Snapchat Conman Busted

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Dubai Police Arrest Conman

Cristal M Clark

Dubai has one of the most successful police forces in the world closing just about every single case they come across with professionalism and a relentless pursuit of justice. I have long admired them for how meticulous they are.

That should, one would think give anyone pause when attempting to break the law while in Dubai but then again, we can always count on one moron to blatantly break the law.

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A man in Dubai created 5 fake Snapchat accounts with women’s names in an effort to trick young people into sending him money and gifts to him, which some 50 or so did.

The suspect had been committing fraud for 2 years, until a girl whose picture he had used for the accounts, reported the incident through an e-crime platform.

Developing programs to upload pictures, speak with victims, and then fostering romantic relationships by pretending to be a woman of course.

Brigadier Jamal al-Jallaf, director of Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police; “The man has a decent job and salary but he wanted to get more money and take advantage of social media platforms by posing as women on Snapchat to lure youngsters.”

Sometimes having a decent job just isn’t good enough I suppose, greed can be such a foolish friend.

The unnamed man is currently awaiting his hearing for the offenses. Unfortunately, this type of crime happens every day, everywhere once finds dating apps and websites, social media, it’s virtually everywhere and it’s not just men pretending to be women, it’s men befriending women pretending to be romantically interested just to get money and gifts.

It’s always a good idea to exercise some measure of caution when online and never send money or gifts to anyone in any online platform.

Cristal M Clark

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Ice Getting a Little Help from IC Thanks to Donald Trump

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United States Intelligence Community Helping Bust Illegals

Cristal M Clark

It appears that the White House made a pretty quiet move last year at some point according to David Glawe, DHS’ undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, who wrote a letter to Congress late last year. In his letter to Congress, David sheds new light on ICE’s relationship with the 17 U.S. government organizations that collect and analyze intelligence, known collectively as the Intelligence Community or IC.

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Now some are voicing serious concerns over the matter after David detailed his work to reorganize the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), the component of DHS that belongs to the IC. David has prioritized this effort which has frustrated some career officials in the office. As part of that reorganization, the branch of the office that focused on domestic terrorism was eliminated. David said this change has not hindered DHS’ ability to prevent domestic terror attacks but multiple sources at DHS told The Daily Beast the change does in fact concern them.

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In the letter, David writes that cooperation between I&A and ICE has grown; “As a result of this realignment, as well as our ongoing efforts to integrate DHS field and functional intelligence activities into a fully synchronized and cohesive enterprise; I&A is providing improved and enhanced intelligence capabilities to DHS components, including ICE and CBP, as well as the interagency. These capabilities include collection, reporting, and analysis to support a DHS enterprise that fuses intelligence into operational functions, disciplines, and activities to inform actions that neutralize threats to the homeland. The cumulative impact of these efforts are more focused and integrated intelligence capabilities and products which meet customer requirements.”

We all know that when you read the word “Collection” that given our past history in this country with collection methods, that the word tends to generate concern among civil liberties advocates as well as others.

Still the same, in the world we live in today our information is collected, stolen and/or sold by ill-gotten groups and individuals at a rate much faster than the NSA can obtain then subsequently lose it. So, I am not entirely sure why anyone would be concerned over our own Government working together to collect intel on individuals seeking entry into the United States as well as those that are known to help those individuals.

The entire argument against it is quite frankly absurd, unless you live completely off the grid, a plethora of intel is readily available to just about anyone willing to pay for it.

Cristal M Clark

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Chicago Serial Killer Problems

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Does Chicago Have a Serial Killer on Her Hands?

Cristal M Clark

Chicago has had a small problem with women vanishing since around 2001 only to be found murdered, strangled and stuffed in garbage cans or left in alleyways, each murder similar which has been well documented through the years yet, Chicago Police had been reluctant to suggest let alone investigate the possibility that they may just have a serial killer on their hands.

