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Found 8 results

  1. Technology Plays Role in Every Aspect of Crime, Europol Says New and emerging technologies are being used by criminal gangs operating in nearly every aspect of crime, a new report from Europol has warned. The 2017 Serious Organised Crime Threat Assessment (Socta) revealed that criminal gangs across Europe are adept at exploiting new technologies to help them arrange and carry out crimes. Cybercrime is now one of Europol’s top priority crime threats. “For almost all types of organized crime, criminals are deploying and adapting technology with ever greater skill and to ever greater effect. This is now, perhaps, the greatest challenge facing law enforcement authorities around the world, including in the EU,” the report said. “Cybercrime is a global phenomenon affecting all Member States and is as borderless as the internet itself. The attack surface continues to grow as society becomes increasingly digitised, with more citizens, businesses, public services and devices connecting to the internet,” the report added. Of particular concern is the rise of Crime-as-a-Service (CaaS), where people can buy goods and services on the dark net to help them carry out crimes, ranging from hacktivism to terrorism. The underground criminal marketplace is enabling crime that would otherwise be out of reach for criminals, the report said. “This allows even entry-level cyber-criminals to carry out attacks of a scale disproportionate to their technical capability,” the report said. “Criminal forums and marketplaces within the deep web or darknet remain a crucial environment for cybercriminals to communicate and are a key component for CaaS.” Europol highlights malware and cyber-criminal services as one of the main elements of CaaS, alongside stolen goods, counterfeit medicines, illicit drugs, child sexual exploitation materials and the trafficking of firearms. Ransomware is becoming the leading threat in terms of malware, the report said, having a greater impact on victims than other types of malware. It’s increasingly targeting individuals as well as public and private organizations. Also growing in frequency and scale are network intrusion attacks, with the purpose of stealing private data or intellectual property. It’s not just highly organized crime that is adopting technology though. The report states that criminals are using social media posts to find out when potential burglary victims are away, and targeting them accordingly. Europol has also recorded the use of free online navigation tools to scout out neighborhoods to target. “Criminals have always been adept at exploiting technology. However, the rate of technological innovation and the ability of organized criminals to adapt these technologies have been increasing steadily over recent years. Developments such as the emergence of the online trade in illicit goods and services are set to result in significant shifts in criminal markets and confront law enforcement authorities with new challenges,” said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol. “Technology is a key component of most, if not all, criminal activities carried out by organised crime groups in the EU and has afforded organised crime with an unprecedented degree of flexibility. This flexibility is particularly apparent in the ease with which criminals adapt to changes in society,” the report concludes. “The internet, the multitude of online platforms and communication channels it hosts have had a huge impact on society, strengthening and transforming the economy, driving innovation and shaping social interaction. However, it is also a key enabler of criminal activity and plays a role in all types of criminality.”
  2. A new law that took effect in California on January 1, 2017 punishes conviction of distributing ransomware with a prison sentence of up to four years. In the past, ransomware cases were tried under existing extortion statutes. According to the bill's sponsor, California State Senator Bob Hertzberg, "This legislation provides prosecutors the clarity they need to charge and convict perpetrators of ransomware." Source
  3. The director of the F.B.I. reignited the factious debate over a so-called "Ferguson effect" on Wednesday, saying that he believed less aggressive policing was driving an alarming spike in murders in many cities. James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed after speaking with a number of police officials that a "viral video effect" -- with officers wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video -- "could well be at the heart" of a spike in violent crime in some cities. "There's a perception that police are less likely to do the marginal additional policing that suppresses crime -- the getting out of your car at 2 in the morning and saying to a group of guys, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?'" he told reporters. Mr. Comey was wading back into a dispute from last fall that pitted him against some of his bosses at the White House and the Justice Department and one that roiled racial tensions over confrontations between police officers and minorities. He first raised the idea in October that a "chill wind" had deterred aggressive policing. But Obama administration officials distanced themselves from Mr. Comey at the time. They said they had seen no evidence to support the idea of a "Ferguson effect," named after the 2014 shooting by a police officer of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., which sparked widespread protests. Obama administration officials declined to comment on Wednesday about Mr. Comey's latest remarks, which were sharper in tone than his previous statements. But some dissenters said he was needlessly stirring up an unproven and divisive notion. "He ought to stick to what he knows," James O. Pasco Jr., executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said in a telephone interview. The organization has more than 330,000 members. "He's basically saying that police officers are afraid to do their jobs with absolutely no proof," Mr. Pasco said. ARTICLE SOURCE
