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FBI Busts ‘Largest-known Computer Hacking’ of Its Kind with 9 Arrests

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Calling it the “largest-known computer hacking security fraud scheme,” the FBI charged nine people in indictments unsealed Tuesday that allege nine people managed to break into three newswires to access yet-to-be press release about financial information.

The FBI reports that the international scheme netted its participants $30 million in illegal profits.

The suspects are accused of stealing confidential information about companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

The FBI said the group stole about 150,000 confidential press releases from the servers of newswires.

“The defendants were a well-organized group that allegedly robbed the newswire companies and their clients and cheated the securities markets and the investing public by engaging in an unprecedented hacking and trading scheme,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, District of New Jersey, said in a press release. “The defendants launched a series of sophisticated and relentless cyber attacks against three major newswire companies, stole highly confidential information and used to enrich themselves at the expense of public companies and their shareholders.”

The suspects hail from around the globe, including in the U.S.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Declines to Investigate Police-Involved Shooting of Unarmed Black Teen

arlington-mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has turned down a request to investigate the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a rookie police officer in Arlington, Texas.

The New York Daily News reports that questions have been raised about the official account of what prompted the shooting of 19-year-old Christian Taylor.

Police said Taylor wouldn’t surrender, but family and supporters dispute that.

“The Dallas FBI has full confidence in the ability of the Arlington Police Department and Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office to conduct a thorough investigation of this matter,” FBI spokeswoman Allison Mahan said in a statement. “If in the course of the investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate.”

Six Men on No-Fly List Want Judge to Examine FBI’s Terrorism Assessments

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How does the FBI decide who goes on the no-fly list?

That’s the question at the center of a lawsuit by six men who were placed on the no-fly list, The Oregonian reports. 

Their lawyers are asking a judge to review how the federal government determines who is placed on the list and whether that determination aligns with threats to commercial airlines or national security.

The government “offers no evidence whatsoever about the accuracy of their predictive model, any scientific basis or methodology that might justify it, or the extent to which it might result in errors,” the lawyers argue.

The Justice Department in late May said the determination to place people on the no-fly list is based on “reasonable suspicion” that they pose terrorism threats.

“The government has taken concrete steps to balance the liberty of suspected terrorists with the serious national security concerns protected by the No-Fly List,” they wrote.

Inforum: FBI Office in North Dakota Is ‘Unsettling Sign of Changing Times’

North DakotaBy Editorial Board
Inforum

The establishment of an FBI office in Williston, N.D., is a tangible, if somewhat unsettling, sign of changing times. The fact it’s the first “resident agency” the FBI has opened in 20 years confirms that crime associated with North Dakota’s oil boom is a real phenomenon that demands intensified attention. In this case, “changing times” does not necessarily mean change is good.

Former Heroic FBI Agent Who Saved Lives During Bank Robbery Dies

Fuson toy

Toy Fuson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Toy Fuson, a former FBI agent who saved the lives of several officers during a tense bank robbery, has died.

Fuson was 91.

WKRN reports that Fuson, who made headlines when he helped end a shootout and chase at a Bank of America in Tennessee, suffered a stroke.

Fuson headed the Nashville branch of the FBI.

He’s also known for leading a 1978 investigation that ended in the arrest of former Gov. Ray Blanton over a pardons-for-profit scandal.

TSA Alarmed by Discovery of Real Gun the Size of a Keychain

Tiny gun seized by TSA

Tiny gun seized by TSA

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA has dealt with a record number of gun seizures at airports, but the latest discovery is one of the most unique and disturbing.

Patch reports that security found a real gun the size a key chain and seized the weapon.

“It is a very tiny gun, but it is very real,” Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman, tweeted.

The number of guns reported by TSA screeners increased 22% last year as security seized more than 2,200 firearms.

No more details of the tiny gun were available Tuesday morning.

Other Stories of Interest

Federal Investigation Targets Baseball Clubs That Sign Cuban Defectors

major league baseballBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal investigation into the smuggling of Cuban baseball players to the U.S. is targeting MLB team officials, ESPN.com reports. 

Professional baseball has seen a proliferation in Cuban baseball players, many of whom have been skittish about the investigation and have refused to talk to investigators from Homeland Security and the FBI.

The investigation, Operation Safety Squeeze and Operation of Summer, has gone beyond smuggler and handlers to MLB team officials who are suspected of ignoring criminal activity in order to sign highly prized players.

The MLB commissioner’s office has received two subpoenas for internal communications and other documents related to Cuban defectors and their affiliation with baseball teams

“MLB has been informed by federal law enforcement authorities that neither it nor its personnel are the focus of any criminal inquiry. MLB has consistently cooperated – and will continue to cooperate –with the appropriate government authorities to protect our Cuban players from the dangers posed by human smugglers,” said Dan Halem, Major League Baseball’s chief legal officer.

Researcher Sues FBI for Long-Withheld Records About Ex-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt/Wikimedia

Eleanor Roosevelt/Wikimedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A lot of secrecy still shrouds the FBI’s past obsession with former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

AllGov.com reports that the FBI has refused to disclose records detailing her trip to the Soviet Union in 1957 and 1958.

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover believed Roosevelt was a Communist sympathizer.

Now a researcher with George Washington University is suing the FBI for the records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The files contain “charges against her for suspected Communist activities, threats to her life on the grounds of her disloyalty to the country, close monitoring of her activities and writings, and a record of possible insurrectionary groups that she may have influenced.”