Showing posts with label FBI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FBI. Show all posts

Saturday, February 11

A FRONTE PRECIPITIUM , A TERGO LUPI


Magia tipica italica: "puff... spariscono i fratelli Giulio e Francesca Maria Occhionero, superlaureati e oggi, paff.... arrivano gli hackers russi.". 

Gli italiani, lettori, ascoltatori, smartphonisti, videodipendenti, da ieri devono dimenticare le palle gonfie che ci hanno fatto i "giornalai italiani" sui due fratelli Occhionero, sostituendoli "voilà" con Putin e i suoi putinini hackeronisti. Minchia, che pazienza bovina ci avete popolo bùenista.

Solo i "giornalai italiani" riescono a montare tempeste tropicali, diluvi universali, glaciazioni e desertificazioni tra Bolzano e Ragusa. Solo loro riescono a far dimenticare alla Penisola italica, il giorno dopo, quanto sia stato il loro grado di vaneggiamento, ignoranza e/o,  "istruzioni" ricevute. Veniamo ai fatti.

È il 2 ottobre quando Giulio Occhionero, intercettato telematicamente dal 23 agosto 2016, comincia a sospettare di essere finito nel mirino. Da un solo giorno gli investigatori della Polizia postale hanno iniziato una intercettazione telematica attiva sul computer connesso alla linea fissa in casa, ma l’uomo è già in allerta: a un’intercettazione sembra che qualcuno lo abbia avvertito. 

Dopo aver effettuato una verifica sui certificati Microsoft invia una mail alla sorella Francesca Maria: “Ad ogni modo è valido pure sui server (Moscow) americani quindi dubito che abbiano dato ad un’autorità italiana il privilegio di infettare macchine americane“. Lei risponde subito dopo: “Bravo! Possiamo tranquillizzarci (un po’)

Il 10 gennaio scorso, la Polizia postale, ha arrestato i due fratelli per avere hackerato le e-mail di notabili politici come il presidente della Banca centrale europea, Mario Draghi, e l'ex presidente del Consiglio, Matteo Renzi, del ministro degli Esteri Gentiloni e ancora decine, centinaia di altre importanti utenze istituzionali.

Fosse per il cognome dei due fratelli (Occhionero) arrestati per cyberspionaggio, per il programma informatico, che hanno usato e che dà il nome all’inchiesta della Procura di Roma:" Eye Piramide".

Naturalmente è doveroso attendere gli sviluppi giudiziari dell’indagine del Centro Nazionale Anticrimine Informatico per la Protezione delle Infrastrutture Critiche. Il C.N.A.I.P.I.C. 

L'’impressione è di essere di fronte ad una spy story di primo livello. Dove due professionisti (lui ingegnere nucleare, lei cittadina USA che ha lavorato in Italia come consulente del governo americano) residenti a Londra e domiciliati a Roma, tra il 2011 ed il 2016 sono entrati nel cuore dello Stato e, più in generale, nel sistema di potere e nella politica italiana, istituzioni comprese. 

Incamerando – attraverso un elenco di quasi ventimila username – una massa enorme di dati e informazioni sensibili, civili e militari, archiviati e custoditi in alcuni server negli Stati Uniti con un metodo di catalogazione preciso e articolato.

Matteo Renzi e Mario Monti, dell’ex Governatore della Banca d’Italia e oggi Presidente della BCE, Mario Draghi, e dell’ex Comandante generale della Guardia di Finanza, Saverio Capolupo, per disegnare il profilo dell’attacco volto, scrivono i magistrati, al «procacciamento di notizie concernenti la sicurezza dello Stato con accesso abusivo al sistema informatico e intercettazione illecita di comunicazioni informatiche». 

E basta ricordare che anche l’ENAV, la società che controlla e garantisce il traffico aereo civile in Italia, dunque un’infrastruttura di assoluto interesse nazionale strategico, è stata oggetto dell’hackeraggio che nel marzo scorso ha fatto scattare l’allarme.


Possibile siano stati solo una coppia di professionisti (lui, massone molto interessato ai giochi di potere al vertice della Massoneria) svelti di mente e di mano e con buone relazioni sociali che con il loro “Eye Pyramid” hanno messo in piedi per fini di lucro personale uno spionaggio di questa portata? È possibile che un sistema diffuso di potere con al centro lo Stato e le sue funzioni più delicate, per cinque anni, non sia riuscito a sventare l’aggressione, alzando di fatto bandiera bianca di fronte agli Occhionero?

Ruslan Stoyanov, top manager della Kaspersky Lab, la più grande azienda russa che opera nel settore della cybersicurezza e degli antivirus, è stato arrestato a Mosca lo scorso dicembre anche se la notizia è trapelata solo ora

A renderlo noto è stata la stessa società, specificando però che le indagini sull'uomo sono relative a un periodo che precede la sua assunzione e che il «lavoro svolto dalla nostra squadra di ricercatori, il Computer Incidents Investigation Team, non è coinvolto da questi sviluppi».

Monday, January 16

ITALY: MASONRY AND CYBER ATTACKS

Giulio and Francesca Occhionero was a high-ranking member of a Masonic Lodge, "which in Italy are shrouded in secrecy, and among those he monitored was the Grand Master of the country's biggest Lodge." (READ HERE)

Friday, May 29

JIHADISM WORLD' THANKS THE STUNNING BUSH FAMILY

Ray McGovern. As American politicians and editorial writers resume their tough talk about sending more U.S. troops into Iraq, they are resurrecting the “successful surge” myth, the claim that President George W. Bush’s dispatch of 30,000 more soldiers in 2007 somehow “won” the war a storyline that is beloved by the neocons because it somewhat lets them off the hook for starting the disaster in the first place.