That is in fact, about to change as Chicago police have announced that they are finally investigating the deaths, primarily of sex workers, as the work of a potential serial killer, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

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This comes after years of pressure from activists and groups like the Murder Accountability Project, “I believe there are probably more than one serial killer active in Chicago,” Thomas Hargrove, founder of the Murder Accountability Project.

Thomas is not wrong, the killer or killers in this case look for and prey on the easily forgotten, those that are less likely to be missed by someone which is part of the reason this particular killer or killers have gotten away with it for so long.

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According to the Sun-Times, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday night at a board meeting that his department has launched a review into the murders, although he doesn’t believe there’s enough evidence to suggest it’s a serial killer at work. Which is funny considering that the Murder Accountability Project, has been doing all of the leg work here and has investigated the unsolved murders of at least 51 women.  

7 of the women were found in garbage receptacles, 2 were killed within days of each other back in November of 2007 and found dead in burning trash cans in the same park. Many of the murdered women were found on the south and west sides of Chicago, and almost all were black. Some of the women were raped and beaten.

What’s more is that 75 Chicago women have been killed in a similar fashion strangled or smothered and left to die in public since 2001, according to an analysis done by the Tribune. Of those murders, 25 cases were closed, resulting in the arrests of 13 men. In some instances, police never interviewed people in the neighborhoods near the killings or friends of the victims.

An unnamed man told the Tribune when asked about the murder of Velma Howard, a woman found dead on his block in 2014,“They just picked the body up and left.”

It’s important to understand here that the Chicago police have never had a stellar relationship with the very people they have sworn to protect and serve. Rather than protect and serve many have been caught abusing the laws they have sworn to uphold and abused, beat, tortured and tormented suspects, innocent people and bystanders. So it is no surprise that they failed at investigating the murders of so many of these women.

When you sleep at the wheel you miss your mark and that mark is finding the killer or killers of these women. These police blatantly made the choice not to look into these murders for so long it would not come as a total surprise to learn that evidence was lost, mishandled, destroyed and not even collected to begin with.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson doesn’t think they have a serial killer and that could very well be simply because the police failed so many times in Chicago to do it’s actual job and that was to investigate each one of these murders as if the women actually mattered.

Cristal M Clark

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Uber Driver Robbing Passengers

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More Woes for Uber

Cristal M Clark

Uber just cannot seem to stay out of the news and by news, I mean bad news. In the past several years Uber and Uber Eats drivers have faced a plethora of charges, from assault, rape, to attempted murder and more recently the news has reported in detail just how easy it is for someone to print out an Uber logo and pretend to be an Uber driver. I actually saw this recently although the individual who had the fake Uber sticker in his window didn’t quite cut it out like a professional, it honestly looked like a 5-year-old did the work and the guy was smoking whilst driving. A pretty clear indication he was not in fact, a driver for Uber.

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Straight off the wire today Police in San Mateo, California, have arrested 38-year-old Jackie Gordon Wilson, who allegedly dropped off his Uber Passengers at the airport then went back to their home to rob them blind.

What an ahole.

Surveillance footage from a doorbell camera showed a man approaching the front door on Thursday, then walking away from the house. Police say he was chased off when the security alarm went off.

But that was clearly not enough to make him stop trying to rob anyone because he was later caught on camera breaking into another home a few blocks away. The house was ransacked and a number of items had been stolen.

Jackie spent 4 hours, yes 4 hours ransacking the home and was seen on video taking bag after bag of valuables, including heirlooms that had been saved during the Holocaust.

The victim just so happened to post video of the burglary online and the other homeowner saw it and showed it to his former guests who recognized the man as their Uber driver.

During his arrest, some of the stolen property was found in his home as well as the clothes he was seen wearing in the videos.

Jackie was charged with first degree burglary, attempted first degree burglary, and resisting arrest.

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What is really shocking about this, is that many of the ride shares around share the same drivers so how is it that Lyft is not experiencing the same issues as Uber does? Uber seemingly has an unprecedented number of claims surrounding the service such as fake drivers, raping and killing women, violent prone drivers they supposedly background check to attempting to murder those that forgo a tip.

