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Florida push to become #bigger player in #cybersecurity comes amid #tough #competition

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Florida push to become #bigger player in #cybersecurity comes amid #tough #competition

Florida probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind in terms of a strong cybersecurity industry. In fact, it has a somewhat insecure reputation — the Sunshine State had the second highest rate for identity theft complaints in 2016, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

But local stakeholders are looking to change that, and Florida is making slow but incremental progress on a few fronts.

“The mission that was given to us is make Florida the leading state in cybersecurity,” said Sri Sridharan, executive director of the Florida Center for Cybersecurity.

The University of South Florida-affiliated center, which is hosting its annual cybersecurity conference Friday, was established by the Florida legislature in 2014 to “position Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity.”

That title comes amid stiff competition. The Northeast and California have deeply established communities for cybersecurity, anchored around schools — such as Johns Hopkins University or Carnegie Mellon University — or natural hubs — government agencies in Washington, D.C., and tech giants in Silicon Valley.

What the state lacks currently, said Sridharan, is a talent pool of mid-career professionals who already have strong training.

But Florida isn’t completely out of this game. Firms such as Tampa-based ReliaQuest have set up shop in the state. IBM, which has a focus on cybersecurity, has an established presence in the state with an office in Tampa. And KnowBe4, a Clearwater-based cybersecurity training firm, announced this week that it received a $30 million investment from Goldman Sachs Growth Equity.

What Florida may have to offer is its large student population and amenable business climate.

Education is the cornerstone of local stakeholders’ efforts to put Florida on the digital security map.

Florida currently has 13 schools that the National Security Agency has designated as centers of academic excellence in cybersecurity education or research. Around 40 cybersecurity-related programs for graduate and undergraduate studies have been implemented in Florida state colleges.

“Students learn cybersecurity very easily,” Sridharan said.

His approach at the Florida Center for Cybersecurity is to get schools and students on board with cyber, and shape the curriculum around what the industry currently wants.

“Will you hire them?” That’s the question Sridharan asked of 18 security employers when USF was shaping its curriculum.

Training the workforce early — as early as kindergarten and grade school — is also a priority.

While the center hosts boot camps for high school students, digital security company ReliaQuest recently set up shop in JA Biztown, a Junior Achievement play city where students take charge for a day to learn economic concepts.

ReliaQuest’s storefront mimics the company’s real office. Their youth “employees” help other businesses in the town identify and fix security issues on their equipment.

“They’re using devices more than we are,” ReliaQuest CEO Brian Murphy said. If kids can build good digital security habits now, he said, when they are older, “they can operate devices with a professional skepticism.”

Beyond education, entrepreneurs such as Adam Sheffield, a former intelligence collector for the Army, are looking to supplement the academic approach here by creating a cybersecurity hub.

Sheffield is working on hosting “boot camp-style” training programs, meet-ups and events in Ybor City, calling the concept “Cybor.”

One area for improvement is Florida’s privacy climate. Industry professionals often consider security and privacy to go hand in hand, and state laws often shape how companies approach issues such as securing personal information and disclosing to consumers when their data has been leaked.

“A lot of it has to do with the attorney generals involved,” said Bob Siegel, president of Delray Beach-based Privacy Ref.

Siegel is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and part of their training faculty.

One of the reasons California has become a privacy and security hub, Siegel said, is because of its attorney general’s strong stance toward digital privacy.

California is considered to have some of the most consumer-friendly privacy laws. It requires companies that operate in the state to post a particular notice about how they respond to consumers’ Internet browser’s requests to not be tracked with digital cookies. It also allows children under 18 years old to have their personal information deleted from social media networks.

But Florida, he said, is slightly less progressive in this area. For example, the state data breach law considers an information leak to be a “data breach” if the information was electronic. That doesn’t account for information on paper, such as paper forms filled out.

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Florida #man gets 16 months over #bitcoin bank #hacker scheme

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Florida #man gets 16 months over #bitcoin bank #hacker scheme

NEW YORK – A Florida software engineer was sentenced to 16 months in prison for helping run an illegal Bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers who targeted financial and publishing firms including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Dow Jones & Co.

Yuri Lebedev, 39, helped operate Coin.mx, which tricked banks into processing bitcoin transactions by disguising them as restaurant-delivery charges and online purchases of collectible items. He was convicted in March of conspiracy and fraud following a month-long trial in Manhattan.

Lebedev, wearing a black suit, stood before sentencing to tell the judge he regretted his actions. He said he joined Coin.mx to create “cutting edge technology” and build something “that would make me exceptional.”

“I got carried away,” he said, adding he realizes now “there are no shortcuts.”

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan in New York said Lebedev used his “impressive technology skills” to trick banks, making them “unwilling participants in the scheme.”

Prosecutors said the unregistered exchange sold bitcoins that were used in illegal online transactions and as payment in ransomware attacks. To help dodge regulators, Lebedev also conspired with his boss to bribe a New Jersey pastor to let them take over a credit union that was run out of a church and use it to help legitimize the exchange’s corrupt operations.

The operator of Coin.mx, Anthony Murgio, was sentenced to 5½ years in June. He admitted in January that he ran Coin.mx for the hacking scheme’s main Israeli architect, Gery Shalon, the self-described founder of a sprawling criminal enterprise that hacked at least nine companies.

