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Archive for July 16th, 2015

Carnegie Mellon University Student Charged with Selling Malware on Darkode

Morgan Culbertson (Linkedin photo)

Morgan Culbertson (Linkedin photo)

By Mike Wereschagin and Andrew Conte
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
 
A fresh-faced college student who once designed a mobile app to bring Pittsburghers together slipped from his prestigious Carnegie Mellon University classrooms into the shadows of the Web, where he sold a program that put thieves inside people’s pockets, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Morgan Culbertson, 20, a CMU student and intern at a Silicon Valley cybersecurity firm, designed a program called “Dendroid” that allowed users to take over someone’s Android phone, snoop through text messages and snap photos without the phone owner’s knowing, said David Hickton, U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania.

“He went online by a screen name known as ‘Android,’ and for $300 you could buy his subscription where you could steal basically all aspects of (someone’s) cellphone,” Hickton said. “…You also could, as advertised, buy this code so you could do it yourself for $65,000. This was brazenly and openly advertised.”

To read more click here.

Hollywood Props Get So Realistic That Secret Service Complains

Prop money

Prop money

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hollywood props are becoming so realistic-looking that the Secret Service has become alarmed.

Bloomberg reports in a video newscast, which you can see by clicking here, that one of the largest prop makers in Hollywood, Independent Studios, has received complaints from the Secret Service because the props, like cash, guns and knives, look so realistic.
The company rents out more than 100 million props and manufactures unique products made to customer’s specifications.

HD cameras are a big reason the props have become so realistic.

Other Stories of Interest

President Obama Calls for Reformed Drug Sentences That Overwhelmingly Face Young Black Men

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Thursday delivered a clear message Wednesday when he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders: The time has come to overhaul a criminal justice system that locks away too many nonviolent offenders.

Obama also expressed concern that may of the nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated are young black men, CNN reports. 

During an impassioned speech at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia, Obama bemoaned the fact that inmates are confined to horrible prison conditions, including rape and solitary confinement, which he declared “have no place in any civilized country.”

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated different under the law,” Obama said, claiming his assertion wasn’t “anecdote” or “barber shop talk,” but instead backed by data.

Obama is trying to gain bipartisan support for reforming the current sentencing laws.

Congress Mulls Plan to Create Separate Unit to Investigate Terrorism

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fearing that Homeland Security is not equipped to combat violent extremism, key lawmakers in Washington passed legislation Wednesday that would create a single office dedicated to focusing solely on terrorism.

The Washington Times reports that members of the House Committee on Homeland Security butted heads over how best to handle the shortcomings.

The overhaul could be a hard sell because it hasn’t been endorsed or even introduced as an alternative by Homeland Security.

“There is no DHS strategic plan to provide clarity about how the $40 million in dedicated funding and expanded authorities would be utilized,” hRep, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the panel,e said. “There is no testimony from DHS, in an open setting, in response to concerns about transparency and the concerns that many Americans have about how current CVE (countering violent extremism) programs are being carried out.”

Stunning Video Shows How ‘El Chapo’ Escaped from Prison Using Sophisticated Tunnel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A newly released video shows the stunning prison escape by Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the incredibly sophisticated mile-long tunnel that served as his escape route.

His escape triggered a $3.8 million reward for his.

The video depicts a complicated tunnel complete with PVC pipes, ventilation, a bike for transportation and an escape route with emergency supplies.

Authorities fear Guzman may be hard to find. In 2001, he escaped prison and remained loose for nearly 14 years before his capture in Mexico in early 2014.