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Tag: Internet

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.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

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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Cyber Ring that Infected Millions Taken Down

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Six Estonians operated a vast internet fraud that infected approximately 4 million computers in more than a hundred countries–500,000 of which were in the US–according to a federal indictment unsealed in New York Wednesday. Their arrests in Estonia on Tuesday were the culmination of a two-year FBI probe named Operation Ghost Click.

The cyber ring, beginning in 2007, used what is called a DNSChange to interfere with unsuspecting people’s web browsing.

DNS, which stands for Domain-Name-System, is the system by which website names and urls are converted into numbers, allowing computers to communicate over a network. The DNSChanger was able to manipulate Internet advertising by redirecting user’s browsers not to the sites they intended to go to, but related sites controlled by the group. They generated $14 million in illicit fees from the scheme, and deprived legitimate businesses and advertisers of potential revenue.

The DNSChanger disabled the anti-virus software of some victim’s computers, exposing them to further viruses.

“They were organized and operating as a traditional business but profiting illegally as the result of the malware,” said one cyber agents that worked the case. “There was a level of complexity here that we haven’t seen before.”

The six Estonians were arrested in their homeland by local authorities on Tuesday, and the U.S. will seek extradition.

Communication Companies Less Compliant to FBI Requests