Review Category : Security News

British Intelligence Agency MI6 Recruiting Spies Through Online Quizzes

bondThe British intelligence agency, MI6, is now using an internet quiz to help find appropriate recruits. When users visit the MI6 site they are given a small quiz and after answering the quiz, they are offered the opportunity to apply to MI6. The quiz has no bearing as far as the application itself goes but it does however let the user know if they may be the type of person that the Secret Intelligence Service is looking for.

MI6 is doing this partly to shake its public school and Oxbridge image. The multiple choice test is part of a recruitment drive launched this week by the Secret Intelligence Service. The site also offers multiple career opportunities ranging from language specialists to administrative assistants and technology experts. There are even segments of the application that deal with equal opportunity employment, encouraging people to describe their ethnicity sexuality and any disabilities.

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States Argue About Tracking Domestic Abuse With GPS

217-suicidalMany states are deliberating whether or not it would be worth-while for them to use GPS tracking systems to monitor the whereabouts of domestic violence offenders who have orders of protection against them. It has been argued by many state governments that often these orders of protection are violated thus resulting in the deaths of many victims.

On the other hand, some lawmakers argue that the GPS systems are likely to help in some cases, but not all. They also argue that the GPS systems would come at a significant cost to tax payers. Furthermore, some states argue that because of these high costs, the thought of using this new technology is simply a delusion of grandeur. Meanwhile countless numbers of abused women have been relating stories of the protection orders being violated by their ex-partners. In one tragic case, a woman named Leigh Ann Olson told the story of how her ex-husband violated his protection order and fatally shot their five year old daughter Makayla, before shooting himself.

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GPS Leads Seattle Police to Catch Suspect Just Hours After Murder

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Federal Way Transit Center

Last week in Seattle, law enforcement used the GPS feature installed in most cellphones to track a murder suspect as he fled from the scene at the Federal Way Transit Center. Merlin Bell was suspected of shooting and killing Devon Winston Parks. Witnesses told police that they had seen Bell speaking with Parks before the shooting and then identified Bell as the shooter.

Police were able to obtain Bell’s cellphone number and worked with T-mobile to track his cellphone while the police searched for him. Soon after the shooting a police dog found Bell hiding behind a bush with a revolver hidden nearby. Furthermore, police were able to identify Bell in an MTA surveillance camera shooting. Police say that the surveillance footage reveals that the victim has been in a defensive position. Overall, the insurmountable evidence presented against Bell was enough to put him behind bars under second-degree murder charges.

This story is another example of how A-GPS technology, now common in most cell phones, is helping law enforcement do their jobs more efficiently. It’s becoming very clear that GPS, combined with the CCTV surveillance cameras installed in many transportation systems are helping the authorities bring in dangerous criminals at a faster pace than ever before possible.

(Via Seatlle 911)

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Russian Spammers Target Macs With Computer Virus

macvirusA group of Russian spammers paid hackers 43 cents for each Mac computer infected with a virus, showing that Macs have become a target for the spammers.

Sophos researcher Dmitry Samosseiko explains that this Russian spamming mob,  “The Partnerka,” collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from infecting computers with malware or what he calls “scareware.” A portion of this group is directing their efforts at Macs.

“Mac users are not immune to the scareware threat,” said Samosseiko in the research paper that he released at the Virus Bulletin 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland. “In fact, there are ‘codec-partnerka’ dedicated to the sale and promotion of fake Mac software.”

Hackers are offering 43 cents for each malicious install on Macs.

“The growing evidence of financially-motivated criminals looking at Apple Macs as well as Windows as a market for their activities, is not good news — especially as so many Mac users currently have no anti-malware protection in place at all,” said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at U.K-based Sophos, in a blog entry Thursday.

Although rare, Mac threats do exist and should be explored by Apple. Until then, be careful what you click on.

(Via ComputerWorld.com)

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Thieving Don Juan Targets Online Daters

onlinedatingA 34-year-old woman’s date with an online suitor turned tragically sour when a local officer decided to run her date’s license plates during a routine traffic stop. Apparently, her date not only took the women out in a stolen car, but he was also wanted in conjunction with a string of robberies across the U.S. Talk about a great first impression.

The thieving Don Juan meets women through the online dating site BlackPlanet.com, takes them out, then robs them blind.

“He has ties to Florida, Kansas and Oklahoma,” Sargent Martinez of the Orem, Utah Police said. “We don’t know how long he’s been up to this stuff or how many potential victims we have.”

The contraband and the car were seized and traced to a woman in Idaho. As if dating wasn’t hard enough, online daters now need to look out for someone like this guy. The 33-year-old thief will probably be extradited to Idaho where he will face robbery charges.

