Until recently, AlphaBay Market was the largest marketplace on the Darknet. It provided an outlet for buyers and sellers of illegal goods and services, including drugs, stolen data, malware, hacking tools, weapons, child pornography and freelance assassination services.
But, earlier in the month it was confirmed that AlphaBay Market was shut down after authorities in the United States, Canada and Thailand performed several raids, which resulted in the arrest of Alexandre Cazes. Cazes was reportedly one of the operators behind the AlphaBay Market. Though Cazes was a resident of Canada, he was arrested by law enforcement in Thailand where he owned three houses and four cars. Law enforcement seized “four Lamborghini cars and three houses worth 400 million baht ($11.7 million) in total.” Cazes, however, hanged himself using a towel.
Launched in 2014, AlphaBay was considered the “the new Silk Road” and became one of the most prominent darknet marketplaces. Last week, Dutch police announced they had shut down and dismantled another major darknet marketplace, Hansa Market. Dutch authorities kept the market running for a month while recording thousands of its transactions. The international investigation was undertaken in concert with Europol, the FBI and authorities in Germany and Lithuania. Read More
ISIS Publishes Detailed Guide on How to Use Services Like Craigslist to Lure Non-Believers to Their Death
ISIS has released a detailed guide on how to murder non-believers. The tutorial provides advice on how to lure targets via fake ads on websites such as Craigslist, Gumtree and eBay, in order to kill them. The current installment of ISIS’ English-language propaganda magazine Rumiyah explains how to attain hostages and mass murder a large amount of people.
The magazine also suggests posting fake employment ads as another means of luring victims to their demise.
“After garnering a significant amount of applicants, one can then arrange the ‘job interview’ location and times, spacing out the applicants’ appointment times so as to give oneself time to subdue each target as he arrives — luring him to an appropriate location before attacking, subduing, binding and then slaughtering them.”
Alternatively, according to the magazine, falsely advertising an apartment for rent can also achieve the desired result:
“‘The advertisement should be for a small single-room or studio apartment,’ the article states. Read More
According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), “cybercrime is one of the greatest threats facing our country and has enormous implications for our national security, economic prosperity, and public safety. The range of threats and the challenges they present for law enforcement expand just as rapidly as technology evolves.”
The US Attorney’s Office (USAO) released a report in 2016 which stated that, “under the federal cyberstalking statute, ‘cyberstalking’ includes any course of conduct or series of acts taken by the perpetrator on the Internet that place the victim in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury, or causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the victim or the victim’s immediate family. 18 U.S.C. § 2261A (2015). However, there are a number of federal statutes that may apply in cyberstalking situations.”
The DOJ’s Office of Victims of Crime cites the following common elements of cyberstalking:
Following that, a fake Chrome dialogue will appear, warning users that they need to download a file that appears to be a font installer package. But the “font” in this case is actually click-fraud adware, which loads hidden ads and clicks on them automatically, lining the pockets of those responsible for that malware. This particular scheme isn’t dangerous, in and of itself, but according to Bleeping Computer, “the criminal crew behind this scheme have unleashed far worse things in the past, such as encrypting ransomware.”
So far it only impacts users of the Chrome browser on Windows in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.
Online shoppers need to also take heed and avoid using browsers’ autofill option. Though it may be a hassle to pull out a credit card every time you want to make a purchase, a new discovery made by a Finnish developer demonstrates why the extra time you save per purchase may not be worth it. Hackers have found a way to access your stored credit card info.
According to Thrillist, “anyone can fall for the scam by submitting a couple basic pieces of information. Web users think they’re just entering their name and email address, but ‘hidden’ text boxes are automatically filled in with more sensitive data like address, phone number, and credit card number.” Read More
A mass transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees began earlier this month. At least 22 of the 59 Guantanamo Bay detainees are expected to be transferred prior to January 20 and some have been moved already. Included in these transfers are zealots who have threatened to bomb and behead US citizens.
There is often limited supervision in the countries Guantanamo detainees are sent to and the recidivism rate is high. Previously freed detainees that have returned to the jihad include at least four members of the group which claims it carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. Others in the group being released include an accused senior Al Qaeda bomb-maker, a senior Al Qaeda financial manager and two intended 9/11 hijackers–all of whom have been held at Guantanamo for more than a decade.
They will likely add to the growing list of violent activity planned in various parts of the world–particularly in the West.
Several threats have surfaced over the past month or so and these are threats specific to the US and parts of Europe. The following are just a few of the dangers uncovered recently:
A lot of new and exciting technology will emerge or become more prominent in 2017 and the following is just a glimpse of what is anticipated.IoT & Smart Home Tech
Smart home technology had been in the works for years before finally getting off to a relatively slow start. But, now that large companies like Apple, Amazon and Google have jumped onboard, smart home tech is expected to significantly pick up the pace in 2017.
VR & AR
In 2016, Oculus Rift was released, following which thousands of virtual reality (VR) games and apps were released on the market. And, augmented reality (AR) game, Pokémon Go, exploded on the market with over 100 million downloads. In 2017, however, VR and AR are expected to really take off.
