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Tag: Internet

FBI Director James Comey: ‘We’re Making Progress’ Against Lone-Wolf Terrorists

Director James B. Comey speaking in Orlando.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Director James Comey said the FBI is making progress combating so-called lone-wolf terrorists who are becoming radicalized on the Internet and are willing to act alone.

Comey made the statements during a “Q&A” with the Sun Sentinel while visiting Broward County in Florida to dedicate the bureau’s new Miramar headquarters.

There are reports of investigations into lone-wolf types happening in every state. How worried should America be, and what is the FBI doing about it?

“I think Americans should be comforted knowing that we’re working on this all day long, every day. I have a lot of people focused on this in all 50 states and we are covering it, I think, in a good way. It’s a challenge for us given how hard it is to spot these people because they’re on the Internet, in their homes. But as you can see, we’re locking a bunch of them up. So we’re making some good progress against this.”

Is the FBI getting involved in any investigation of officers on behalf of Fort Lauderdale police?

“We’ve been in touch with the department, as has the Department of Justice, but I don’t want to comment on what we’re doing in particular.”

What kind of lessons has the bureau learned from the Tsarnaev case?

“Well we’ve learned a lot of lessons. The first is we did a pretty good job with that investigation, but that we could work better with our partners and our joint terrorism task forces, and then a bunch of things related to our systems. We use every single case as an opportunity to learn and grow and there was learning there. But I think on balance we did a pretty good job there.”

What could have been done better?

“One of the issues was local police chiefs felt like they didn’t have a clear view of what cases we were closing, in case they wanted to do something additional. So we changed our process so that we now meet in every joint terrorism task force with the local chiefs and review the inventory: ‘Here’s what came in, here’s what we’re closing, are there any questions?’ That was a very important change.”

So more people are watching these lone-wolf suspects?

“Yes. But our relationship with our state and local partners is critical to these investigations. So one of the things that grew out of Boston is we even improved that relationship.”

To read more click here. 

Microsoft Turned over Data on Charlie Hebdo to FBI in Less Than Hour

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Microsoft took less than one hour to provide the FBI with data connected to the Charlie Hebdo investigation, an attorney for the software giant said Tuesday, The Los Angeles Times reports.

After concluding the request was “proper,” Microsoft gave the FBI the information in within about 45 minutes.

Microsoft attorney Brad Smith said the quick turnover underscores that private companies can work with law enforcement.

But Smith emphasized that new laws expanding the government’s right to access information from the Internet could sacrifice civil liberties.

“If those in government want to shift the line between safety and privacy, the appropriate path is to do so by changing the law rather than asking those of us in the private sector to shift this balance ourselves,” he said. “Democratic societies, not private companies, need to decide on the balances to be struck between public values such as public safety and personal privacy.”

OMG! FBI Maintains 83-Page Glossary of Shorthand Internet Slang

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

BOGSAT. DILLIGAD. SOMSW.

Those are three terms – or acronyms – that the FBI considers serious enough to add to its 83-page glossary if Internet slang.

And the reason for adding the nearly 3,000 terms may be as confusing as the terms themselves, the Washington Post reports.

The glossary is called “Twittter shorthand,” although it’s not limited to Twitter; it’s designed to familiarize agents with shorthand used on the Internet.

So what does BOGSAT mean? Bunch of guys sitting around talking.

DILLIGAD? Does it look like I give a damn?

And SOMSW? Someone over my shoulder watching.

“So while I might wanna (want to) LMSO (laugh my socks off) over this glossary, it’s actually kind of serious, when you TOTT (think on these things),” Washington Post writer Caitlin Dewey concludes.

Obama Administration Considers Making Internet Wiretapping Easier

istock illustration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration is close to stiffening surveillance laws to make it easier to wiretap people who use the Internet, the New York Times reports.

Saying it’s much easier to wiretap people using traditional phone services, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III wants the federal government to extend the practice to monitor suspects who communicate using the Internet.

The proposal is being reviewed by the White House, the Times wrote.

Privacy advocates aren’t so happy about the proposed change.

“I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”

Hidden Internet Sites Creating Big Headaches for FBI Investigations

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The complexities of the Internet are creating major challenges for the FBI.

Security Daily News reports that the FBI halted a child porn investigation, “citing an inability to infiltrate the Web’s hidden underworld — the ‘dark net’.”

Information about the probe was obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request.

The FOIA request came from Jason Smathers of MuckRock after he learned that a man called the “Detroit FBI office to report that he’d found a dark net site called  ’TSChan’ which appeared to be hosting child pornography.”