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Uber not only has a bad reputation for passengers a quick Google search shows just how tarnished that reputation is with its drivers so it would be a fair assumption to believe that Uber is not able to attract the right kind of driver like other ride shares do, you know drivers who are not in the business of robbery, raping or killing.

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Quite Simply put, Uber needs to do a lot more in an effort to protect it’s passengers and they are clearly not willing to step up to the plate yet.

Cristal M Clark

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Flame Malware – I’m Back

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Stuxnet, Flame Malware Making a Comeback

Cristal M Clark

Flame malware, also known as Flamer, sKyWIper, and Skywiper, is modular computer malware that attacked computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. The program was used for targeted cyber espionage in Middle Eastern countries. It was once what researchers referred to as a sophisticated little gem of malware, created as nation-state spy tools, once outed by Kaspersky Labs, it was quickly and quietly shuttered and forgotten about, until now.

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It is believed to have been created by Israel, Flame was the first modular spy platform discovered in the wild, it came with multiple plug-ins that could be swapped out according to whatever tools were needed for each victim.

It had a lot of capability that was unique at the time it was discovered, and also used a highly sophisticated technique for spreading.

The attackers tricked Microsoft into issuing them a legitimate Microsoft certificate, which they then used to sign their malicious files. Then they subverted the trusted Windows Update mechanism, through which Microsoft distributes patches and software upgrades to customers, to deliver those malicious files to targeted victims instead, doing so in a way that made it look like they came from Microsoft’s server.

The attackers also managed a fleet of 80 command-and-control domains to communicate with infected machines then they faked Flame’s death back in May 2012, pushing out a kill module to infected machines and closing shop on the command-and-control servers.

Most researchers thought that the creators in a panic just shut things down but are not realizing that it may never have been truly shut down, just ehhh more or less running in the background unbeknownst to virtually everyone in the security world.

The original Flame attacked systems in Iran as well as other parts of the Middle East it would do things such as turn on the internal microphone of an infected machine to record conversations the user conducted near the computer or over Skype or, using the infected computer’s Bluetooth functionality, scan for other Bluetooth-enabled devices in the vicinity, such as a mobile phone, and siphon the contacts folder from it.

Great little piece of spyware honestly.

The attackers appear to have re-tooled their little spy kit and added strong encryption to make it harder to detect and reverse engineer according to researchers at Alphabet’s Chronicle Security labs who discovered that a new version of Flame appeared in 2014 (the original was back in 2012), and likely remained active until 2016 and beyond, giving them just enough time to steal and deploy whatever they would like.

Juan-Andres Guerrero-Saade, one of the Chronicle security researchers who made the discovery; “Nobody ever expected to see Flame again. We figured it was too old and expensive for the attackers to waste time retooling rather than just build a whole new platform.”

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Juan-Andres did not just stop with that either, he went on to explain that he and his team also found evidence that Stuxnet, you know the virus/worm created by the US and Israel to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program in 2007, but ended up infecting virtually every PC in the US as well as globaly, has connections to another malware family known as Flowershop.

Oh Flowershop, Flowershop was operating as early as 2002, several years before Stuxnet was developed, and it appears that some of Flowershop’s code made it into a Stuxnet component, which if true means that a fourth team or group of individuals were part of America’s first Cyberwar campaign, the development of Stuxnet. What’s more is that researchers have in fact, previously found connections between Stuxnet and Flame and between Stuxnet and two other malware families known as Duqu and the Equation Group, the latter a group of tools attributed to the NSA.

The new discovery has baffled researchers who still do not have a full understanding into the full capabilities of Stuxnet and Flame, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what the creators of Flame might be up to these days, one thing is for certain, they do not plan on stopping anytime soon.

Cristal M Clark

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Uganda Trolls Trump

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Trump Demands Uganda Take Action?

