Author Archives: J.S Tomar

FBI 2020 Elder Fraud Report : 1 Billion loss

In 2020, IC3 received a total of 791,790 complaints with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. Based on the information provided in the complaints, approximately 28% of the total fraud losses were sustained by victims over the age of 60, resulting in approximately $1 billion in losses to seniors. This represents an increase of approximately $300 million in losses reported in 2020 versus what was reported by victims over 60 in 2019.

The initial contact in a lottery/sweepstakes scam is often a call, an email, a social media notification, or a piece of mail offering congratulations for winning a big contest, lottery, or sweepstakes the victim did not enter. To claim their prize, the victim is required to pay upfront fees and taxes. Subjects often request the payments be made via wire transfers or prepaid cards. Often, the scammers will ask for a victim’s banking information to transfer their winnings.

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FBI created & manage ANOM Secure chat app to catch criminals

Abstract

The FBI has revealed how it managed to hoodwink the criminal underworld with its secretly backdoored AN0M encrypted chat app, leading to hundreds of arrests, the seizure of 32 tons of drugs, 250 firearms, 55 luxury cars, more than $148M, and even cocaine-filled pineapples.

About 12,000 smartphones with AN0M installed were sold into organized crime rings: the devices were touted as pure encrypted messaging tools — no GPS, email or web browsing, and certainly no voice calls, cameras, and microphones. They were “designed by criminals, for criminals exclusively,” one defendant told investigators, Randy Grossman, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of California, told a press conference on Tuesday.

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https://www.theregister.com/2021/06/08/fbi_trojan_shield/?mc_cid=19e50215e2&mc_eid=35079f6e24

Security company exec and founder charged with facilitating cyber attack on Georgia hospital

Abstract

Chris Hacker, an FBIsSpecial agent at the Atlanta field office said the 2018 attack “not only could have had disastrous consequences, but patients’ personal information was also compromised.”

The indictment describes Singla as “chief operating officer for a network security company” at the time of the attack but does not name the company. According to Singla’s public LinkedIn profile, he has been chief operating officer for the Atlanta, Georgia-based security firm Securolytics since 2016. A profile of the company on Crunchbase listsSingla as one of two founders of the firm.

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https://www.scmagazine.com/home/health-care/security-company-exec-and-founder-charged-with-facilitating-cyber-attack-on-georgia-hospital/

Fake Comments: How U.S. Companies & Partisans Hack Democracy to Undermine Your Voice

This month, the New York state attorney general issued a report on a scheme by “U.S. Companies and Partisans [to] Hack Democracy.” This wasn’t another attempt by Republicans to make it harder for Black people and urban residents to vote. It was a concerted attack on another core element of U.S. democracy — the ability of citizens to express their voice to their political representatives. And it was carried out by generating millions of fake comments and fake emails purporting to come from real citizens.

This attack was detected because it was relatively crude. But artificial intelligence technologies are making it possible to generate genuine-seeming comments at scale, drowning out the voices of real citizens in a tidal wave of fake ones.

The big telecommunications companies paid millions of dollars to specialist “AstroTurf” companies to generate public comments. These companies then stole people’s names and email addresses from old files and from hacked data dumps and attached them to 8.5 million public comments and half a million letters to members of Congress. All of them said that they supported the corporations’ position on something called “net neutrality,” the idea that telecommunications companies must treat all Internet content equally and not prioritize any company or service. Three AstroTurf companies — Fluent, Opt-Intelligence and React2Media — agreed to pay nearly $4 million in fines.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/05/20/ai-bots-grassroots-astroturf/

Be careful of using Chinese goods: Chinese smart TVs caught hoovering up data

Abstract

Millions of smart TVs in China may have collected data without the knowledge of viewers about Wi-Fi networks found within range and attached devices.

According to the South China Morning Post, an owner of a Skyworth smart TV posted last month on a Chinese technical forum that their suspicions were aroused when they felt their TV’s operation had slowed down, and wondered what background processes might be running.

The unnamed user examined the code running on his Android-powered Skyworth TV, and discovered it was scanning for devices connected to their family’s Wi-Fi every 10 minutes, scooping up information:

What do they collect?

“TV App installed in users TV sends back the hostname, mac, ip and even the network delay time. It also detects the surrounding wifi SSID names, The mac address is also packaged and sent to this domain name of gz-data.com.” GZ-Data.com is the domain name of Gozen Data, a data analytics company that specializes in delivering targeted advertising to smart TVs.

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https://www.bitdefender.com/box/blog/iot-news/chinese-smart-tvs-caught-hoovering-data-devices-customers-networks/