Security Daily News reports that a number of sites are hosted on a “dark net” which deliberately hides sites, making them accessible only through IP-anonymizing portals such as The Onion Router.

Security News reported: “According to the FOI request, the FBI acknowledged the impossibility of tracing TSChan, and halted its investigation.”

To read full story click here.

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Federal Indictments for Massive Online Drug Ring are First of a Kind

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

In a brave new high-tech world, the federal indictment of eight online drug traffickers is the first of its kind.

The BBC reports that the feds busted up a $1million-plus illegal drug operation online on a marketplace called “The Farmer’s Market” using the TOR network, which allows emails and websites to hide IP addresses and protect users from detection.

The operation served about 3,0000 customers in every U.S. state and  34 countries , selling LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and other illegal drugs. The Justice Department contends the ring provided order forms, customer service and accepted payments through PayPal, Western Union and other means.

“Operation Adam Bomb,” a 2 year investigation led by the DEA’s L.A. Field Division, resulted in arrests in the  the U.S., Colombia, and the Netherlands, according to a Justice Department press release. The L.A. DEA collaborated with the Hague office, international agencies and the U.S. Post Office.

“The drug trafficking organization targeted in Operation Adam Bomb was distributing dangerous and addictive drugs to every corner of the world, and trying to hide their activities through the use of advanced anonymizing on-line technology,” said Briane M. Grey, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge.

To read more click here.

 

Feds Charge 14 Romanians With “Phishing” Internet Scam to Get Peoples’ Personal Info

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fourteen Romanian citizens apparently banked on the gullibility of mankind.

Federal authorities in Connecticut last week announced charges against the 14 for allegedly getting personal information from people on the Internet through a scheme known as “phishing.”

The indictment includes allegations that one or more of the defendants  in June 2005  sent a spam e-mail to people,  including a resident of Madison, Conn., which purported to be from Connecticut-based People’s Bank, authorities said in a press release.

“The e-mail stated that the recipient’s online banking access profile had been locked and instructed recipients to click on a link to a web page where they could enter information to ‘unlock,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote.

Authorities said the web page looked as if it was from People’s Bank. In reality, it was hosted on a compromised computer unrelated to People’s Bank.

Authorities alleged that the defendants shared thousands of e-mail messages that contained credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, CVV codes, PIN numbers, and other personal identification information such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

The defendants then allegedly used the information to access bank accounts and lines of credit to withdraw funds without authorization, often from ATMs in Romania.

In addition to People’s Bank, authorities said the group targeted financial institutions and companies including: Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comerica Bank, Regions Bank, LaSalle Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay and PayPal.

Charged in the indictment are CIPRIAN DUMITRU TUDOR, MIHAI CRISTIAN DUMITRU, BOGDAN BOCEANU, BOGDAN-MIRCEA STOICA, OCTAVIAN FUDULU, IULIAN SCHIOPU, RAZVAN LEOPOLD SCHIBA, DRAGOS RAZVAN DAVIDESCU, ANDREI BOLOVAN, LAURENTIU CRISTIAN BUSCA, GABRIEL SAIN, DRAGOS NICOLAE DRAGHICI, STEFAN SORIN ILINCA and MIHAI ALEXANDRU DIDU, all residents of Romania.

 

FBI Denies Freedom of Info Request to Company About it’s Spyware for Cell Phones

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Is a company entitled to know if the software it produces is being used by the FBI?

The FBI says No.

Carrier IQ, a Mountain View, Calif.-based tech company, aggravated many when news got out that it had installed tracking software on millions of peoples’ cell phones without their knowledge, and that it was capable of recording large amounts of user information including sites visited and even passwords entered on secure sites. The information could be sent to the cellphone carriers or Carrier IQ.

On Monday, it was announced that Carrier IQ’s  Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI was denied.  The company wanted to known if the bureau was using its software to gather information or manuals or other materials it produces.

The FOIA request was filed Dec. 1 by Michael Morisy, co-founder of MuckRock, a website that helps people file FOIA requests with the government, according to Computerworld.

The bureau responded by saying that, while they had documents pertinent to the request, releasing them would endanger ongoing investigations.

“What is still unclear is whether the FBI used Carrier IQ’s software in its own investigations, whether it is currently investigating Carrier IQ, or whether it is some combination of both – not unlikely given the recent uproar over the practice coupled with the U.S. intelligence communities reliance on third-party vendors,” Muckrock wrote on its website.

Muckrock said it  plans to appeal the FBI’s denial for the material.

 

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