Organized Crime

Organized Crime

Russia shuts down ransomware group

Russia’s intelligence service said that information provided by the U.S. enabled it to shut down the REvil ransomware group and charged several of its members on the weekend. “The organised criminal association has ceased to exist and the information infrastructure used for criminal purposes was neutralised,” the agency said. [node:read-more:link]

North Korean hacking increasingly lucrative

Digital assets worth some $400 million were stolen in at least seven North Korean hacks last year, says New York-based Chainalysis Inc. Calling 2021 one of the most successful years on record, the software company said “the value extracted . . . grew by 40 per cent” from 2020 when four hacks were recorded. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine hit by massive cyberattack

The websites of seven Ukrainian government ministries and other services were rendered temporarily unavailable today by what the foreign ministry says was a huge cyberattack. A ministry official said that while it was too early to assign blame, “there is a long record of Russian cyber assaults against Ukraine.” The hackers said in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish that Ukrainians should “be afraid expect the worst.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran accused of global hacking

U.S. Cyber Command said Jan. 12 that Iran’s intelligence apparatus has been using multiple hacking tools against computer networks “around the world.” One vehicle is a hacking group known as Muddy Water which has tried to snatch data from telecommunications companies and others across the Middle East and elsewhere. [node:read-more:link]

Colombian charged with Haiti assassination

A Colombian national allegedly involved in last July’s assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise was deported to the U.S. from Panama this week. Mario Palacios is charged in Florida with conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the U.S. “and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap.” [node:read-more:link]

Haitian PM survives assassination bid

Prime Minister Ariel Henry of Haiti was the target of an unsuccessful attempted assassination last weekend as he participated in an independence day celebration. The security situation has deteriorated significantly since the killing of President Jovenel Moïse last July and Henry has promised to crack down on gangs blamed for a wave of kidnappings and seizing control of much of the gasoline distribution around the country. [node:read-more:link]

Haitian gang releases two hostages

Two of 17 Christian missionaries kidnapped by a Haitian gang last month have been released. The missionaries included one Canadian but Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries provided no details when it reported Nov. 21 that two had been freed, which was confirmed by Haitian police. [node:read-more:link]

Britain and U.S. tackling cyberfoes

Evolving cyberthreats “with a full range of capabilities” are the target of a new U.S.-U.K. initiative they say will “impose consequences” on common adversaries. The plan was discussed last week at an annual meeting of intelligence chiefs who “reaffirmed” their commitment Nov. 18. [node:read-more:link]

Cyber recruitment a DHS priority

Faced with an uptick in major cyberattacks in the last year or so, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to step up and streamline its recruitment and retention of cybersecurity professionals. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians urged to leave Haiti

Canada and the U.S. are advising their citizens to leave Haiti amidst growing violence and other concerns. “If you're in Haiti and your presence isn't essential, consider leaving if you can do so safely,” Global Affairs Canada says, having temporarily withdrawn non-essential diplomatic staff and families. [node:read-more:link]

Pandemic funds tapped by criminals

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada says that an undetermined amount of pandemic economic support funds evidently was diverted by organized crime. FINTRAC says that in the early stages of the CERB, criminal organizations had filed multiple applications with stolen identifies and in at least one case used social media to recruit persons to cash the benefit cheques. [node:read-more:link]

Toronto Transit cyberattack

Personal information of some 25,000 current and former Toronto Transit Commission employees may have been stolen in a cyberattack last month. “We continue to investigate whether a small number of customers and vendors may also be impacted,” the TTC added in a Nov. 9 statement. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. puts bounty on hackers

The U.S. is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the “identification or location” of DarkSide hackers whose ransomware attack shut down a critical fuel pipeline on the east coast last May. A separate $5-million reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of anybody “conspiring to participate” in any ransomware attack by DarkSide, which is blievdd to be based in Eastern Europe. [node:read-more:link]


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