But just because Official Washington embraces a narrative doesn’t make it true. Bush’s “surge” was, in reality, a dismal - an unconscionable - failure. It did not achieve its ostensible aim  the rationale Bush eventually decided to give it - namely, to buy time for Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites to reconcile.

Rather, it did just the opposite, greatly exacerbating antagonisms between them. That result was clearly predicted before the “surge” by none other than Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, top U.S. military leaders, and even the Washington Establishment-heavy Iraq Study Group, all of which were pressing for less -not more- military involvement.

In one very important sense, however, the “surge” into Iraq was wildly successful in achieving what was almost certainly its primary aim. It bought President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney a “decent interval” so they could leave office without an explicit military defeat sullying their legacy and for the “acceptable” price of “only” 1,000 more U.S. dead.

At the time there were other options – and indeed many of the “achievements” credited to the “surge” had already happened or at least had begun. The hyper-violent Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in June 2006; ethnic cleansing was separating Sunni and Shiite communities; and the Sunni Awakening – the buying off of some tribal leaders – was being implemented.

Yet, by fall 2006 it also was unavoidably clear that a new course had to be chosen and implemented in Iraq, and virtually every sober thinker seemed opposed to sending more troops. The senior military, especially CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid and his man on the ground in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, emphasized that sending still more U.S. troops to Iraq would simply reassure leading Iraqi politicians that they could relax and continue to take forever to get their act together.

Here, for example, is Gen. Abizaid’s answer at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nov. 15, 2006, to Sen. John McCain, who had long been pressing vigorously for sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq:

“Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the corps commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, ‘in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq?’ And they all said no. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.”

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, sent a classified cable to Washington warning that “proposals to send more U.S. forces to Iraq would not produce a long-term solution and would make our policy less, not more, sustainable,” according to a New York Times retrospective on the “surge” by Michael R. Gordon published on Aug. 31, 2008. Khalilzad was arguing, unsuccessfully, for authority to negotiate a political solution with the Iraqis.

There was also the establishment-heavy Iraq Study Group, created by Congress and led by Republican stalwart James Baker and Democrat Lee Hamilton. After months of policy review during 2006 – with former CIA Director Robert Gates as a member – it issued a final report on Dec. 6, 2006, that began with the ominous sentence “The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.”

It called for: “A change in the primary mission of U.S. Forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly… By the first quarter of 2008 … all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.” Though a member of the Iraq Study Group, Gates quietly disassociated himself from its findings when Bush was dangling the position of Defense Secretary in front of the always ambitious Gates. After Nov. 8, 2006 when Bush announced Gates’s nomination, Gates quit the ISG.

Gates would do what he needed to do to become secretary of defense. At his confirmation hearing on Dec. 5, he obscured his opinions by telling the Senate Armed Services only “all options are on the table in terms of Iraq.” The Democrats, including then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, swooned over Gates’s supposed thoughtfulness and wisdom.

Many Democrats assumed that Gates would help persuade Bush to implement the ISG’s plan for a troop drawdown, but they were in for a surprise. With unanimous Democratic support and only two conservative Republicans opposed, Gates was confirmed by the full Senate on Dec. 6, the same day the ISG report was formally released. But the Democrats and much of the mainstream media had completely misread the behind-the-scenes story.

The little-understood reality behind Bush’s decision to catapult Robert Gates into his Pentagon perch was the astonishing fact that previous Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of all people, was pulling a Robert McNamara; he was going wobbly on a war based largely on his own hubris-laden, misguided advice. In the fall of 2006 Rumsfeld was having a reality attack. In Rumsfeld-speak, he came face to face with a “known known.”

On Nov. 6, 2006, a day before the mid-term elections, Rumsfeld sent a memo to the White House, in which he acknowledged, “Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.”

The rest of his memo sounded very much like the emerging troop-drawdown conclusions of the Iraq Study Group. The first 80 percent of Rumsfeld’s memo addressed “Illustrative Options,” including his preferred – or “above the line” – options such as “an accelerated drawdown of U.S. bases … to five by July 2007″ and withdrawal of U.S. forces “from vulnerable positions — cities, patrolling, etc. … so the Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.”

Finally, Rumsfeld had begun to listen to his generals and others who knew which end was up. The hurdle? Bush and Cheney were not about to follow Rumsfeld’s example in “going wobbly.” Like Robert McNamara at a similar juncture during Vietnam, Rumsfeld had to be let go before he caused a U.S. president to “lose a war.”

Waiting in the wings, though, was Robert Gates, who had been dispatched into a political purgatory after coming under suspicion of lying during the Iran-Contra scandal as Ronald Reagan’s deputy CIA director. Though President George H. W. Bush pushed through Gates’s nomination to be CIA director in 1991, Gates was sent packing by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

The elder Bush bailed Gates out again by getting him appointed as president of Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, the site of Bush’s presidential library. But Gates began his Washington rehabilitation with a spot on the Iraq Study Group. While on the ISG, he evidenced no disagreement with its emerging conclusions – at least not until Bush asked him to become Secretary of Defense in early November 2006. Rumsfeld had outlived his usefulness.

And, because of Official Washington’s famous forgetfulness, Gates was remembered not as a conniving and deceptive CIA bureaucrat, but as a “wise man” who was seen as a restraining emissary sent by the senior George Bush to rein in his impetuous son.

Easing the going-wobbly Rumsfeld off the stage was awkward. Right up to the week before the mid-term elections on Nov. 7, 2006, President Bush insisted that he intended to keep Rumsfeld in place for the next two years. Suddenly, however, the President had to confront Rumsfeld’s apostasy favoring a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Rumsfeld had let reality get to him, together with the very strong anti-surge protestations by all senior uniformed officers save one — the ambitious Gen. David Petraeus, who had jumped on board for the “surge” escalation following the advice of his favorite neocon theorists, including Frederick Kagan.