Lebedev was born in Russia and raised in Ukraine before moving in with a host family in the U.S. state of Georgia. His attorney, Eric Creizman, cited the wide-ranging nature of the scheme to portray his client as a husband and doting father of three who was been caught up in something too big for him to recognize. In court papers, he described Lebedev as an “unlikely criminal defendant.”

“This case in which Lebedev was tried and convicted as a defendant involved a far broader scope of criminality than the conduct that Lebedev purposefully involved himself in or even knew about,” Creizman said in a court filing.

Lebedev wasn’t accused of money laundering and wasn’t involved in the hacking scheme. Creizman emphasized his technology role and said he wasn’t involved in the three-way calls with banks in which customers lied about the nature of their transactions.

Family and friends sent letters to the court supporting Lebedev, all of which described him as a man devoted to hard work and to giving his children the kind of opportunities he didn’t have in Ukraine. His host family described how Lebedev tutored their child in math, while a college friend relayed how Lebedev washed dishes to avoid using a credit card for living expenses like others did.

Shalon’s global network allegedly stole information on more than 100 million customers of banks and publishing firms and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit proceeds from pump-and-dump stock scams and online gambling.

Murgio operated the exchange with Lebedev from about 2013 to 2015 through a front company, the Collectables Club Private Member Association, which lists Murgio’s West Palm Beach address, court papers show. At Murgio’s sentencing hearing, he wept and said he’d “screwed up badly.”

The men “knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity,” the government said in court filings.

As part of the scheme, Lebedev was installed on the board of New Jersey-based HOPE Federal Credit Union to bribe Trevon Gross, a pastor who was convicted in the same case, to gain control of the credit union and use it to process corrupt bank transactions that would appear legitimate, court filings show. Gross hasn’t been sentenced.

“Lebedev was one of the handful of co-conspirators involved in the credit union’s processing of over $60 million in risky” transactions, prosecutors said in court papers.

Lebedev’s role was to set up an array of servers that Coin.mx used to process its transactions, a critical element of the scheme that required constant attention to avoid detection by the banks, the U.S. said.

“One of those critical issues that Lebedev handled was the use of separate servers to mislead banks and payment processors into thinking that Coin.mx bitcoin transactions were actually Collectables Club memorabilia and MyXtremeDelivery food transactions,” the U.S. said in court papers.

Lebedev also attempted to obstruct the case by deleting files from a computer, prosecutors said.

Shalon and his alleged top lieutenant, Ziv Orenstein, were arrested in Israel in July 2015 and extradited to the U.S. last year. They have pleaded not guilty. An American who allegedly conspired with them, Joshua Aaron, who attended Florida State University with Anthony Murgio, was detained by Russian authorities in 2015 and returned to the U.S. to face charges. He denies wrongdoing.

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Florida teens’ deaths in stolen SUV caught on camera

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – At more than 100 miles per hour, security camera video shows the exact moment a stolen SUV careened out of control, killing three teens. The Pinellas County Sheriff said this crash…

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Florida officer gets 5 years for driver license theft scheme

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

MIAMI A former Florida police officer has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his role in an identity theft scheme that involved a confidential law enforcement driver license database. Court documents show 38-year-old Raul Castellon of the Hialeah Police Department was sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty in…

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llegal credit card skimmer use on the rise at Florida gas stations

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Protecting your pin while paying for gas at the pump may not be enough to keep your card’s information safe. State inspectors have found more credit card skimmers in the first seven months of this year — 276 — than during all of 2016 — 219. “Identity theft is the…

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Florida deputy pleads guilty again in identity theft case

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A Florida sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty once again to identity theft after withdrawing a previous guilty plea. A U.S. Attorney’s Office news release says 42-year-old Frantz Felisma pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated identity theft and access device fraud, the same charges he previously…

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Hackers attacked 4 Florida school districts, allegedly hoped to hack voting systems

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans We’ve heard a lot about Russians attackers attempting to hack the US election, but another hacking group also allegedly wanted to interfere …

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‘Treated like a criminal’: Florida mother of arrested 10yo with autism demands answers

A Florida mother wants to know why her 10-year-old son with autism was dragged away from his elementary school in handcuffs and forced to spend a night behind bars. Luanne Haygood told RT America’s Marina Portnaya the police were “certainly not trained.”

A mother in Florida watched as her 10-year-old son was dragged away from his elementary school in handcuffs and forced to spend the night in jail for an incident that took place last year.

Luanne Haygood captured footage of two school resource officers at Okeechobee Achievement Academy who grabbed her son by the wrists.

“I don’t want to be touched,” John Benjamin Haygood, who was slumped over in his chair, pleaded with the officers.

Read More

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Man forces popular Florida pastor to flee house naked

A Florida pastor fled from a house naked earlier in January after a man arrived home to find the pastor having sex with the man’s wife, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Citing a police report, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Pastor O. Jermaine Simmons was being chased by the man with a handgun after the husband caught the cheating wife and pastor in the couple’s daughter’s bedroom. Simmons escaped the home and hid behind a fence as the husband went looking for the pastor. Read More….

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Police: Students brought gun to Florida school, posed with it in selfies

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Police: Students brought gun to Florida school, posed with it in selfies

Florida police are investigating at least two students who they say brought a gun to their high school and posed for selfies with it before posting the photograph to social media. Read More….

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