 

Cristal M Clark

 

You have to hand it to Uganda for such a brilliant response to Donald Trump’s morning tweet, in it Trump suggested: “must find the kidnappers of freed American tourist and her tour guide before people will feel safe visiting the country.”

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Kimberly Sue Endicott and safari guide Jean Paul Mirenge Remezo, were seized in a national park in southwestern Uganda last week and were subsequently freed over the weekend, Trump strongly suggested that the kidnappers must be brought to justice “openly and quickly.”

And the reports surrounding the ransom are conflicting over whether a ransom was even paid for the pair’s release. Ugandan police said Monday they could not provide specific details on how the rescue mission was accomplished “for future operational security and tactical reasons.”

The New York Times reported Monday that Endicott and Remezo were freed after an unspecified ransom was paid, citing officials with Wild Frontiers, the safari company with which they were traveling.

The kidnappers had demanded a $500,000 ransom after grabbing Endicott and Remezo from among a group of tourists on an evening game drive April 2 at the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ugandan police said.

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And to put the Don in place spokesman for the Ugandan government, Ofwono Opondo P’Odel, responded with a key fact with regards to the United States: “there are more gun deaths in the #US than kidnappings in Uganda but people still flock to the United States.”

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I have to take a moment an applaud Ofwono Opondo P’Odel here, way to serve the Don and place his own little foot into his pie hole.

Cristal M Clark

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Tax Season Headaches and Malware Campaigns

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Cybercriminals Aim to Spoof Accounting & Payroll Firms This Tax Season

Cristal M Clark

This should not come as a total surprise to anyone, cybercriminals are aiming high this tax season by going after some pretty major accounting and payroll firms along with your hard-earned cash or tax return.

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The deadline for filing taxes in the US is April 15 but as luck would have it, tax season just so happens to start for some well before that and well beyond that despised date here in the US. For many businesses, they actually prepare employee tax information i.e. 1099’s and W-2’s back in January of each year. Which in turn gives cybercriminals a wee jump start on launching campaigns in the hopes of robbing individuals and businesses in their tax fraud, financial fraud and identity theft schemes.

Not all that uncommon of a practice for cybercriminals, this year they just decided to go after accounting and payroll firms, thus branching out from businesses and individual tax payers. IBM X-Force researchers found 3 campaigns were attempting to deceive recipients into believing they were emailed by large accounting, tax and/or payroll services firm which carried malicious Microsoft Excel attachments with a payload familiar to us as one of the most common and effective banking Trojans: TrickBot.

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TrickBot for those who unfamiliar, is financial malware that silently infects devices for the primary purpose of stealing valuable data such as banking credentials, then follows up with wire fraud from the device owner’s account. Should your computer become infected with TrickBot, the cybercriminals operating it would then have complete control and could do virtually anything that they wish on your device, including spreading to other computers on your network and emptying your company’s bank accounts, potentially costing millions of dollars to an employer and to any firms that they are working with.

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Cybercriminals are becoming more and more brazen in their efforts to rob just about anyone and everyone that they can and legally, catching them is more difficult as each year passes because these guys learn from the mistakes of others and often times step up efforts to mask who and where they are operating from.

From an end user perspective, it’s often difficult to tell what’s real and what is not in terms of what emails are coming through, I usually advise everyone to not click on things from anyone you do not know and even if what might be sitting in your email appears to be from a known sender, if they do not email you or send links, invoices, etc, don’t click on it and report the suspicious email to the known senders company, keep your security software up to date, and report anything suspicious, ask questions, look it up online the point is, educate yourself.

Gone are the days that we can rely on the news or the government to keep us informed about every malware campaign coming at us simply because of the sheer volume of them.

Stay vigilant my friends.

Cristal M Clark

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Poacher Killed Devoured by Locals

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Poacher Killed then Eaten

Cristal M Clark

In a turn of the tables here, a would be poacher was out doing what a would be poacher does when a sweet loving elephant trampled him, killed him then he was promptly eaten by hungry lions. This is really in all reality a case of wildlife gaining a rather extraordinary upper hand and turning the tables on the hunter who kills for fun.

