Tuesday, May 12, 2015

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Justice, FBI bust 2 million-computer Coreflood botnet

Agents use new tactic to disable malware on long-running operation; 13 people charged

  • By Kathleen Hickey
  • Apr 14, 2011

The Justice Department and the FBI, using a new tactic, seized control of and disabled a botnet that had infected more than 2 million computers worldwide as part of an international fraud scheme, according to agency officials.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut filed a civil complaint against 13 unnamed defendants, charging them with engaging in wire fraud, bank fraud and illegal interception of electronic communications, Justice and FBI officials said in a joint statement.

Also, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut seized 29 domain names and five command and control servers used to remotely control infected computers. The agencies also issued a temporary restraining order to replace the illegal servers with substitutes to prevent the botnet from running and to disable the malware on infected computers.

The botnet, called Coreflood, exploits computers that run Windows operating systems. It uses keystroke capture to steal private and financial information, including information on corporate networks, for the purpose of stealing funds and conducting other criminal activities. Coreflood is believed to have originated in Russia and been in operation for a decade

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Expect Two Deposits Next Payday

The fol­low­ing is the lat­est update from DFAS on the April 15 pay­check snafu.

Due to the near shut­down expe­ri­ence last week, most mil­i­tary will get two deposits in their bank accounts on April 15.  Accord­ing to DFAS, they are now pro­cess­ing the remain­ing seven days of mid-month pay, so ser­vice mem­bers will see their nor­mal total mid-month pay, but with more than one deposit into their account.

Note: Active duty and reservists in the Marine Corps who will receive the nor­mal sin­gle full

Although Army, Navy, and Air Force active duty mem­bers will receive two pay­ments to cover their full mid-month pay on April 15, the most cur­rent Net Pay Advice state­ments will still only show the par­tial pay­ments for the week of April 1–8.

In addi­tion, Army, Navy and Air Force reservists will receive full mid-month pay by April 15, but again, the most cur­rent Leave and Earn­ings State­ment (LES) will still only show the par­tial pay­ments for April 1–8.

In both cases a full account­ing of April pay will be avail­able on the nor­mal end of month LES, posted to myPay accounts on April 22.

Sim­ply put — Every­one (active and reserve) will get paid like nor­mal on April 15  - but they will get it in two deposits (same day) —  and the LES’s will be back to nor­mal on April 22. deposit.

CDP information Systems

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feds: No Vests, No Grant Money

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department is threatening to withhold millions of dollars in federal aid to local police departments unless they adopt policies that require uniformed officers to wear body armor.

The requirement, which takes effect this month as local agencies apply for as much as $37 million in federal aid to purchase bullet-resistant vests, comes in the wake of a recent surge in fatal shootings of police officers.

Jim Burch, acting director of the department's Bureau of Justice Assistance, said the new policy is in response to the spike in violence -- a 44% jump in fatal police shootings over the same time last year -- and research showing that 41% of police agencies do not require their officers to wear body armor.
"What struck us is the number of agencies that don't have a mandatory policy ... a potential huge vulnerability," Burch said. "If we're investing federal dollars, we should require agencies to have policies."

Last year, the Justice Department distributed $37 million to reimburse 4,127 agencies large and small, from Anchorage and Boston to Chicago, Los Angeles and New Orleans, for the purchase of 193,259 vests.

Justice officials began contemplating changes to the vest program after a 2009 review by the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement think tank, found that 41% of departments do not require officers to wear body armor at least some of the time. The federal program would mandate that officers wear the vests while in uniform.

Among the other findings in forum report, which surveyed 782 agencies: fewer than half of the agencies that required armor had written policies addressing the issue. The overwhelming majority of the agencies -- 90% -- do not regularly inspect the equipment to ensure that it fits or has been properly maintained.

"There is no good reason ... for not requiring it," said Chuck Wexler, the forum's executive director. "This is an appropriate role for the federal government."

The Justice action has prompted a number of police officials to re-evaluate their own policies or risk losing access to federal funding at a time when local government budgets are being slashed and services, including law enforcement, are being cut back.

Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel said he doesn't believe the federal government should dictate how local police operate, including whether officers should be required to wear vests.

Under his department's policy, all officers must have vests. Braziel said he will now require that officers wear vests, if only to ensure federal money keeps flowing. Last year, Sacramento received $45,412 for 360 vests.

"Decisions like these are better left to individual departments," Braziel said. "But right now we're scraping for every dime we can get. We'll be making a quick change" in policy.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said his department is drafting a policy to meet the new federal rules. "It wasn't about the money," Flynn said, adding that Justice's action motivated him to focus more attention on officer safety, and he plans to beef up security at police stations.

Seven Milwaukee officers have been wounded in the line of duty in the past two years. All but one was wearing body armor.

Flynn said officers now need to know that armor should be regarded as necessary equipment. "It's a second skin," he said. "It's part of the job. It's what you do."

Alarmed by the spike in officer fatalities, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last month convened a meeting of law enforcement officials. He said vests purchased through the federal program helped save the lives of six officers this year. "Our law enforcement officers put themselves in harm's way every day to ensure the safety and security of the American people in cities and communities across the country, and we need to do everything we can to protect them."

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Important Email Security Alert

Security Alert received from Best Buys

Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,

On March 31, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some Best Buy customers were accessed without authorization.

We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that may have been obtained was your email address and that the accessed files did not include any other information. A rigorous assessment by Epsilon determined that no other information is at risk. We are actively investigating to confirm this.

For your security, however, we wanted to call this matter to your attention. We ask that you remain alert to any unusual or suspicious emails. As our experts at Geek Squad would tell you, be very cautious when opening links or attachments from unknown senders.

In keeping with best industry security practices, Best Buy will never ask you to provide or confirm any information, including credit card numbers, unless you are on our secure e-commerce site,
www.bestbuy.com. If you receive an email asking for personal information, delete it. It did not come from Best Buy.
Our service provider has reported this incident to the appropriate authorities.

We regret this has taken place and for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information.

Barry Judge
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Best Buy

This information brought to you by CDP Information Systems creator of custom database solutions for Law Enforcement.www.cdpinfo.com

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cyber Attacks On Government Networks On The Rise

Cyber Attacks On Government Networks On The Rise

Experts say cyber-attacks will continue to increase as new technologies and access to mobile devices and social networking sites expands. According to the annual report on federal cyber security efforts by the Office of Management Budget, indicates that cyber attacks against the federal government increased almost 40 % last year.

Points to Consider:
The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which is tasked with defending the dot-Gov domain and sharing information with industry and local governments noted that, federal agencies suffered 41,776 cyber attacks in 2010, up from 30,000 the previous year.  Of the attacks reported last year, 12,864 (31 %) were classified as malicious code. Another 11,336 (27 %) are under investigation or labeled as "other," and unauthorized access, denial of service, improper usage or Scans probes and attempted access made up the remaining incidents. Be aware that Nation-states are increasingly employing cyber warfare to attack other states or entities, either solely in the cyber domain or as part of a full-spectrum military maneuver. Consider the potential that entities that may be inferior to the U.S. militarily may have identified America's cyber vulnerabilities and exploit them t o attack high value targets for example: shutting down the country’s power stations, telecommunications and aviation systems, or freeze the financial markets. Additionally officials theorize that terrorist groups and organized crime syndicates are increasingly resorting to cybercrime to finance their activities. According to counter terrorism experts various up to date manuals have been found on radical jihadist websites, explaining how to launch cyber attacks including making e-bombs, creating viruses, and how to use encryption techniques.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

First Cameras on I-95 Spark Controversy


As Interstate 95 sweeps past this small town along South Carolina's coastal plain, motorists encounter cameras that catch speeding cars, the only such devices on the open interstate for almost 2,000 miles from Canada to Miami.

The cameras have nabbed thousands of motorists, won accolades from highway safety advocates, attracted heated opposition from state lawmakers and sparked a federal court challenge.

Ridgeland Mayor Gary Hodges said the cameras in his town about 20 miles north of the Georgia line do what they are designed to do: slow people down, reduce accidents and, most importantly, save lives.

