Organized Crime

Organized Crime

New gun control initiative launched

The U.S. Justice Department is trying to crack down on trafficking in firearms, including setting up five strike teams which will work with local law enforcement to disrupt criminal sales. The teams will be concentrated in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, all of which the department calls “significant gun trafficking corridors.” [node:read-more:link]

New malware targets Windows devices

The Romanian-based Bitdefender cybersecurity company says it has uncovered a new form of malware which installs through online advertising and targets devices using Microsoft Windows software. It says MosaicLoader is used to steal passwords, install cryptocurrency miners, and deliver additional trojan malware. [node:read-more:link]

Pipeline security tightens in U.S.

Responding to a ransomware attack on a Texas pipeline company in May, the Transportation Security Administration today directed owners and operators of critical facilities to take specific measures to protect their operations and to have recovery plans in place. Blamed on Russia-based cyber criminals, the attack resulted in gasoline shortages in several states. [node:read-more:link]

Europe targeting cryptocurrencies

Companies which trade in cryptocurrencies are the target of a draft European Union law which would require them to collect information on the sender and recipients of Bitcoins and other instruments. The European Commission says the law would help to address money-laundering and terrorist financing. [node:read-more:link]

REvil ransomware gang goes dark

Cybersecurity experts tracking the activities of REvil, a ransomeware gang based in Russia or Eastern Europe which has targeted western businesses, say it has disappeared from the Internet. “All REvil sites are down, including the payment sites and data leak site,” one observer said in social media. The development comes after U.S. President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin that would be “consequences” if the problem wasn’t addressed. [node:read-more:link]

Biden presses Putin on ransomware

After another major international ransomware attack by Russian hackers, U.S. President Joe Biden has threatened President Vladimir Putin with unspecified “consequences” if he fails to intervene. “I made it very clear to him that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it's not, not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information,” Biden said July 9. [node:read-more:link]

Russian hackers active again

Hackers linked to the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence have been scaling up attacks on western targets in the public and private sectors, according to the U.S. and Britain. “These are almost certainly still ongoing,” their security agencies caution in a new report. [node:read-more:link]

Massive hack of Florida-based site

About 200 U.S. companies using the services of a Florida-based IT company, Kaseya, have been hit by a “colossal” ransomware attack. The cybersecurity company, Huntress Labs, says the July 2 hack by a suspected Russia group was spread through corporate networks which used Kasey’s software. [node:read-more:link]

Drug trial has international twists

A Canadian national has been deported to the Netherlands from Taiwan to stand trial on charges that he oversaw a global methamphetamine cartel. Lawyers for Tse Chi Lop, who was arrested in Amsterdam in January and detained on a 2019 Australian warrant, say he was deported illegally as part of an international scheme to ensure a long sentence in the Dutch court. [node:read-more:link]

“Staggering” drug bust in Toronto

More than $61 million worth of cocaine, crystal meth and marijuana were seized June 22 in what Toronto’s police service says is its largest “international drug takedown.” Twenty persons are facing charges after a six-month investigation in cooperation with other services, including the Ontario Provincial Police and Canada Border Services Agency. [node:read-more:link]

Hundreds of arrests through messaging app

More than 800 suspected criminals have been arrested worldwide after being tricked into using an encrypted messaging app. Australian, British and U.S. law enforcement agencies were able to monitor exchanges about narcotics, money laundering and even murder plots before moving in to make arrests as well as seizing drugs, guns and money. [node:read-more:link]

Colonial Pipeline ransom funds recovered

The U.S. Justice Department said June 7 that it had recovered much of the roughly $4.4-million Bitcoin ransom paid last month to Russian hackers who shut down the company’s control systems. A department team is reported to have seized some $2.3 million in cryptocurrency by hijacking the Darkside Network’s Bitcoin wallet. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis case an intriguing web

The RCMP’s decision to charge its head of intelligence, Cameron Ortis, with leaking secrets evidently was due to the involvement of a U.S. gambler who also is an FBI informant. R.J. Cipriani says that concern about being drawn into criminal activity through the Internet led to another individual being convicted of drug trafficking and that the FBI, in pursuing that case, led to a B.C. company to which Ortis, whose trial is ongoing, is alleged to have offered secret information. [node:read-more:link]

Leading cyber firm hacked

California-based FireEye Inc., which has helped governments and companies to deal with security issues for years, has recently been the target of hackers operating from a country “with top-tier offensive capabilities.” The theft of FireEye technology is being described as akin to stealing the FBI’s investigative tools. [node:read-more:link]


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