  4. Claudia Ochoa Felix, who is reportedly a Mexican cartel boss, may make a power grab for El Chapo’s empire A WOMAN known as the “Kim Kardashian of organised crime” may instigate a brutal and bloody gang war in the wake of last week’s arrest of drug king pin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman. The glamorous bikini-and-stilettos clad Claudia Ochoa Felix heads the ruthless hit squad Los Ántrax but drug policy experts fear she could attempt to take El Chapo’s place. Felix is known for posting provocative photographs to social media. In one, her sons are pictured surrounded by piles of cash. In another, she brandishes an AK47 like a fashion accessory. Felix’s Twitter account, which hasn’t been used since 2014, largely shows her with her three children, while her Instagram account is private and many posts have since been deleted. No stranger to a selfie, the mother-of-three was thrust into the spotlight after incorrect reports emerged that she can been tortured and killed. Felix, who reportedly denies she is La Emperatriz de Los Ántrax, or the Empress of anthrax, was installed as leader of the group following the arrest of boyfriend and former boss, Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, The Mirror reported. However it’s the potential power vacuum left by Guzman which some experts fear could lead to a brutal and deadly drug war. Gunman was arrested last Friday in Los Mochis, a seaside city in his northwestern home state of Sinaloa. Officials said Guzman’s “almost obsessive” desire to see actor Kate Del Castillo contributed to his recapture. Guzman, 58, left his mountain hide-out because troops were circling him, but his hope of seeing her again also led him to the city. The drug lord had been on the run for more than six months after escaping from maximum-security facility Altiplano Prison on July 11. If he stays in the Mexican prison, it is believed it will be business as usual as he will run the cartel from behind bars. But if the US succeeds in having him extradited, which could potentially take months, it could cause an internal battle to claim power. In a blog post for the Houston Chronicle, Drug policy expert and Mexico crime author Nathan Jones said: “If Guzman is extradited, he could lose significant operational control over proxies, which could adversely impact internal Sinaloa cartel cohesion. “It is possible sub-networks such as Los Antrax or the Gente Nueva (enforcer paramilitary apparatuses) could potentially break free and into internecine conflict with the Sinaloa Cartel.” Los Ántrax is the much-feared assassin wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. In 2014, Felix reportedly addressed rumours about her apparent involvement in the cartel during a press conference in her hometown of Culiacan, Sinaloa state, according to Vice. “My children are being subjected to bullying, my mother is suffering from anxiety, and I am devastated and without peace, and now my physical integrity is threatened,” she said. She claimed it wasn’t her in a large majority of the photos and asked authorities to look at investigating who was running the accounts. http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/claudia-ochoa-felix-fears-the-kim-kardashian-of-crime-could-spark-drug-gang-war/news-story/744a404b09765a6bbc107ed0afe9f60d
  5. Exactly one year ago, DARPA announced a characteristically scifi-inspired mission: to create a search engine that could find things on the deep web that Google's crawlers would miss. The so-called Memex project is now well underway, and for the first time we're getting a look at the crime-fighting search engine in action. Pardon the clichéd Philip K. Dick reference, but Memex looks a bit like something you'd see in Minority Report. The Pentagon's research agency offered Scientific American and 60 Minutes exclusive looks at the technology, and the features sound absolutely mind-bending. On the surface level, Memex works like a search engine that spreads its tentacles into the deep web and darknet. Since the likes of Google and Bing only index about 10 percent of the web, this basic functionality is key to tracking criminal movements, especially those of human traffickers who maintain the lowest of profiles. So take this scenario: If a criminal investigator has the link to an ad posted by a human trafficker, the investigator would have a hard time finding other clues since human traffickers pull these ads before Google has a chance to index them. Memex circumvents that. The next generation technology queries a much broader swatch of the internet, including deep web and darknet links, to find connections between the search term and its results, not to mention connections between the results. After the initial search, Memex will then produce a so-called "data wake" that shows all of the other pages that are related to the links that you clicked on but might not otherwise see. It looks like this: That's just one trick. The super-charged web crawlers are also able to track the movements of human traffickers by watching where they post ads. Again, these are links that would slip through Google's tracks. The movements can them be compiled into heat maps or maps of a criminal's movements: Things get really futuristic when you take into account the latest Memex feature. The technology is currently being beta tested by two district attorneys' offices, a law enforcement agency, and a nongovernmental organization. The next stage of testing, due to start with a broader group of beta testers in a few weeks, is where things start to sound more like Minority Report. From Scientific American: You heard that right. DARPA wants to catch criminals by looking at reflections in TV screens, the same way that Tom Cruise figures out the details of crimes before they happen. Of course, Memex can't see into the future. However, the idea is that the technology will stop human traffickers before they hurt more people. All DARPA need now are those weird gloves, a room-sized screen, and some mutated, prophetic humans soaking in a special chamber, and the agency will finally be a full-on Philip K. Dick vision come true. Human Traffickers Caught on Hidden Internet Video here>> cbsnews gizmodo