With the bemedaled Petraeus in the wings and pro-surge guidance from Kagan and retired Gen. Jack Keane, all the White House needed was a new Pentagon chief who could be counted on to take Rumsfeld’s place and do the White House’s bidding. (If the names Kagan and Keane sound somewhat familiar, would you believe that they are now playing on President Barack Obama’s Bush-like aversion to losing a war on his watch, and are loudly and unashamedly promoting the idea of yet another “surge” into Iraq?)

On Nov. 5, 2006, Bush had a one-on-one with Gates in Crawford, Texas, and the deal was struck. Forget the torturously hammered-out recommendations of the Iraq Study Group; forget what the military commanders and even Rumsfeld were saying. Gates suddenly found the “surge” an outstanding idea. Well, not really. That’s just what he let Bush believe. (While “chameleon” is the word most often used for Gates by those who knew him at the CIA, Melvin Goodman, who worked with Gates in the branch I led on Soviet Foreign Policy uses the best label — “windsock.”)

Gates is second to none — not even Petraeus — in ambition and self-promotion. It is a safe bet he wanted desperately to be Secretary of Defense, to be back at center stage in Washington after nearly 14 years in exile from the big show.

He quickly agreed to tell Gen. Abizaid to retire; offer Gen. Casey a sinecure as Army chief of staff, providing he kept his mouth shut; and to eagle-scout his way through Senate confirmation with the help of pundits like David Ignatius composing panegyrics in honor of Gates, the “realist.”

So relieved were the senators to be rid of the hated-but-feared Rumsfeld that the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Dec. 5, 2006, on Gates’s nomination had the aura of a pajama party (I was there). Gates told the senators bedtime stories – and vowed to show “great deference to the judgment of generals.”

That “deference” included Gates dumping Abizaid and Casey. But the administration faltered embarrassingly in coming up with a reasonable rationale to “justify” the surge, especially in the face of so much on-the-ground advice opposing the troop increase. And, the truth wouldn’t work either. You couldn’t really say: “We’re trading the lives of U.S. troops for a politically useful ‘decent interval.’”

On Dec. 20, 2006, President Bush told the Washington Post that he was “inclined to believe we do need to increase our troops, the Army and Marines.” He added, tellingly, “There’s got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops,” adding that he would look to Gates, just back from a quick trip to Baghdad, to help explain.

By way of preliminary explanation for the “surge,” President Bush wandered back and forth between “ideological struggle” to “sectarian violence.” He told the Post, “I’m going to keep repeating this over and over again, that I believe we’re in an ideological struggle” and, besides, “sectarian violence [is] obviously the real problem we face.”

When it became clear that those dogs wouldn’t hunt, the White House justified the “surge” as necessary to give Iraqi government leaders “breathing space” to work out their differences. That was the rationale offered by Bush in a major address on Jan 10, 2007. Pulling out all the stops, he also raised the specter of another 9/11 and, of course, spoke of the “decisive ideological struggle of our time.”

Taking a slap at his previous generals, the ISG and the wobbly Rumsfeld, Bush dismissed those who “are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States” and those whose “solution is to scale back America’s efforts in Baghdad — or announce a phased withdrawal of our combat forces.”

The President did warn that the year ahead would be “bloody and violent, even if our strategy works.” He got that part right. One would be tempted to laugh at Bush’s self-absorption — and Gates’s ambition — were we not talking about the completely unnecessary killing of over 1,000 U.S. troops and the brutalization of other U.S. soldiers — not to mention the slaughter of thousands of Iraqis.

In reality, by throwing 30,000 additional troops into Iraq, Bush and Cheney got two years of breathing room as they wound down their administration and some political space to snipe at their successors who inherited the Iraq mess.

But what about the thousand-plus U.S. troops killed during the “surge”? The tens of thousand of Iraqis? The hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes in the Baghdad area alone? I fear the attitude was this: Nobody would get killed, just a bunch of Iraqis and GIs mostly from small-town and inner-city America. And, anyway, our soldiers and Marines all volunteered, didn’t they?

Bush, Cheney and Gates apparently deemed it a small price to pay for enabling them to blame a successor administration for the inevitable withdrawal from America’s first large-scale war of aggression. I have known Gates for 45 years; he has always been transparently ambitious, but he is also bright. He knew better; and he did it anyway.

While those tactical machinations and political calculations were underway, Col. W. Patrick Lang, USA (retired), and I wrote a piece on Dec. 20, 2006, in which we exposed the chicanery and branded such a “surge” strategy “nothing short of immoral, in view of the predicable troop losses and the huge number of Iraqis who would meet violent injury and death.”

Surprisingly, we were joined by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, who explained to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos why Smith said on the Senate floor that U.S. policy on Iraq may be “criminal.” “You can use any adjective you want, George. But I have long believed that in a military context, when you do the same thing over and over again without a clear strategy for victory, at the expense of your young people in arms, that is dereliction. That is deeply immoral.”

Thursday, June 20

U.S.A. SPYING & TRACKING EMAILS OF EUROPEAN CITIZENS

The U.S. president and the German chancellor met on Wednesday in Berlin. During Barack Obama and Angela Merkel's press conference, journalists mostly wanted to know about U.S. internet spying.

Merkel pointed out that the talks with Obama were open and friendly, and that the German-American relations were good, because, as she said, they shared common values. Merkel said they discussed the situation in Syria and Afghanistan, as well as the U.S. program Prism, and in doing so, said some German analysts, she "cautiously put forward her criticism of the giant American sureveillance system." 

