Organized Crime

Organized Crime

Cybercriminals face legal onslaught

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco says the Justice Department is stepping up its campaign against ransomware and cybercrime through arrests and other actions as the administration responds to what ir considers an urgent economic and national security threat. “If you come for us, we’re going to come for you,” she warned in an interview this week. [node:read-more:link]

Russian hackers on new offensive

Microsoft reports that Nobelium, the Russian-based agency behind last year's SolarWinds cyberattack, has targeted hundreds more companies and organizations. The latest wave this summer targetted “resellers and other technology service providers” of cloud data storage services. [node:read-more:link]

Pipeline hack a wakeup call

A Russia-based hack against a key U.S. natural gas supplier last May is seen by senior Pentagon officials as a wakeup call that the military needs to better protect its logistics programs from future attacks. The hackers only needed one password for the attack against Colonial Pipeline, resulting in a gas shortage, higher prices and eventually costing the company $5 million in ransom money. [node:read-more:link]

Haitian gang demands ransoms

A notorious Haitian gang which kidnapped a Canadian and 16 U.S. members of an Ohio-based aid group is demanding $1 million each for their release. The same gang, 400 Mazowo, abducted a group of Catholic clergy in April and while they were eventually released it remains unclear whether ransoms were paid. [node:read-more:link]

Russia behind most state-backed hacks

Russia accounted for the most state-sponsored hacking detected by Microsoft over the past year, with a 58% share. The detected hacks were mostly targeting government agencies and think tanks in the United States, followed by Ukraine, Britain and European NATO members, the company said. [node:read-more:link]

UN targetted by hackers again

The United Nations confirmed Sept. 8 that its headquarters’ computer systems were hacked last April and there have been other hacks since then. The announcement came after several private cybersecurity experts warned that cybercriminals had been selling login access. The UN admitted early last year that its offices in Geneva and Vienna had been targeted by hacker in 2019. [node:read-more:link]

Black market offering vaxxports

As jurisdictions in Canada and elsewhere opt to provide COVID-19 “passports” to fully-vaccinated cohorts, there evidently is a flourishing black market in bogus documentation. One online site offers to deliver a “registered” card with the logo of either the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention or Britain's National Health Service for $100. [node:read-more:link]

Child abuse targeted by Apple Inc.

A program designed to facilitate online tracking of child abuse has been unveiled by Apple Inc. It would check imagery on a country-by-country basis, subject to local laws but with built-in safeguards to prevent governments from using it for other purposes. [node:read-more:link]

Plot against Myanmar’s UN envoy

Two Myanmar citizens have been arrested for allegedly plotting to have someone kill or injure the country’s envoy to the UN, the U.S. attorneys’ office in New York reported today. A vocal critic of last February’s military coup in his homeland, Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun was fired by the junta but continues to represent Myanmar. [node:read-more:link]

Mexico takes on firearms industry

U.S. firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Barrett Firearms are on a list of companies being sued in a Masschusetts court by the Mexican government, which says they knew they were contributing to illegal arms trafficking and increased violence in Mexico. Filed Aug. 3, the suit seeks as much as $10 billion in compensation. [node:read-more:link]

Money-laundering tool abused

An international program design to deal with money-laundering, the Financial Action Task Force established by Canada and its G7 partners, is at the heart of a controversy that its original focus has been compromised. Authorities in at least five countries are said to have used FATF standards to investigate critics for political gain. [node:read-more:link]

Android malware discovered

A new Android-based malware uses screen recording to log in and steal sensitive information from devices. Dubbed “Vultur” by Dutch security researchers, the malware was disguised as a protective app distributed through Google. [node:read-more:link]

Health services company data stolen

One of Canada’s largest mental health and addictions treatment services, Homewood Health, has admitted that some clients’ data was stolen and offered at auction. The self-described “leaked data marketplace” site Marketo said it had more than 180 gigabytes of the company’s data including documents referencing provincial and national organizations. [node:read-more:link]

Money laundering snowballing?

There is a significant disparity between the number of money-laundering complaints reported by Ottawa banks to federal authorities in the past 10 years and the number of persons charged: more than 10,000 versus 20. The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada concedes there has been a jump in the number of monthly complaints in the last two years but says it could be due to increased vigilance rather than an increase in criminal activity. [node:read-more:link]


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