-Detective works by 'sniffing the network' it is monitoring and captures data packets before sending them to be reassembled and decoded. Unlike other products E-Detective promises to 'reconstruct the data to its original format' for the end users so that it will be seen the same way that it was seen on the network. E-Detective also advertises as a network forensic tool for private enterprises to "protect sensitive data from data leakage".
Crime

Interviews: Ask Brian Krebs About Security and Cybercrime 51 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.
Brian Krebs got his start as a reporter at The Washington Post and after having his entire network taken down by the Lion Worm, crime and cybersecurity became his focus. In 2005, Krebs started the Security Fix blog and Krebs On Security in 2009, which remains one of the most popular sources of cybercrime and security news. Brian is credited with being the first journalist to report on Stuxnet and one of his investigative series on the McColo botnet is estimated to have led to a 40-70% decline in junk e-mail sent worldwide. Unfortunately for Krebs, he's also well known to criminals. In 2013 he became one of the first journalists to be a victim of Swatting and a few months later a package of heroin was delivered to his home. Brian has agreed to give us some of his time and answer any questions you may have about crime and cybersecurity. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.
Crime

Baseball Team Hacks Another Team's Networks, FBI Investigates 105 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the change-your-password dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the better baseball teams over the past several years. The Houston Astros have been one of the worst. Nevertheless, there is evidence that officials for the Cardinals broke into a network maintained by the Astros in order to gain access to "internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics, and scouting reports." The FBI is now leading an investigation into the breach, and they have served subpoenas to the Cardinals and to Major League Baseball demanding access to electronic correspondence. It's the first known instance of corporate espionage involving a network breach in professional sports. Law enforcement said the intrusion "did not appear to be sophisticated." It seems likely that a personal vendetta against the Astros's general manager is involved.
Crime

FBI Investigating Series of Fiber Cuts In San Francisco Bay Area 168 168

Posted by samzenpus
from the cutting-the-line dept.
jfruh writes: Ten times over four separate nights in the past year, telecom cables have been mysteriously cut in various locations around the San Francisco Bay Area. Now the FBI is investigating the incidents as potential sabotage. ITWorld reports: "In the past year, there were 10 instances on four separate nights when telecom cables were intentionally cut in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Berkeley and San Jose, the agency said Monday. FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich said it's unclear if the incidents are unrelated or the work of a single person or group, but the FBI is keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious."
Security

Malware Attacks Give Criminals 1,425% Return On Investment 124 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the bang-for-your-buck dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Trustwave released a new report which reveals the top cybercrime, data breach and security threat trends. According to their findings, attackers receive an estimated 1,425 percent return on investment for exploit kit and ransomware schemes ($84,100 net revenue for each $5,900 investment). Retail was the most compromised industry making up 43 percent of investigations followed by food and beverage (13 percent) and hospitality (12 percent).
Social Networks

US Teen Pleads Guilty To Teaching ISIS About Bitcoin Via Twitter 312 312

Posted by timothy
from the don't-ever-edit-wikipedia dept.
jfruh writes: Ali Shukri Amin, a 17-year-old from Virginia, has pleaded guilty to charges that he aided ISIS by giving the group advice about using bitcoin. An odd and potentially troubling aspect of the charges is that this all took place in public — he Tweeted out links to an article on his blog about how bitcoin and Darknet could help jihadi groups, making it difficult to say whether he was publishing information protected under free speech or was directly advising the terrorist organization. Free speech qua speech isn't the only relevant charge, though: Amin "also admitted facilitating the travel of another teenager, 18-year-old Reza Niknejad, to Syria to join IS. Amin faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if convicted."
Crime

Amazon Publishes Opaque Transparency Report 22 22

Posted by timothy
from the pro-forma-distractions dept.
Mark Wilson writes: Post-Snowden there is great interest in just what involvement the government has with technology firms. There are frequent requests from government agencies for information about users and the likes of Google, Snapchat and even the NSA itself have all released transparency reports that reveal, in broad strokes, the number of requests for data they have received. Amazon is the latest company to release a transparency report — although the term really should be used in the loosest possible sense. The report includes scant details about the number of subpoenas, search warrants, court orders, and national security requests received in the first five months of 2015. The report is so vague as to be virtually meaningless.
Crime

49 Suspected Members of Cybercriminal Group Arrested In Europe 23 23

Posted by Soulskill
from the going-for-the-high-score dept.
An anonymous reader writes: A joint international operation led to the arrests of 49 suspected members of a cybercriminal group in Europe. The operation involved law enforcement agencies from several different nations, including Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Georgia, and the UK. Police searched 58 separate properties, seizing laptops, hard disks, telephones, tablets, credit cards and cash, SIM cards, memory sticks, forged documents and bank account documents. The criminals came to the attention of police after repeatedly initiating man-in-the-middle attacks against European companies, using intrusions and social engineering to route corporate payments to their own bank accounts.
The Courts

