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26.6.17 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

Six Indicted in Darknet Fentanyl Distribution Ring The case against the former Alphabay vendor known as Pharma-Master grew substantially larger. A superseding grand jury Indictment charged five additional suspects in one of the “nation’s largest fentanyl cases.” In 2016, authorities arrested a fentanyl dealer. Police later revealed that t he dealer was a well-known Alphabay vendor. The superseding indictment added ... Read More »

Fraud Group Used Stolen Databases to Pick Victims

Marking an important moment in an investigation that started last May, the Civil Guard in Murcia, Spain arrested two key players of a identity fraud ring. The investigation took place under the name “Operation Darkweb,” (but not to be confused with an ongoing drug investigation in Spain). This investigation pinpointed into two men who participated in a network of fraudulent ... Read More »

Local Police Contract the Same Hacking Firms as the FBI

C. Aliens Local Police Contract the Same Hacking Firms as the FBI As part of an ongoing investigation into law enforcement’s forensic procedures regarding cellphones, Muckrock filed Freedom of Information Requests with several police Departments in the US. The organization wanted information related to utilization logs, guidelines, policy, and even payment contracts. They requested the payment information from commercial hacking ... Read More »

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Second Brother Arrested In Costa Rica For Child Porn Charges

On June 5, Costa Rican law enforcement authorities detained a man, who is one of the two brothers suspected of producing and distributing child pornography content on the dark web, and sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl since she was six-years-old. On the morning of May 23, police detained a 35-year-old man, the first brother, in San Miguel de Higuito de ... Read More »

Bitcoin news roundup, June 25, 2017

This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments: New developments: SegWit2x, a bitcoin scaling proposal, has been signaled by over 80% of the bitcoin network Back in May, the Digital Currency Group (DCG), one of the industry’s largest investment firms led by Barry Silbert, revealed a new bitcoin scaling proposal. Essentially, a group of 58 companies, representing 83.3 percent ... Read More »

Large Drug Distribution Ring Broken Up in Romania

In February 2016, an alarming number of juveniles started checking into Slatina County Emergency Hospital after smoking unidentified “hallucinogenic substances.” Every day, the hospital saw more patients with general sickness and malaise—all usually minors or very young adults. Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism opened an investigation into suspected narcotics trafficking finally made arrests in between May and ... Read More »

Researchers Suggest a Ban on Encryption Will Drive Darknet Use

After the London terror attack in June, Prime Minister Theresa May lashed out at communication companies for “providing safe places for extremists to broadcast their hate messages over the Internet.” She pushed for international agreements allowing the government to regulate the internet—a step she believed would curb terrorism. Some security researchers, though, argued that doing so would only push terrorist ... Read More »

UK Government to Spy on Users by Asking Messaging Apps to Weaken Encryption

Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May received harsh criticisms from experts for her proposal to regulate the internet and essentially weaken encryption of messaging applications such as Whatsapp and Telegram. In a response to a terror attack that occurred in London, May stated that the act of terror can be attributed to the existence of “safe spaces” on the ... Read More »

USPS Supervisors Indicted for Stealing Marijuana Shipments

A recent federal indictment charged three U.S. Postal employees for stealing packages of marijuana from the mail stream. According to the indictment, the three USPS employees stole the packages for resale. They then sold the packages to a fourth conspirator who sold the marijuana throughout Ohio. The Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, David A. Sierleja, said ... Read More »

Chemical Love Leader Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

In April 2016, German law enforcement raided a cellar in Rülzheim and several locations in Baden-Württemberg. The media caught on and asked questions. Investigators then reported that the arrests pertained to a group behind “Germany’s biggest illegal web shop for narcotics.” Now the entire group in the Chemical Love case received sentences, save for one. Chemical Love was, as prosecutors ... Read More »

Extortion Suspect Walks Free After Forgetting Phone Password

A set of contradictory court decisions with an impact on digital privacy confused a portion of the nation and possibly the world on May 30. One Florida circuit court judge jailed a man after he gave investigators a passcode that failed to unlock his phone. Another Florida circuit court judge let a defendant walk after he explained that he forgot ... Read More »

Fundamental security flaws in USB

USB or Universal Serial Bus was not designed with security in mind. Windows, Linux and OS X basically trust anything plugged in USB port. If a hacker has a very short, but private session with your laptop, this attack vector becomes very feasible. Before actual security threats, let’s analyze how USB works in general. Every USB device has a controller ... Read More »

Kansas Pizza Shop Owner Indicted for Meth Trafficking

In June, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall announced a 35-count indictment that accused a pizza shop owner in Topeka of drug distribution. The shop owner, along with nine co-defendants, used the shop as a front for methamphetamine distribution, the indictment outlined. Adolfo Barragan-Rodriguez, owner of Pronto Pizza in Topeka, Kansas, used the restaurant as a base of operations. From within the ... Read More »

Brave: Changing the Online Advertisement Industry

The world of online advertisement is a messy one. Between fraudulent and intrusive ads, ad blockers, adblocker-blockers, etc., it’s pretty hard to understand what exactly is going on, or what needs fixing. One thing has always been clear though, that the end user is getting the worst part of it all. Often times, users are either forced to deal with ... Read More »