It was also pointed out that the German authorities received some information from the Americans, as in the case of the terrorist group Sauerland. “We are not rifling through the emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anyone else. This is a circumscribed, narrow system being aimed to protect us and our people. The encroachment on privacy has been strictly limited," Obama was quoted as saying. “Lives have been saved,” he added. 

During the press conference, a protest was held in Berlin against Obama, that saw participation from activists who advocate the closing the U.S. military prison Guantanamo. ''I promised that efforts would be doubled to close Guantanamo,'' Obama replied to a question, adding that, however, "some people in the camp were dangerous," and had done "nasty things." 

When it comes to the delivery of weapons to the Syrian rebels, Obama stated that he seeks "a political solution" to the conflicts. ''President Assad, however, made a different decision. He kills his own people,'' said Obama, while Merkel said that the opposition in Syria should be strengthened and that "terrorist groups must not have power." 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a viral wave of online derision following her comments to US President Barack Obama that the Internet was ‘Neuland’ (new, or ‘uncharted’ territory) “for all of us.” A few minutes after her speech, discussions exploded across the Internet. 


“Did she really just say that?” German-language twitter users asked incredulously, shortly followed by thousands of mocking attacks and ridiculous pictures. Her casual mention of ‘Neuland’ quickly ‘trended,’ becoming the most discussed subject in the German Twittersphere. 


One German language tweet read that “Little Angela would like to be picked up from #Neuland,” with others being prompted to locate the mythical place.  A few users identified its existence as being near the northern city of Hamburg.

Wednesday, June 19

US FBI USE DRONES FOR DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE

Robert Mueller, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, confirmed to lawmakers that the FBI owns several unmanned aerial vehicles, but has not adopted any strict policies or guidelines yet to govern the use of the controversial aircraft.

“Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on US soil?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mr. Mueller during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Yes,” Mueller responded bluntly, adding that the FBI’s operation of drones is “very seldom.”

Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to elaborate, Mueller added, “It’s very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident where you need the capability.” Earlier in the morning, however, Mueller said that the agency was only now working to establish set rule for the drone program.

Mueller began answering questions just after 10 a.m. EDT and has also touched briefly on the recently exposed NSA surveillance program that has marred the reputation of the United States intelligence community as of late. Mueller said 22 agents have access to a vast surveillance database, including 20 analysts and two overseers.

When Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) asked Mueller later in the morning if he’d consider being more open about the FBI’s surveillance methods, the director decried being much more transparent that the bureau already is. Mueller said the FBI has and will continue to weigh the possibility of publishing more information about its spy habits, but warned that doing such would be to the advantage of America’s enemies.

“There is a price to be paid for that transparency,” Mueller said. “I certainly think it would be educating our adversaries as to what our capabilities are.”

Monday, June 10

FBI VS CIA (LANGLEY). OBAMA "SPUTA" PAT FITZGERALD

Ora Barack Obama ha individuato l’uomo che potrebbe succedere al direttore, Robert Mueller, e magari calmare le acque. Il repubblicano James Comey è perfetto per dare prova dello spirito bipartisan in un momento in cui mezza America accusa il presidente di aver convertito le imparziali strutture dello stato in macchine politiche. 

Avrebbe voluto dare il posto alla consigliera per l’antiterrorismo, Lisa Monaco, ma il suo ruolo nelle indagini sull’assalto al consolato di Bengasi l’ha automaticamente squalificata. Comey è cresciuto in ambiente bushiano ma non si è distinto per intransigenza repubblicana. Da viceprocuratore generale ha seguito il caso di Valerie Plame – l’agente della CIA sotto copertura la cui identità è stata svelata dai giornali – e ha nominato commissario speciale l’amico e collega Pat Fitzgerald, procuratore con foga manettara da salvatore della patria. 

Sotto Obama si è fatto il nome di Comey come possibile rimpiazzo alla Corte Suprema, ma la sinistra liberal si è opposta a quello che descriveva come un rigido conservatore sociale. Qualche mese fa ha firmato un briefing per la Corte in sostegno al matrimonio gay. Comey è infine approdato nel mondo delle consulenze finanziarie e industriali, tanto per cementare quelle connessioni che lo rendono un candidato in grado di calmare le turbolenze dell’FBI di Obama. 

 Secondo la ricostruzione del Washington Post il ventisettenne Ibragim Todashev, ucciso dagli agenti federali durante un interrogatorio connesso all’attentato di Boston, non era armato. Si era parlato di un coltello da cucina, poi di un tentativo di rubare la pistola a uno degli agenti; ora diverse fonti riducono l’episodio a un tavolo rovesciato e a un’aggressione a mano disarmata, versione che – se fosse confermata – priverebbe la reazione di qualunque giustificazione plausibile. 

L’agenzia investigativa non si era distinta per efficienza e imparzialità quando il direttore della CIA, David Petraeus, è stato costretto alle dimissioni. L’inchiesta federale non ha individuato comportamenti criminali e ha lasciato il dubbio che il Bureau si fosse prestato a spalleggiare una trama politica, innervata dalla rivalità atavica con Langley.

Thursday, February 16

FBI might shutdown the Internet on March 8

Millions of computer users across the world could be blocked off from the Internet as early as March 8 if the FBI follows through with plans to yank a series of servers originally installed to combat corruption.

Last year, authorities in Estonia apprehended six men believed responsible for creating a malicious computer script called the DNSChanger Trojan. Once set loose on the Web, the worm corrupted computers in upwards of 100 countries, including an estimated 500,000 in America alone. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation later stepped up by replacing the rogue Trojan with servers of their own in an attempt to remediate the damage, but the fix was only temporary. Now the FBI is expected to end use of those replacement servers as early as next month and, at that point, the Internet for millions could essentially be over.