Prenda Gets Hit Hard With Contempt Sanctions For Lying To Court 75 75

Posted by samzenpus
from the long-arm-of-the-law dept.
walterbyrd writes: Team Prenda has been beaten up by the courts once again. Given all of the flat out deceit, it's actually a bit anti-climactic that the court has ordered sanctions of just $65,263 against Steele and Hansmeier for contempt of court. As for the obstruction of discovery, the court orders Duffy and Steele to pay Booth Sweet's costs, which the lawyers are told to submit. Some people are still wondering why none of this pattern of deceit, lying and abuse of the court system has not resulted in anything more serious.
Star Wars Prequels

Stormtrooper Arrested 535 535

Posted by Soulskill
from the they'll-be-back-and-in-greater-numbers dept.
Kexel writes: Nope, not an April Fools joke. A forty-year-old man in Massachusetts bought a Stormtrooper outfit, and then walked through a neighborhood near a school to show his friends. The principal saw his fake blaster and called 911. The man was then arrested and charged with disturbing a school and loitering. A police spokesman said the man "used bad judgment." I guess this shows you what not to do when geeking out on Star Wars.
Security

Intel Security Scares Ransomware Script Kiddie Out of Business 117 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-out-while-the-gettings-good dept.
tdog17 writes: A criminal coder wrote a kit for ransomware that made it easy for others to encrypt victims' hard drives and then extort money from them in order to get the decryption keys. But when Intel Security wrote about the kit — called Tox — the author got cold feet. Now he or she is trying to sell the whole business. “Plan A was to stay quiet and hidden. It's been funny, I felt alive, more than ever, but I don't want to be a criminal. The situation is also getting too hot for me to handle, and (sorry to ruin your expectations) I'm not a team of hard core hackers. I’m just a teenager student,” the coder wrote on the Tox malware site.
Businesses

Bell Media President Says Canadians Are 'Stealing' US Netflix Content 408 408

Posted by timothy
from the oh-canada dept.
iONiUM writes: Today the Bell Media president claimed that Canadians are "stealing" U.S. Netflix, saying the practice is "stealing just like stealing anything else." She went on to say that it is socially unacceptable behavior, and "It has to become socially unacceptable to admit to another human being that you are VPNing into U.S. Netflix. Like throwing garbage out of your car window, you just don't do it. We have to get engaged and tell people they're stealing." Of course, I'm sure the fact that Bell Media profits from Canadian content has nothing to do with these remarks.
Crime

US Prosecutors Say Clearing Browser Data Can Be Obstruction of Justice 308 308

Posted by timothy
from the goodness-and-light dept.
The Nation reports that 24-year-old Khairullozhon Matanov, an associate of the since-convicted Tsarnaev brothers, faces charges not of conspiring with the Tsarnaevs, but of obstructing justice, and one aspect of the actions he took should probably concern anyone who has crossed paths online or in real life with subject of law enforcement scrutiny, and subsequently cleared their browser history. From the article: The feds finally arrested and indicted him in May 2014. ... There were three counts for making false statements based on the aforementioned lies and—remarkably—one count for destroying "any record, document or tangible object" with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. This last charge was for deleting videos on his computer that may have demonstrated his own terrorist sympathies and for clearing his browser history. What about using incognito mode?
Government

Why Is It a Crime For Dennis Hastert To Evade Government Scrutiny? 510 510

Posted by Soulskill
from the laws-that-serve-the-lawmakers dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Dennis Hastert is about the least sympathetic figure one can imagine. The former House Speaker got filthy rich as a lobbyist trading on contacts he gained in office, and his leadership coincided with Congress's abject failure to exercise oversight or protect civil liberties after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Now, Hastert stands accused of improper sexual contact with a boy he knew years ago while teaching high school and trying to hide that sordid history by paying the young man to keep quiet. If federal prosecutors could meet the legal thresholds for charging and convicting Hastert of a sex crime, they would be fully justified in aggressively pursuing the matter.

Yet, as Conor Friedersdorf writes in The Atlantic, the Hastert indictment doesn't charge him for, or even accuse him of, sexual misconduct. Rather, as Glenn Greenwald notes, "Hastert was indicted for two alleged felonies: 1) withdrawing cash from his bank accounts in amounts and patterns designed to hide the payments; and 2) lying to the FBI about the purpose of those withdrawals once they detected them and then inquired with him." It isn't illegal to withdraw money from the bank, nor to compensate someone in recognition of past harms, nor to be the victim of a blackmail scheme. So why should it be a crime to hide those actions from the U.S. government? The current charges could be motivated by a desire to prosecute Hastert for sex crimes. But that dodges the issue. "In order to punish him for that crime, the government should charge him with it, then prosecute him with due process and convict him in front of a jury of his peers," says Greenwald. "What over-criminalization does is allow the government to turn anyone it wants into a felon, and thus punish them without having to overcome those vital burdens. Regardless of one's views of Hastert or his alleged misconduct here, it should take little effort to see why nobody should want that."