But lawmakers who want to unplug them argue the system is just a money-maker and amounts to unconstitutional selective law enforcement.

"We're absolutely shutting it down," said state Sen. Larry Grooms, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Earlier this month, Ridgeland Police Officer David Swinehamer sat in a van beneath an overpass as a radar gun in a thicket of electronic equipment outside clocked passing vehicles: 60, 72, 73, 67.

Then a Mercedes with South Carolina tags sped by going 83 - 13 mph over the speed limit. A camera fired and pictures of the tag and driver appeared on a monitor in the van. The unaware motorist continued north, but could expect a $133 ticket in the mail in a couple of weeks.

"I just don't think it's right," said James Gain of Kissimmee, Fla., one of the lawsuit plaintiffs who got a ticket last year while driving between his home and Greensboro, N.C. "If you get a ticket you should be stopped by an officer, know you have been stopped and have an opportunity to state your case."

Gain paid the fine, saying it was less expensive than driving six hours back to Ridgeland for court.

Motorists do get a warning. As they enter town, a blue and white sign says they are entering an area with "Photo-Radar Assisted Speed Enforcement."

Speed cameras are used in 14 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The only other place with a camera on I-95 is in a Maryland work zone.

The cameras have sparked controversy in other places around the nation as well.

Last year, Arizona ended a two-year program with cameras on Phoenix-area expressways and other roads, in part because of perceptions they were being used to raise revenue.

But Cedar Rapids, Iowa, began using cameras last summer on busy I-380. Police there said during the first month of operation, violations dropped 62 percent.

Hodges said since Ridgeland, working with iTraffic Safety, became the first community in South Carolina to deploy cameras in August, motorists are also driving slower along the 7 miles of I-95 passing through the town limits.

From January to July of 2010, there were 55 crashes and four fatalities. From August through the end of last month, there were 38 crashes and no deaths. And since the cameras started operating until last month, there has been almost a 50 percent drop in the number of motorists driving 81 or more.

"You can't argue with the results and the only reason you would be upset is because you are speeding," said Tom Crosby, a spokesman for AAA Carolinas. "All it's doing is enforcing the law and even then you have to be doing over 80 to get a ticket."

Police use driver's license photos or physical descriptions from licenses such as a driver's hair, eye color and weight to identify the motorist. No ticket is issued if there is any question about the driver's identity.

Grooms, the legislator, said since not all speeders are ticketed, it's selective enforcement. He added that while the system may issue a ticket, it doesn't get violators off the road.

"You are driving down the road at 100 mph or you are driving down the road drunk. The camera takes your picture and three weeks later you get a ticket in the mail. There is no element of public safety," he said.

Grooms said the cameras are only a money-maker for the town. Hodges discounts that, saying the town just wants to recover the cost of police and ambulance service for millions of motorists passing through. Two-thirds of ticket money goes to the state, he said.

The town has about $20,000 invested in the van. The contractor, iTraffic Safety, pays the other costs in return for a share of ticket revenue.

While state law prohibits issuing tickets solely on photographic evidence, the mayor said that doesn't apply in Ridgeland because an officer is also there to see the speeder from the van.

But the state Senate, in a 40-0 vote, recently gave approval to changing that and banning speeding tickets from photographs whether the camera is attended or not. The law would also require tickets to be handed directly to a motorist.

The federal lawsuit contends it's unconstitutional to send motorists tickets by mail and to addresses outside town limits.

Ridgeland is one of almost 90 jurisdictions nationwide using cameras to nab speeders and "to our knowledge, every single one of them mails the tickets," Hodges said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls speed cameras "a very effective countermeasure" to crashes but said they should supplement, not replace, officers patrolling. Ridgeland still uses officers on the interstate.

Hodges is not surprised by opposition to the cameras, particularly with South Carolina's history of motorists' rights. South Carolina was one of the last states to enact a .08 blood-alcohol level for drunken driving and took a long time to pass a primary seatbelt law.

"We went through similar things when breathalyzers came out. We went through similar things when radar guns came out," Hodges said. "It's the same type of mentality."

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