When functioning as its creators intended, the DNSChanger Trojan infected computers and redirected users hoping to surf to certain websites to malicious ones. Traditionally, DNS, or Domain Name System, servers translate alphabetical, traditional website URLs to their actual, numeric counterpart in order to guide users across the World Wide Web. Once infected by the DNSChanger Trojan, however, websites entered into Internet browsers were hijacked to malicious servers and, in turn, directed the user to an unintended, fraudulent site.

In coordination with the arrests in Estonia, the FBI shut down the malicious DNSChanger botnet network, and, additionally, replaced them with surrogate servers to correct the problem. Those servers, however, were installed "just long enough for companies and home users to remove DNSChanger malware from their machines," according to the court order that established them. That deadline is March 8, and those surrogate servers are expected to be retired then. At that point, computers still infected with the Trojan will be essentially unable to navigate the Internet.

Who, exactly, will be affected? Security company IID (Internet Identity) believes that half of all Fortune 500 companies and more than two dozen major government entities in the US are still currently infected with the worm as of early 2012. Unless they take the proper steps to eradicate the Trojan from their systems, millions of users worldwide will be left hog-tied, helplessly attempting to navigate to nonexistent servers and, in effect, without the Web.

“At this rate, a lot of users are going to see their Internet break on March 8,” Rod Rasmussen, president and chief technology officer at Internet Identity, cautions Krebs On Security.

Currently, both the computer industry and law enforcement are working together through a coalition they’ve established called the DNSChanger Working Group. That group has been tasked with examining the options in phasing out the surrogate servers set up by the feds, but unless an alternative plan is agreed on, a great port of the Web will go dark next month.

“I’m guessing a lot more people would care at that point,” Rasmussen adds. While infected users are cautioned to correct the problem now, millions internationally are still believed to be infected. “It certainly would be an interesting social experiment if these systems just got cut off,” he adds.

Thursday, January 5

FBI allowed to add GPS device to cars without warrants

The Supreme Court will soon weigh in on whether law enforcement agencies can monitor your every move without you knowing — and without a warrant. In Missouri, however, one judge isn’t waiting to find out their word. US Magistrate Judge David Noce ruled last week in favor of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and determined that the FBI did not need a warrant in order to affix a GPS device to the car of a St. Louis man. Fred Robinson, 69, was accused of collecting $175,000 in compensation while on the payroll of the St. Louis City Treasurer’s Office. Authorities alleged that Robinson held a position in name only and actually avoided going into the office. To prove this, law enforcement agents didn’t just ask around City Hall or dispatch a few officers to go speak with staffers. Instead, the FBI installed a GPS device on Robinson’s car without ever notifying him or asking permission.

The US Supreme Court will decide later this year if such action is allowable without obtaining a warrant. In the interim, Judge Noce says it is just fine. In his ruling, Judge Noce cited an earlier call from the Eighth Circuit Court that determined, “'when police have reasonable suspicion that a particular vehicle is transporting drugs, a warrant is not required when, while the vehicle is parked in a public place, they install a non-invasive GPS tracking device on it for a reasonable period of time.” In the case of Robinson, that is exactly what agents did.Or so they claim.

Robinson’s attorneys insisted that their client’s First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated during the sting, but Judge Noce says that the installation of the tracker “was not a search.” Since the GPS device was installed in a way that the officers insist was non-invasive and planted in plain view of public, placing the monitor on Robinson’s Chevy Cavalier was entirely by-the-books. “Because installation of the GPS tracker device was non-invasive and because the agents installed the device when the truck was parked in public, installation of the GPS tracker device was not a search,” rules Judge Noce. Specifically, says Noce, “defendant Robinson did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the exterior of his Cavalier. Agents installed the GPS tracker device onto defendant's Cavalier based on a reasonable suspicion that he was being illegally paid as a 'ghost' employee on the payroll of the St. Louis City Treasurer's Office.”

Even though the device was installed unbeknownst to the subject, the judge says that using magnets to affix the device to the automobile in lieu of screws made it legitimate. The installation and removal of the GPS tracker were both done in public, but during secret operations that Robinson was unaware of. Ergo, until the Supreme Court rules (and perhaps even after then), the FBI is fine to monitor anyone suspected of a crime, says Noce, as long as they don’t dent your Dodge Durgano in the process.
In Washington, the Supreme Court will consider a similar case later this year by discussing the matter of United States v. Antoine Jones.
In that ordeal officers had installed a GPS device on Jones’ automobile while it was parked in a public lot outside of Washington DC —without ever obtaining a warrant. Jones was suspected of drug trafficking but cops never obtained permission to install the device. Although the records obtained by monitoring his movement helped lead officers to nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine and eventually a conviction of life in prison, a Washington appeals court reversed the decision in 2010.

In response, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to decide in hopes of once again enforcing a conviction on Jones. When the Obama administration petitioned for an appeal to that appeal, officials argued that “GPS tracking is an important law enforcement tool,” and if not investigated fully, “the issue will … continue to arise frequently.” Justice Stephen Breyer previously predicted that should the Supreme Court walk away with okaying the installation of such devices, “there is nothing to prevent the police or government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States.”

Friday, October 15

James P. Myers Named Special Agent in Charge of the Intelligence Division at FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office

Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named James Myers special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division and Field Intelligence Group for the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Mr. Myers entered on duty as a special agent with the FBI in September 1987. He was assigned to the Norfolk Field Office, where he worked numerous crime matters and was a SWAT team member.
In July 1993, he transferred to the Los Angeles Field Office, where he worked in the Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF) squad and was assigned as case agent for the Mexican Mafia (EME) prison gang. In 1996, he was recognized for his investigative work by the Los Angeles Federal Bar Association with a Distinguished Achievement Award.     Read more...

