Review Category : Security News

Abducted Child Jaycee Lee Dugard Found Alive, 18 Years Later

jayceeleeToday, after 18 years missing, abducted child Jaycee Lee Dugard walked into a local California police station.

Dugard was last seen walking to her school bus stop in Lake Tahoe on June 10, 1991 where she was grabbed by an abductor.  Dugard’s stepfather witnessed the abduction and heard the child scream before being forced into a vehicle, which prompted a statewide manhunt for the young missing girl.

Today, 18 years later, a woman claiming to be Jaycee Lee Dugard walked into a California police station. The woman, now 29, was interviewed by the FBI and the Dugard family, who is now convinced that this woman really is the little Jaycee Lee Dugard they lost 18 years ago.

“I had personally given up hope,” stepfather Carl Probyn told press. “I had just hoped for a recovery” and to find the people responsible. Instead, he said, “I’ve actually won the lotto.”

Authorities have been unable to confirm whether or not this woman is the true Jaycee Lee Dugard but have planned a press conference for 6 p.m. ET. Two suspects are in custody: Phillip and Nancy Garrido, two residents of Concord, California.

Jaycee’s stepfather states, “She sounds like she’s okay,” he said. “She had a conversation with my wife and she remembers things. I hope she’s been well treated this entire 18 years.”

Authorities are waiting on DNA before confirming whether this woman is really Jaycee Lee Dugard.

(Via ABC News)

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Detectives use YouTube to Solve Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge Burglaries

lindsay-break-in-photoThe homes of both Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge were recently broken into. Now both actresses are turning to the internet to help bring those who are responsible to justice. First, Patridge posted a surveillance video from her home security system onto her website for others to view. Then the LAPD went ahead and posted the surveillance video from Lohan’s house on Youtube in hopes that someone would recognize the perpetrators. With both of these videos on the internet, police were able to compare the two and as a result there are now suspicions that the burglaries may be related. The police believe that the people shown in Lohan’s security video and those shown in Patridge’s video are one and the same. Aside from possibly having the same suspects the two cases share other similarities.

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Lawsuit Tries To Attack Hackers Through Their Victims

lock-compIn the never-ending war against shadowy Internet criminals, gangs based in Eastern Europe that electronically break into business computers, steal banking passwords, and transfer the money are a particularly dangerous and mysterious group. With their methods, they are hard enough to defeat as is, but they are also being accidentally aided in their actions through an unlikely source.

A lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against this group of hackers by Unspam Technologies, an organization that gathers volunteers to discover information about spammers and other online rogues. In a refreshing bit of honesty, the lawyer for Unspam, Jon L. Praed, admits it is very unlikely the company will ever discover the name of these hackers. He claims instead that the purpose of the suit is to obtain the details of the thefts, the names of victims and other information from the compromised  computers in an attempt to increase security. The banks that have been affected by hackers are usually very reclusive in cases like these, therefore inadvertently aiding the hackers. By forcing the banks to give up information, Praed believes that security can be improved and the hackers can possibly be discovered.

Mr. Praed, who is head of the Internet Law Group in Arlington Virginia, has successfully used these “John Doe” suits (so called because the unnamed defendant is identified only as John Doe), to get information from third parties that can be passed to law enforcement and then used on civil suits to go after the main party. Back in 2007, Praed helped Unspam file a suit for the purpose of gathering info on illegal Internet pharmacies and their supporters, though its results are unknown.

“This lawsuit is intended to provide all those being victimized by this massive criminal enterprise the opportunity to come together to gather the data we need to fix the problem at a systems level,” Mr. Praed said.

While it seems that Praed believes he is fighting the good fight, banks may fight back against his subpoenas, even if they’re getting hurt by these hackers.

Banks do not want to get involved in these lawsuits and cases for a number of reasons. They argue that it’s a poor idea to publicize the techniques used by criminals in fraud cases or those meant to thwart them. Wit more information out in the open, it may only lead to more fraud attempts. Banks also want to keep these cases quiet to preserve the confidence and confidentiality of their customers.

“Banks are not the perpetrators of these crimes, and banks are spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars of industry dollars trying to prevent those acts from taking place,” said Scott H. Frewing, a partner at the Baker & McKenzie law firm, which represents major banks. “The use of John Doe lawsuits to draw them into a civil litigation fight just raises the cost on the banks in a way that the courts may not sanction.”

Mr. Praed said that he hoped his John Doe lawsuit would encourage banks to improve their electronic defenses. “Unless we want to go back to putting our money in a mattress, more needs to be done.”

(Via New York Times)

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Nigeria's Online Scammers Pressing On Through The Economic Slump

cc-thief“We are working harder. The financial crisis is not making it easy for them over there,” said Banjo, 24, speaking about Americans, whose trust he has won and whose money he has stolen.

U.S. authorities say Americans lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year to cybercrime, with one of the biggest schemes known as the Nigerian 419 fraud. According to Nigerian scammers, Americans are the easiest prey for their schemes, and in the struggling economy, these victims are falling even more easily for their offers of riches. Americans are exercising less caution when they should be exercising more.

Statistics from the FBI-backed Internet Crime Complaint Center say that scam reports by Americans shot up 33 percent last year, and that after the United States and Britain, Nigeria housed the most perpetrators. The scammers are celebrated in Nigerian popular culture, and even have songs celebrating them. These men see their actions as a path to fortune and means to level the playing field and punish those seen as too greedy. They think of themselves as modern day Robin Hoods.

“I’m selling greed,” said Felix, 29, an e-mail swindler. “You didn’t apply for any lotto, and all of a sudden you just see an e- mail in your mailbox that you’re going to win money? That means you have to be greedy.”