Machine learning will advance in 2017, paving the way for it to become a fixture in the workplace. This type of artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to become a component of every type of technology. For instance, robotic journalists have been in circulation for a couple of years now and this trend is expected to expand exponentially in the white collar arena. It will have a lot of impact on the job market because some positions will no longer be needed. But, the combination of automation and machine learning will usher in groundbreaking efficiency in the workplace.
More advances from makers of self-driving cars are expected. For example, since initially introducing its ‘Autopilot‘ feature in 2015, Tesla has been continuously tweaking the autonomous capabilities of its vehicles. This highlights the far-reaching capabilities self-driving technologies hold for the future. Additionally, Uber recently acquired self-driving hardware developer Otto and has subsequently put its first fleet of self-driving trucks on the road. In Pittsburgh, Uber has also conducted some real world self-driving tests with its cabs. Read More
It appears the UK government has decided not to rescue British war photographer and correspondent John Cantlie, who was abducted in November 2012, in Syria, by ISIS. Beginning in late June, information on Cantlie’s location, including transport vehicle was provided to U.S. agencies by an operative who is now with BLACKOPS Cyber, a private intelligence agency.
Everything was in place for the rescue of Cantlie, in Mosul, Iraq, but, according to BLACKOPS Cyber Chief Intelligence Officer Ed Alexander, it was canceled before it could begin. “A British agency involved in the exfiltration of the hostages said they weren’t really interested in getting him out,” Alexander said, indicating that he was paraphrasing the response that had been passed down to him.
Alexander elaborated, saying that U.K. intelligence services believe Cantlie has turned sides, and is now loyal to ISIS. Cantlie’s location, near a church in the Al Shurta neighborhood, was in Mosul within the area of regional operations under the watch of U.K. forces. Further, Cantlie is a U.K. citizen, “so we didn’t have a dog in this fight,” Alexander said. “We as Americans couldn’t go in there, step on their toes, and say we as Americans are going to do this for you,” he explained. Read More
The threat of cyber attacks on nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities is substantial and on the increase, according to experts at the Nuclear Industry Summit, held earlier in the year. Hackers are becoming more skillful and dangerous in a way that could have a devastating impact on nuclear facilities and grids.
It is imperative that businesses, governments, and regulators make cybersecurity an industry-wide priority. Experts at the Nuclear Industry Summit (NIT) emphasized that hackers have turned their focus on these systems because therein lies the key to causing massive chaos and damage.
The most successful publicly known cyberattack on a nuclear facility utilized malware which caused serious damage to production equipment at an Iranian plant that was enriching nuclear materials. That virus was the infamous Stuxnet, which was able to induce the facility’s centrifuges to spin out of control and break down.
Potential attacks on non-nuclear, major industrial sites is also gravely concerning. For instance, an attack on Ukraine’s electrical grid left thousands of people without power. The attackers used a program called BlackEnergy which targets industrial control systems. According to RegBlog, “cybersecurity threats are an all-too-real risk for many buildings and electric grids connected to the Internet. According to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security report, although ‘the energy sector only represents 5-6 percent of U.S. GDP, the energy industry is subject to roughly 32 percent of all cyberattacks.” Read More
In general, smartphones have never been designed with security in mind. The emphasis has always been on features and capabilities while security is usually relegated to the back burner. And, while no internet-connected device is 100% secure, a few smartphones stand out as the best contenders for mobile security.
BlackBerry DTEK50BlackBerry describes the DTEK50 smartphone as the “world’s most secure Android smartphone.” The DTEK50 includes features such as periodic application tracking, which automatically monitors the OS and apps. This feature also notifies you when your privacy could be at risk and informs you as to what actions you can take.
The DTEK50 also has the ‘Password keeper’ app which allows you to store all your important passwords in an encrypted space, which itself is protected by a single password which.
View more information on Blackberry’s DTEK50’s features and specifications.
Boeing BlackBoeing Black is the fruit of a collaborative effort between Boeing and BlackBerry. Designed with government agencies in mind, Boeing Black is capable of encrypting calls. It also comes with a self-destruct feature which ensures that any attempt to break into the device sets off the auto-deletion of all data and software, making the phone inoperable. Read More
Were the Recent Arrests in Ohio Part of ISIS ’ Were the Recent Arrests in Ohio Part of ISIS ’ Catastrophic Plan for the US?
On November 7, Southern Ohio’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) arrested Aaron Travis Daniels, of Ohio, on terror-related charges as he was attempting to travel to Libya to become an ISIS fighter.Daniels, age 20, who goes by the aliases Harun Muhammad and Abu Yusef, had allegedly “communicated his commitment to violent overseas jihad” in addition to having wired money to an ISIS recruiter and “external attack planner,” according to the Department of Justice.
Daniels is being held without bond. The arrest comes just days after it was reported that ISIS was planning an onslaught of attacks around the world, including quite possibly Chardon, Ohio. Chardon is a town in which BLACKOPS Cyber, a private intelligence company, caught ISIS communications regarding hacking internet surveillance cameras which can assist terrorists not only in carrying out attacks, but in doing so undetected. Read More