  6. Amid a swell of controversy, backlash, confusion and threats, Sony Pictures broadly released "The Interview" online Wednesday — an unprecedented counterstroke against the hackers who spoiled the Christmas opening of the comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. ​ "It has always been Sony's intention to have a national platform on which to release this film," Sony Pictures chair and CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement. "We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release." Co-owner of the Hollywood Boulevard Cinemas of Woodridge talks about the theater's decision to show the "The Interview." (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune) "The Interview" became available on a variety of digital platforms Wednesday afternoon, including Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a separate Sony website, a day after Sony and independent theaters agreed to release it in over 300 venues on Christmas. The wide digital release is the culmination of a set of deals that have been in the works since the major theater chains last week dropped the movie that was to have opened on up to 3,000 screens. Seth Rogen, who stars in the film he co-directed with Evan Goldberg, cheered the decision. ​ "I need to say that a comedy is best viewed in a theater full of people, so if you can, I'd watch it like that. Or call some friends over," he tweeted. A Sony executive close to the matter said that there is concern over whether the company will recoup the $40 million cost of the film and the millions more spent on marketing, but that affordability and wide access were their main priorities. The executive also said more providers could sign on in the coming days and weeks and the option is still there for more theaters to show the film down the line. The executive said it remained an option for the major theater chains to show the film, and that Sony was working to repair the symbiotic relationship that has eroded in recent days. ​ Sony's initial decision not to release the film was widely criticized, with President Barack Obama one of the harshest critics. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama welcomed the news. ​ "As the president made clear on Friday, we do not live in a country where a foreign dictator can start imposing censorship here in the United States. With today's announcements, people can now make their own choices about the film, and that's how it should be," Schultz said. ​ Among the early viewers was 11-year-old Marco Squitieri of Washington, D.C. Squitieri had wanted to see "The Interview" since seeing a preview earlier this year and had followed the news about Sony pulling the movie, then permitting its release. Squitieri's family purchased "The Interview" from Xbox for $14.99. ​ "It's pretty funny," Squitieri told The Associated Press, laughing as he praised the chemistry of Rogen and Franco and adding that he could understand why the North Korean government wouldn't like it. "They make fun of North Korea a lot." ​ Amy Hurley, an executive assistant who lives in Detroit, paid $5.99 to rent the movie on YouTube Movies and was disappointed. A fan of Rogen and Franco, she found Franco's character "way over the top" and thought the jokes "were old and kept going on and on." "It was kind of a mess overall," said Hurley, 42. "I was a little bummed because I was looking forward to seeing it." The move to make the film available for rental and purchase before its theatrical release had never before been done with a mainstream film. Studios have released smaller indie and foreign movies simultaneously in theaters and on digital platforms, but analysts said the situation with "The Interview" left Sony little choice."This isn't being done because Sony wants to do it regularly, but rather out of necessity prompted by the exhibitor boycott," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. ​ "Sony is in a delicate situation here since they normally never go this route with a major film, but theater chains also know this is a unique back-against-the-wall situation," added Gitesh Pandya, editor of BoxOfficeGuru.com. ​ While Pandya said that interest would likely wane in January, for now, the curiosity and enthusiasm is still palpable. Tyler Pulsifer, manager of the Hartford Spotlight Theaters in Hartford, Connecticut, said he had received 32 calls from people interested in seeing "The Interview" during the first 90 minutes the theater was open on Christmas Eve. ​ "I'd be willing to bet we're going to sell out," Pulsifer said. The theater has four showings on Christmas, and five each for Friday and Saturday nights. "People want to see it because they've been told not to," he said. ​ For some, the decision to show the film hasn't been the smoothest process. Stephanie Putnam, assistant manager of the Greendale Cinema in Lawrence, Indiana, still isn't sure whether her theater will be able to show the movie on Christmas — it hasn't received it from the distributor yet. As a result, tickets haven't been on sale, but there have been several calls from customers who have expressed interested in seeing it. ​ Releasing "The Interview" could potentially cause a response from the hackers, who called themselves the Guardians of Peace. There have been none of the embarrassing data leaks of Sony emails since the movie's release was delayed. In a message last week to the studio, the hackers said Sony's data would be safe so long as the film