The 419 e-mails are clinical and yet depressing in how they work and their effectiveness, with some promising wealth in the form of jewels and then requiring victims to wire “fees” to guarantee the deal, and others luring investors into venture opportunities that cost millions before they’re revealed as fake. These schemes take advantage of desperate people, and are very good at doing so.

Scammers use tools such as formats for letters and accounts that send e-mails in bulk. It is a lucrative field, and Felix claims he has made $30,000 in his best months and blows it on clothes and Don Perignon, though he complains about proceeds being down 40 percent with the economy. Apparently, he sees no connection between the greed he displays in his life as a scammer and the “greed” he is selling in his mail.

The problem of scamming began in the 1980′s when jobless young Nigerians were inspired by news reports about corrupt politicians funneling oil proceeds to foreign bank accounts. The Nigerian government insists that they crack down on 419 perpetrators and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says these cases made up 45 percent of its prosecutions from 2003 to 2006. Scammers are frequently nailed in cybercafe raids.

Despite online victim support groups, the U.S. embassy, and bank and money-transfer-agency websites that display warnings about these scams, people continue to carelessly give out their financial information.

“There is another thing scammers always say in Nigeria,” Banjo said, “that every day, another maga (sucker) is born in America.”

(Via The Washington Post)

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Ted Kennedy Dead At 77, Career of Servitude Studded with Tragedy, Scandal

tedkennedyTed Kennedy, 77,  died of brain cancer Tuesday night in his Cape Cod, Massachusetts home. An American legend, he is remembered through a career of both service and scandal.

“An important chapter in our history has come to an end,” President Barack Obama said in a written statement. “Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time.”

The youngest of the Kennedy family, Ted Kennedy was a liberal democrat who served four decades in the Senate and whose accomplishments include progress in education, health care, voting rights and minimum wage. Kennedy also worked hand-in-hand with Republicans to pass milestone legislation in these areas of concern.

Stalked by tragedy, the Kennedy family has been particularly affected by their political standing. Starting with the death of Joseph Jr. who died in an airplane crash in World War II, followed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1960, and ending with the assassination of  Robert Kennedy  in 1968 while on campaign, the Kennedy family has not be spared tragedy.  Even Ted Kennedy’s career was shadowed by scandal when he drove a car into a pond that killed his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a former aid to Robert Kennedy.

But what Americans are really remembering is Ted Kennedy’s legacy of service to the American people.  President Obama hopes that “the torch will be passed to a new generation of Americans,” he said. “The hope rises again and the dream lives on.”

Ted Kennedy had been fighting brain cancer, after he was diagnosed last year. He is remembered by his family as well as the American people for his lifelong service to this country.

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ATM Skimmers Scare Virginia Beach Locals

suspectsIn Virginia Beach authorities are investigating an ATM scam that has stolen the financial information of more than 25 people. The secret service, Virginia beach police, network news, and Richmond have all come together in order to stop these attacks from happening. The thieves, a man and woman, were seen on a bank security system placing a magnetic scanning device that would scan the information of any card used at the machine.

There has been at least one victim who has come forth and complained of receiving fraudulent charges. Officials have located an ATM skimming device at a Virginia Beach Wachovia Bank. According to Virginia beach officer Jim Barnes,  the police have discovered other skimming devices but were reluctant to reveal the number of devices found.

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Town in Maine Looks to Roll Out Robust Surveillance System

lincolnFor years low officials in the town of Lincoln, Maine, have been trying to get security cameras up and running so that they may be able to better keep track of crime.

Councilor Stephen Clay said “There was just a lot of vandalism. We wanted a way to be able to see the vandalism take place, know who did it. So that’s how it all started.”

But recently these cameras have been running into a bit of a snag. As many devices in the area also use wireless networks this sometimes interferes with the cameras signal and makes it so that the camera shuts down and has to be reset from the government building. This is a problem for crimes that occur during the night. If the camera were to go out at 2AM and no one was there to reset it then anything could happen in that alley way and no one would be the wiser.

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Worst Security Week Ever for Lindsay Lohan

lohan-cryingFamed actress Lindsay Lohan went ballistic in a New York deli after leaving her phone there by mistake. Lohan had walked into Mott Corner Deli and after buying a few things, she walked out of the store without realizing that she had left her precious phone behind. Once Lohan realized what she had done, she immediately walked back into the store demanding her cell phone be returned.

One of the deli workers insisted that they review the security tapes in order to verify that she had left the phone. Lohan was infuriated by the fact that the deli owner would not simply return the phone to her. It had gotten to the point that she had to involve the NYPD. According to police records the call was made at around 7:30 pm, but by the time the police had arrived at the scene the issue had already been resolved.

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Lindsay Lohan's Home Gets Burglarized, Again

lindsay-lohanActress Lindsay Lohan has had her home in Hollywood Hills Los Angeles, burglarized. It has been reported that besides a safe that had been ripped out of the wall, only a few watches were missing. The Los Angeles police have made no official arrest and are still investigating the house. Lindsey Lohan’s father Michael Lohan said he believed it was an “inside job” as the house alarm systems were left off the night of the robbery.

The celebrity news website TMZ also sited an unidentified source that stated three men were seen on the security cameras breaking into Lohan’s home. Luckily the actress was not home at the time and no one was hurt during the burglary. According to Diana Lohan, Lindsay’s mother, they discovered that the front door was off the hinges and that its handles had been removed.

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Court Rules Against GPS Devices for Sex Offenders

115-0_62_gps_320A Massachusetts court ruled today that sex offenders convicted before 2006 could not be forced to wear GPS monitoring devices. The court ruled that retroactively forcing sex offenders to wear the tracking devices violates state and federal constitutions.Vice president of Community Voices, Debbie Savoia, described the ruling as a “slap in the face” to sex crime victims as well as a threat to public safety.

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