(Via Deseret News)

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Rambo Rabbi Teaches Synagogues Self Defense

clip_image002.jpgIn the wake of a recent planned attack on a synagogue in New York City, one former NYC cop is offering rabbis a new way to protect themselves and their worshipers. Rabbi Gary Moscowitz is teaching his peers everything from martial arts to gun handling.

“Our idea is you can’t be spiritual if you’re dead. You have to be able to fight back to live another day,” martial arts expert Stuart Rosenberg said.

Moscowitz explains that teaching rabbis these skills is “an insurance policy. I hope it never has to go into effect.” To further his cause and to spread his doctrine of safety, he’s pushing state lawmakers to allow at least five people at houses of worship to carry guns. He claims that anyone could walk into a synagogue with a machine gun, giving unarmed worshipers no chance to protect themselves unless they know some self defense tactics.

“God forbid and God save us that someone would try to attack us. Why not let us know the skill in advance and be prepared just in case,” said Rabbi Mordechai Hecht.

For Moscowitz’s 100-hour training synagogue self defense sessions it’ll cost you $1,000.

(Via New York Post)

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Action Movie Style Thieves Rob Swedes Blind

robbersIn a scene straight out of an action movie, a helicopter filled with thieves touched down on top of a building for a robbery while cops were left helpless.

Landing on top of a warehouse that stored cash awaiting distribution to ATMs across Sweden, thieves lowered down on ropes onto the roof of the building. Using explosives, they blasted their way into the building where they grabbed the cash. Police, waiting for the SWAT team to arrive, stood helplessly at the lower level of the building. As the thieves were packing up their loot, police discovered a package labeled “bomb” lying next to the helicopter. Deciding that the risk was too great, police stood by while the robbers retreated to the sky.

The helicopter was later found with no sign of the robbers or the cash. The Swedish police are offering seven million Kronor – about 1 million dollars for information regarding these airborn crooks.

(Via CBS News)

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Terrorist Attack Foiled Thanks to FBI Chatroom Sting

smadiA terror suspect accused of the attempted bombing of a Dallas skyscraper was arrested Thursday in a FBI sting operation. Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the accused 19-year-old Jordanian, planned to blow up a vehicle at the base of the iconic 60-story Fountain Place office tower.

The FBI had been monitoring Smadi’s activity through an extremist chat site where the FBI stated that “Among many others in the group who espoused and endorsed violence, Smadi stood out, based on his vehement intention to actually conduct terror attacks in the United States.”

FBI agents then posed as members of an al Qaeda sleeper cell contacted Smadi to determine the probability that he would actually go through with a full blown terror attack. After months of talks, the FBI determined that Smadi was both capable and committed to a violent jihad against the United States. Smadi described himself as a soldier for Osama bin Laden.

FBI agents provided Smadi with a dummy explosive that he drove into the parking garage under the skyscraper and attempted to activate the bomb by dialing a number on his cell phone. The number belonged to an undercover FBI agent and when the cell phone rang, that’s when FBI agents moved in and arrested Smadi.

Charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, Smadi faces either death or life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

(Via CNN)

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Thief Shoves Stolen Sword Down His Pants As He Smiles for the Camera

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Lieutenant Robert Septimus Grenfell

Police are currently looking for the thief who stole a 100-year-old sword from St. Mary and All Saints’ Church in Beaconsfield in the U.K.. The thief stole the sword, shoved it down his pants and then smiled at the church’s surveillance camera before he left.

The sword originally belonged to 23-year-old Lieutenant Robert Septimus Grenfell who used the sword 100 years ago at the Battle of Khartoum in 1898, during which he died.

“It’s of great historic relevance as this is the sword Lt. Grenfell was using when he was killed” stated Churchwarden Peter Sanders.

Sanders also stated that he believed that whoever stole the sword, most probably plans to sell it. Money from the collection box was also taken during the break-in.

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Phishing Scam Spreading Through Twitter Direct Messages

twitterUsers of the social networking website Twitter have yet another virus to fear. According to these latest reports, there is a new worm related to a phishing scam floating around Twitter and it’s using the system’s direct messages to spread.

An already compromised account will send a direct message to another account with a body similar to:

“rofl this you on here? http://videos.twitter.secure-logins01.com.”

Once users click on the link they are asked to submit their information via a fake Twitter login page. And, once they’ve entered their login information, hackers use the compromised account to send a fresh batch of messages to all of the person’s Twitter followers. By luring unsuspecting users with “rofl is this you?” promises of a funny picture, victims are inclined to click on the fake link and thus subject themselves to the phishing virus.

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