Thursday, October 14

Indictments in Five States: California, Georgia, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio

October 13, 2010
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691
WASHINGTON—Seventy-three defendants, including a number of alleged members and associates of an Armenian-American organized crime enterprise, were charged in indictments unsealed today in five judicial districts with various health care fraud-related crimes involving more than $163 million in fraudulent billing, announced Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler, FBI Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division Kevin Perkins, and Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson.
In this national, multi-agency investigation, 52 were arrested today by FBI agents in the largest Medicare fraud scheme ever perpetrated by a single criminal enterprise and charged by the Department of Justice.

The defendants are charged with engaging in numerous fraud activities, including highly-organized, multi-million-dollar schemes to defraud Medicare and insurance companies by submitting fraudulent bills for medically unnecessary treatments or treatments that were never performed. According to the indictments, the defendants allegedly stole the identities of doctors and thousands of Medicare beneficiaries and operated at least 118 different phony clinics in 25 states for the purposes of submitting Medicare reimbursements.

“The emergence of international organized crime in domestic health care fraud schemes signals a dangerous expansion that poses a serious threat to consumers as these syndicates are willing to exploit almost any program, business or individual to earn an illegal profit,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grinder. “The Department of Justice is confronting this evolving threat here and abroad through a number of initiatives including a strengthened Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council and the creation of the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) to ensure that we are focused and coordinated in our efforts to combat international organized crime.”

“The international organized crime enterprise known as the Mirzoyan-Terdjanian, fleeced the health care system through a wide-range of money making criminal fraud schemes. The members and associates located throughout the United States and in Armenia, perpetrated a large-scale, nationwide Medicare scam that fraudulently billed Medicare for more than $100 million of unnecessary medical treatments using a series of phantom clinics,” said Kevin Perkins, FBI Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division. “We want to restore the confidence in the nation’s health care system and assure practitioners we will not stand by and let their identities be used for criminal gain.” 

“Today, special agents of the Office of Inspector General working in tight coordination with our federal law enforcement partners made 52 arrests across the nation—from New York to Los Angeles—on charges including Medicare fraud and medical identity theft totaling more than $163 million,” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. “Criminals stealing from Medicare needn’t look over their shoulders to know that we are in hot pursuit.”

Forty-four defendants were charged in two indictments unsealed today in the Southern District of New York with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit the following acts: health care fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, fraud in connection with identity theft, credit card fraud, and immigration fraud. In addition, seven defendants were charged in the District of New Mexico with health care fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, forfeiture, and aggravated identity theft. Six defendants were charged in the Southern District of Georgia with health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and aggravated identity theft. Six defendants were charged in the Northern District of Ohio with health care fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. Lastly, 10 defendants were charged in two indictments in the Central District of California with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, criminal forfeiture, aggravated identity theft, aiding and abetting, and causing an act to be done.

According to the charges filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, the Mirzoyan-Terdjanian Organization is named for its principal leaders, Davit Mirzoyan and Robert Terdjanian. The leadership of the organization is based in Los Angeles and New York, and its operations extend throughout the United States and internationally. Among the defendants charged with racketeering is Armen Kazarian, who is alleged to be a “Vor,” a term translated as “Thief-in-Law” and refers to a member of a select group of high-level criminals from Russia and the countries that has been part of the former Soviet Union, including Armenia. This is the first time a Vor has ever been charged for a racketeering offense, and the first time since 1996 that a known Vor has been arrested on any federal charge.

The racketeering charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charges each carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. The conspiracy to commit money laundering charges each carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The conspiracy to commit money laundering charges each carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identity theft charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The aggravated identity theft charges each carry a required two-year consecutive prison sentence to any other sentence imposed, the conspiracy to commit credit card fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy to commit immigration fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges announced today are merely allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

The defendants charged in each district will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from each of the respective districts in which the cases were charged. The cases were investigated by special agents from the FBI’s Los Angeles and New York field offices.

Today’s arrests are an example of the FBI’s ability to conduct cross-program, multi-divisional investigations targeting a national level threat. In recent years, the department has undertaken a series of steps to modernize its organized crime program and enable federal law enforcement to take a unified approach to combating international organized crime. The Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council brings together the leadership of the FBI and eight other federal law enforcement agencies or offices with the department’s prosecutors, focusing high-level attention on these issues. The IOC-2 provides support in the form of information and intelligence to the member agencies that enhance efforts to identify, penetrate and dismantle the most dangerous organized crime groups through investigations and prosecutions. The creation of the International Organized Crime Targeting Committee and the Top International Criminal Organizations Target (TICOT) List, directs investigators and prosecutors to concentrate their limited resources on those international organized crime groups that pose the greatest threat to the United States. The department’s Criminal Division, through the Health Care Fraud Unit, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, and the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, has created new training programs to educate investigators and prosecutors on the intricacies of international organized crime and financial investigations.