was never distributed. ​ Lynton said the release represented the company's commitment to free speech. "While we couldn't have predicted the road this movie traveled to get to this moment, I'm proud our fight was not for nothing and that cyber criminals were not able to silence us," he said. ​ Theaters selling out tickets Nearly all Christmas Day screenings of Sony's "The Interview" have sold out at the 17 Alamo Drafthouse locations -- an initial positive signal over the studio's decision to go with independent theaters to release the political satire. ​ "We're seeing filmgoers come out in droves," Christian Parkes, chief branding officer for the Texas-based chain, told Variety. ​ Parkes also said that Alamo Drafthouse has started recording sellouts for the showings for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday screenings. The executive said that the massive publicity surrounding the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy and Sony Pictures Entertaiment has elevated awareness among customers to unprecedented levels. ​ "I can't imagine what the people at Sony have been through," he added. "But this is definitely the kind of publicity that you can't buy. People were going to see the movie anyway but now they are telling us that they believe it's their patriotic duty." Most of the Drafthouse sites are in Texas with four in Austin. ​ Sony has managed to secure releases for "The Interview" in about 300 theaters -- about 10 percent of what it had originally planned before it withdrew the film on Dec. 17. Following a rebuke by President Obama, Sony responded to an aggressive move by the Art House Coalition -- a group of indies that included Alamo Drafthouse -- that were willing to play the movie despite a VOD release. ​ Major chains such as AMC, Regal and Carmike are refusing to book "The Interview" due to the VOD release, which launched Wednesday morning via YouTube, Google, Microsoft's Xbox Video and its own website http://www.seetheinterview.comfor $5.99. The chains have strongly opposed any simultaneous VOD release of a movie while it is playing in their theaters. ​ "The Interview," which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as bumbling TV journalists persuaded by the CIA to assassinate the leader of North Korea, is coming into the market with mixed reviews. It has a 52 percent "fresh" rating on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregator site -- but the curiosity factor has probably been elevated due to the barrage of recent news coverage. ​ ​Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-interview-stream-20141224-story.html
  7. A 42-year-old man is accused of repeatedly stabbing his roommate for making too much noise while having sex with two women in his bedroom. San Antonio police arrested Antonio Flores on Tuesday, almost four months after the incident occurred, and charged him with 'burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit deadly force'. He is being held in the Bexar County Jail in San Antonio after the two women confirmed his identify in a photo lineup. Antonio Flores Narcisso, 42 Police say they found the roommate, whom they didn't identify, at the shared home in San Antonio suffering from multiple stab wounds to the head, back and arms, according to KHOU.com. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries. The incident began when Flores's roommate celebrated his 36th birthday by having a threesome with two women. Flores, infuriated by the loud sex sounds he was hearing, kicked down the door to his roommate's bedroom and demanded he stop making so much noise. The roommate refused and told Flores to leave. He did so but returned a moment later with a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his flatmate several times. :view: Original Article - Daily Mail
  8. Google Glass has been a hot topic in the blogosphere for the best part of a year now, and although not deemed ready for consumers just yet, it’s worth remembering that the product is being developed with more than just the end-user market in mind. In fact, as per a report over at VentureBeat, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is currently assessing ways in which the face computer could be used in the ongoing effort to combat crime, and if this is indeed the case, one can envisage law enforcement agencies across the world following suit as Glass becomes more popular. It has been pointed out many times before that Glass mightn’t be a suited to the consumer, at least not at first. Apple CEO Tim Cook has made this point in the past, suggesting that while the wearable gadget “may appeal to certain markets,” it will be a “difficult” sell to consumers. Cook’s sentiments have been echoed from various factions of the digital industry, and with the NYPD seeming to show more than just a fleeting interest in Glass, perhaps this is the kind of area in which the device will thrive. VentureBeat spoke directly to a New York law enforcement official, who noted that the department is “looking at them [samples of Glass]. . . seeing how they work,” although from this, it’s hard to gauge whether the NYPD actually deems Glass as a genuinely useful device to counteract criminal activity or not. Then again, with the department’s “stop-and-frisk” system deemed to be in violation of rights by Judge Shira Scheindlin in a recent ruling, the subsequent recommendation that police test wearable cameras appears to have opened the door for Glass to be considered. The NYPD seems to have acquired its units of Glass through the current Explorer Edition beta program just like everybody else, and although there’s no word on any pilot testing as yet, Glass could well prove a useful accessory to the crime-fighters moving forward. What do you think – can you imagine a world where the police officers wearing Glass becomes the done thing? Moreover, do you feel it would help to reduce crime? Do share your comments below! Source