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I never understood the fun in killing something just for the hell of it, they kill just to be able to say they hunted and murdered something they just want to post pictures of, dead on social media and in the case of a poacher, they kill to harvest things like a rhinos horn.

According to news reports coming out of Kruger National Park, South Africa, “Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after the suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions.”

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I’m guessing the wildlife in the area could care less about posting posed pictures of their human kill on Facebook, posing his rotting dead corpse for the world to see as if it were a trophy, they’d rather eat the guy and shocking these animals are not harvesting any part of the guy as an aphrodisiac. 

The poacher entered the park with four others and the purpose was to poach rhinos when things went a little sideways for the poacher.  

In case you were wondering, the African rhino is targeted for its horn because of the belief among some who practice Eastern medicine, the horn has benefits as an aphrodisiac, making it more valuable than cocaine in parts of the world.

“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants.”

Of the others, well the four individuals who joined the illegal hunt were arrested Wednesday by the South African Police Service, and officers continue to investigate what happened.

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Kruger National Park is considered an intensive protection zone, and the government employs a range of resources to deter poaching, including aircraft, dogs, special rangers and an environmental crime investigation unit but do they really need all of that when the wildlife in the park tends to take matters into its own hands?

Cristal M Clark

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Trump Makes Insane Threat

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Shut US-Mexico Border

Cristal M Clark

Actually, this is one of the smartest things Trump has ever suggested although it is not the first time he has suggested shutting the US-Mexico border. Today, President Donald Trump threatened to seal the US-Mexican border, claiming in a tweet that America’s southern neighbor is allowing illegal immigrants to cross unhindered.

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Which, well is actually true for the most part, they are “attempting” to thwart the crossings, and by attempting, it’s more or less half-assed.

“May close the Southern Border!” Trump proclaimed in a tweet today.

“Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action, likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws,” Trump tweeted.

Some say Trump is doubling down on using immigration as his meal ticket into the 2020 election, and winning again. That may or may not be true, the reality is that the United States does not currently have the infrastructure to house the immigrants trying to get into the country, in particular those that are coming in with children.  

And that does not even come close to touching the entirety of immigration issues, we are currently experiencing an influx of pregnant Russian females heading to Florida, while pregnant. They are heading to Florida to give birth so that and their offspring can stay.

If Trump is successful in shutting just the US-Mexico border, it will allow for us to really look at each immigration situation and begin to fix the things that are broken and put a plan together so as to better deal with the each situation and to better support legal immigration build a sustainable infrastructure to support it. This may sound cold but no matter where someone is from, we in the US right now do not have the space, resources or time to allow for pregnant women to give birth in this country and then suddenly because of that, decide the child is an American citizen. That is clearly taking advantage of an outdated and poorly written law and it needs to change.

And, we cannot keep just aimlessly packing people into this country, eventually we will run out of places to house everyone.

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Of course Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rejected Trump’s criticism, “We are doing something on this issue.”

“We are going to help in every way we can. We don’t in any way want a confrontation with the United States,” he said.

But Lopez Obrador said a solution would depend on “fundamentally addressing the causes of migration.” Another option would be for Trump to just suggest an invasion and let the US Military clean things up a bit then we can help the affected re-build a more how shall I say this, civilized society?

The Don is gearing up to win quite a few points because the truth is, even for many who are not part of his base or staunch supporters of Trump do in fact support closing the border and quite a few people that I have interviewed hugely support military action in an effort to stop these large influxes of immigration so that other countries can rebuild safe and more peaceful lives in their respective homelands. It’s not a racist thing at all, it’s a reality that many are seeing. The United States will not be able to sustain supporting so many immigrants and their children for the long term.

No one has to like the reality, it is what it is, liking it or not is not going to change it and disagreeing with it is a form of denial and it is not time we stopped burying our heads on the sand and blindly denying reality?

Cristal M Clark

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