Thursday, July 29

MARIPOSA E L'FBI

Ad appena 23 anni Iserdo, questo il soprannome del ragazzo da hacker, era riuscito a creare nel dicembre 2008 un «botnet» che ha colpito almeno la metà delle 1000 aziende che compaiono nella classifica di Fortune e circa 40 delle maggiori banche internazionali. E' caduto in trappola in una strada di Maribor, in Slovenia: era Fhacker più ricercato dall'Fbi e gli agenti federali sono riusciti ad ammanettarlo al termine di un'indagine durata cinque mesi, che ha coinvolto 190 nazioni e che, per dimensioni e mezzi impiegati, non ha nulla da invidiare alla caccia ai terroristi di Al Qaeda. L'intenzione è stata sin dall'inizio quella di svaligiare le imprese più ricche del Pianeta adoperando i loro computer come se fossero dei Cavalli di Troia, per entrare nelle casseforti senza neanche farsi vedere. Svaligiare le società più ricche del mondo, usando i computer come via d'accesso alle casse «botnet» è infatti un network di computer dirottati. Iserdo lo aveva creato vendendo - per cifre che andavano dai 500 ai 1300 dollari - un particolare virus informatico ad altri hacker, un virus che assicurava la possibilità di infiltrarsi nel computer della vittima designata a sua totale insaputa, impossessandosi dei dati bancari, dei codici delle carte di credito, delle password e delle identità personali m maniera tale da spostare illegalmente fondi per una cifra complessiva difficile da stimare, ma comunque da capogiro. Come ha spiegato dopo l'arresto Jeffrey Troy, vice direttore della divisione cybernetica dell'Fbi, «Iserdo era l'equivalente di un boss del crimine organizzato che fornisce a delinquenti comuni chiavi di porte, informazioni dettagliate sugli oraci dei proprietari e mappe delle case da svaligiare, facendo attenzione a non esporsi mai in prima persona». Atradire questa sorta di gangster del web sono stati tré pesci piccoli, ovvero tré hackers spagnoli che la polizia di Madrid ha arrestato cinque mesi fa, ottenendo da loro le informazioni che hanno messo l'Fbi sulla pista giusta. Una volta individuato in Slovenia il rifugio dell'hacker, l'Fbi ha avvertito la polizia criminale di Lubiana ed è stato messo a segno il blitz che ha portato all'arresto.  Vendeva ad altri criminali un virus che poi gli forniva migliaia di codici e password «botnet» più aggressivo finora creato su Internet, Iserdo aveva scelto il nome spagnolo di «Mariposa» farfalla - perché il virus riusciva a posarsi sul computer delle vittime senza che nessuno se ne accorgesse. In queste ore l'Fbi sta mettendo assieme tutti i tasselli, prevedendo «numerosi arresti nelle prossime settimane» in più Continenti. Per l'esperto di sicurezza online Rik Ferguson, interpellato dalla tv BBC, «il tallone d'Achille di Mariposa si è rivelato essere l'eccessivo successo avuto» ovvero «la facilità con cui si è diffuso esponendo il creatore al rischio di essere identificato». La debolezza dei «botnet» è infatti proprio nelle dimensioni: più si allargano più si espongono al rìschio di essere scoperti e smantellati. L'indagine resta tuttavia circondata dal più stretto riserbo al fine di non perdere l'effetto sorpresa: la vera identità di Iserdo non è stata resa nota, si sa solamente che l'arresto è avvenuto a Maribor dieci giorni fa e che l'hacker è stato rilasciato, probabil-. mente perché ha accettato di collaborare, e si trova adesso in una località top secret. Neanche i reati per cui è incriminato sono stati resi pubblici, proprio come avviene nel caso dei terroristi di Al Qaeda detenuti in località segrete o imprigionati a Guantanamo. Di certo, la collaborazione del super hacker è più importante dell'arresto perché può consentire agli inquirenti di accelerare l'identificazione dell'esercito di piccoli criminali cybernetici che ha creato, inviando ad ognuno di loro una semplice email con allegato il pacchetto contenente il virus con cui aggredire banche e aziende finanziarie per untotale di almeno 12 milioni di computer. Per arrivare a Iserdo l'Fbi ha creato una task fórce di cento alti nmzionàri, arruolando contractors civili, giovani ricercatori cybernetici e esperti di mezzo mondo. In poco meno di due anni avrebbe contagiato ' 12 milioni di computer. «Mariposa era senza dubbio uno dei più estesi botnet del mondo» ha aggiunto Troy, spiegando che adesso la task force si concentrerà sul prossimo obiettivo ovvero il «botnet» denominato «Conflicker» che spinge i computer a «creare danaro in maniera ordinaria, inviando migliala di spam oppure diffondendo falsi software antivirus» attraverso Internet. La sua vera identità non è ancora stata resa nota secretati anche i capi d'accusa Internet che sono riusciti a ricostruire le diramazioni del «botnet» in 190 nazioni nonché una struttura informatica del virus molto sofisticata, come di mostra il fatto che era più impenetrabile del «botnet» che questa primavera ha aggredito Google in Cina rubando gli indirizzi email di molti dissidenti.

Wednesday, July 28

FBI, Slovenian and Spanish Police Arrests Mariposa

Last week, the Slovenian Criminal Police identified and arrested the Mariposa Botnet’s suspected creator, a 23-year-old Slovenian citizen known as “Iserdo.” The work of the Slovenian and Spanish authorities was integral to this investigation.  More

Saturday, March 6

Cyber-terrorism a real and growing threat: FBI

Terrorists, crooks and nation states are ramping up cyberassaults that are eating away at data, cash and security in the United States, the head of the FBI said.

"The risks are right at our doorsteps and in some cases they are in the house," Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller said in a speech at an RSA Conference of computer security professionals on Thursday.

"Working together we can find the people taking shots at us and stop those attacks."

Mueller was the third high-ranking federal official in as many days to urge private industry cyber warriors to join forces with the US government to battle spies, terrorists and crooks plaguing the Internet.

"As you well know, a cyberattack could have the same impact as a well-placed bomb," Mueller said.

"In the past ten years, Al-Qaeda's online presence has become as potent as its in-world presence."

Al-Qaeda uses for the Internet range from recruiting and inciting to posting ways to make bio-weapons and forming social-networks for aspiring terrorists, according to Mueller.

"The cyber terrorism threat is real and rapidly expanding," Mueller said.

"Terrorists have shown a clear interest in hacking skills and combining real attacks with cyber attacks."

Threats are also rising from online espionage, with hackers out for source code, money, trade and government secrets, according to the FBI.

Thursday, February 25

Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Hosts Mortgage Fraud Summit in Miami

WASHINGTON—  Representatives of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force met in Miami today for the first of a series of Mortgage Fraud Summits. Read more

Saturday, February 6

Counterterrorism Division: James McJunkin Assistant Director of the FBI

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named James W. McJunkin the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division. Mr. McJunkin most recently served as one of the division’s deputy assistant directors.

“Jim has extensive experience and a record of success in managing counterterrorism investigations and creating successful partnerships, tools that will help the FBI, along with our partners, defeat the groups and individuals who wish to harm us,” said Director Mueller.

Mr. McJunkin became a special agent in 1987 and has served in the San Antonio, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. field offices. He spent the majority of his time in the Atlanta Division as a supervisory senior resident agent, supervising FBI investigations in northern Georgia. During these assignments, he led investigations in the organized crime, white collar crime, violent crime, drug trafficking crime, civil rights, and counterterrorism arenas.

In 2003, Mr. McJunkin was promoted to unit chief within the International Terrorism Operations Section I (ITOS I) at FBI Headquarters, where he earned the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation for his efforts. In 2004, Director Mueller appointed Mr. McJunkin to direct a multi-agency task force assembled to address threats to the presidential election. He was later recognized with the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his work. That same year, Mr. McJunkin was selected as an assistant section chief of ITOS I, where he provided direction and supervision to the FBI’s counterterrorism operations within the continental United States.

Mr. McJunkin was selected as the assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, the FBI’s second largest division, in 2005. There, he led the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF); managed all substantive counterterrorism investigations conducted within the National Capital Region; and oversaw significant overseas investigations involving terrorism attacks against U.S. citizens. In March 2006, he led a team of FBI personnel with the on-scene investigation of a terrorist attack against the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan that claimed the life of a career diplomat and several foreign nationals. In August 2006, Mr. McJunkin was designated acting special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, Counterterrorism Division.

In January 2007, Mr. McJunkin was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service, and after a brief period as the deputy director for law enforcement at the Central Intelligence Agency, he was appointed the section chief of ITOS I. Director Mueller designated Mr. McJunkin as the deputy assistant director for FBI Counterterrorism Operations - Branch I in January 2008.

Before joining the Bureau, Mr. McJunkin was a trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from the Pennsylvania State University.

Alerts at www.fbi.gov by clicking

Friday, February 5

Letter to the Editor on FBI’s Scientific Work in Anthrax Case

A version of this letter was published in The Wall Street Journal on February 1, 2010.

Letters to the Editor
The Wall Street Journal
1211 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10036

Dear Editor:

Monday’s opinion piece, “The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved,” was filled with inaccuracies and omitted several relevant facts that are necessary for a balanced discussion of the science applied in the anthrax investigation.

From the outset, the FBI’s scientific work in the anthrax case has had a foundation in validation and verification of its approach and conclusions. This process began within weeks of the initial events of 2001 and has included:

    *
      consultation with numerous subject matter experts in technical panels;
    *
      collaboration with partner laboratories in government, academia and the private sector throughout the course of the investigation;
    *
      ongoing efforts to publish our work and that of our partner labs in peer-reviewed technical journals; and
    *
      analytical data and reports provided to the National Academy of Sciences so they can evaluate the scientific analysis applied to the evidence in the anthrax investigation.

The FBI is confident in the scientific findings that were reached in this investigation. We utilized established biological and chemical analysis techniques and applied them in an innovative manner to reach these findings.

D. Christian Hassell, Ph.D
Director
FBI Laboratory

Saturday, January 30

How to Report E-Scams and Hoaxes to the FBI

New E-Scams & Warnings

red envelope Get e-mail updates when new scams and warnings are posted here

NEW TWIST ON COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCHEMES TARGETING U.S. LAW FIRMS
01/21/10—The FBI continues to receive reports of counterfeit check schemes targeting U.S. law firms. As previously reported, scammers send e-mails to lawyers, claiming to be overseas and seeking legal representation to collect delinquent payments from third parties in the U.S. The law firm receives a retainer agreement, invoices reflecting the amount owed, and a check payable to the law firm. The firm is instructed to extract the retainer fee, including any other fees associated with the transaction, and wire the remaining funds to banks in Korea, China, Ireland, or Canada. By the time the check is determined to be counterfeit, the funds have already been wired overseas.
In a new twist, the fraudulent client seeking legal representation is an ex-wife "on assignment" in an Asian country, and she claims to be pursuing a collection of divorce settlement monies from her ex-husband in the U.S. The law firm agrees to represent the ex-wife, sends an e-mail to the ex-husband, and receives a "certified" check for the settlement via delivery service. The ex-wife instructs the firm to wire the funds, less the retainer fee, to an overseas bank account. When the scam is executed successfully, the law firm wires the money before discovering the check is counterfeit.
All Internet users need to be cautious when they receive unsolicited e-mails. Law firms are advised to conduct as much due diligence as possible before engaging in transactions with parties who are handling their business solely via e-mail, particularly those parties claiming to reside overseas.
Please view an additional public service announcement posted to the IC3 web site regarding a similar Asian extortion scheme located at the following link, http://www.ic3.gov/media/2009/090610.aspx. Individuals who receive information pertaining to counterfeit check schemes are encouraged to file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.