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Congress #gets ‘Russia #election #hacking’ #briefing, still no #evidence

With political primaries already underway and the November midterm elections fast approaching, top national security officials briefed members of Congress on Tuesday about gaps in election security.

The Trump administration has been under pressure to take stronger steps to deter Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. campaigns. Officials say election systems remain vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Intelligence agencies say Russian operatives attempted to hack 21 electoral systems in states during the 2016 campaign, breaching one system. There’s no evidence any votes were affected.

“This is an issue that the administration takes seriously and is addressing with urgency,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said in a joint statement.

After the briefing, Nielsen was asked about intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Moscow used social media, leaks of hacked emails and other tactics in 2016 in an attempt to help Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

“That the specific intent was to help President Trump win, I’m not aware of that, but I do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment.”

Moscow “aspired to help” Trump’s campaign, according to a public report issued by intelligence agencies in January 2017. The Senate Intelligence Committee reported this month that after a 14-month investigation, it agreed with that assessment.

The committee also issued a detailed report on Russian targeting of election infrastructure during the 2016 campaign.

Chris Megerian (c)2018 Los Angeles Times, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Hacker gets #woman’s #nude pics, #threatens to #post them #online

A woman said her email account was hacked. She told Lee County Sheriff’s Office that she is not being threatened by an unknown suspect with her own photographs.

The woman believed the person found her email address on Facebook.

“Revenge porn is a form of harassment. It’s a form of abuse,” Elizete Velado said. Velado is an attorney at Goldberg and Noone in Downtown Fort Myers.

Velado’s firm is not involved with this particular case. However, she told 4 In Your Corner revenge porn has been a problem for years.

“It’s really important for people to remember it’s not the victim’s fault when someone breaks into their computer,” Velado said. “Breaking into your computer is like breaking into your home,” she added.

The victim told investigators she was bombarded with messages. The unknown person wanted her to pay up. She told the deputy that the person would post the nude pictures of her.

Hackers like the one in this case have stayed slightly ahead of the laws.

“It’s very difficult for the law to keep up with emerging technology and sexual cyber stalking takes many forms,” Velado added.

Florida has laws against sexual cyber stalking. It allows victims to get compensated.

Arrests are few and far between because hackers hide behind IP addresses and proxy servers.

Velado hopes future laws will bring about justice.

“It’s great that we finally got national attention on this. It is an issue that needs to be dealt with. The people that are doing this need to be held accountable,” Velado said.

The woman in this case plans to press charges if and when the suspect is found. She submitted screenshots of the messages to investigators.

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Buggy #Verge #crypto-cash gets #hacked, #devs go fork #themselves, #hard

Alt-currency’s value tumbles amid malicious mining mishaps

The Verge cryptocurrency has seen its value drop by 25 per cent after hackers exploiting a bug in the alt-coin’s software forced its developers to hit the reset button and hard-fork the currency.

Programmers on Wednesday confirmed that the fun-bux had been on the receiving end of a “small hash attack” that caused its value to drop from $0.07 to $0.05 per XVG. The developers claimed they had cleared up what was portrayed as a minor hiccup.

According to netizens observing the attack from the Bitcointalk forums, however, the shenanigans were anything but minor. Rather, bugs were present in the XVG code that allowed miscreants to mine blocks with bogus timestamps, messing up the currency’s blockchain.

The programming blunders were leveraged by persons unknown to generate new blocks at a rate of roughly one per second. This, in turn, allowed the attackers to net an estimated $1m.

“Usually to successfully mine XVG blocks, every ‘next’ block must be of a different algorithm,” explained forum poster OCminer, of the Suprnova Mining Pools. “So, for example, scrypt, then x17, then lyra, etc.

“Due to several bugs in the XVG code, you can exploit this feature by mining blocks with a spoofed timestamp. When you submit a mined block, as a malicious miner or pool, you simply set a false timestamp to this block one hour ago and XVG will then “think” the last block mined on that algorithm was one hour ago. Your next block, the subsequent block, will then have the correct time. And since it’s already an hour ago – at least that is what the network thinks – it will allow this block to be added to the main chain as well.”

OCminer added it was a 51 per attack, in which miscreants seize control of the majority of miners on a cryptocurrency’s network.

We’ve asked the Verge currency team for comment on the matter, but have yet to hear back at the time of publication.

In addition to the attack, the handling of the aftermath is also drawing criticism. To remedy the issue, the developers hard forked XVG, effectively creating a new blockchain.

“The XVG team erroneously forked their entire network to ‘undo’ the exploited blocks, but this resulted in the entire network being unable to sync,” noted cryptocurrency news site The Merkle.

“When the team was made aware of their mistake, they were able to re-sync the network, but still have not completely defeated the issue.”

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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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Hacker who Infiltrated American Military Systems gets Sentenced

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Suttong Coldfield based Sean Caffrey pleaded guilty to a crime within the purview of Computer Misuse Act during June while facing Birmingham Crown Court following which the jury sentenced him with imprisonment for 18 months along with an 18-month suspension. Caffrey, aged 25, a British resident and PC-hacker acquired illegitimate…

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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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Texan Gets 16 Years for Distributing Child Porn

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ Federal law enforcement authorities continue to crack down on internet sex predators, sentencing a second west Texas man to prison on child porn charges in less than one week. Thirty-five year …

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Filipino National Gets 5 Years for ATM Hacking Scheme

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Filipino National Gets 5 Years for ATM Hacking Scheme

A Filipino national has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for orchestrating a scheme that used hacked credit and debit card information to steal millions of dollars. A federal judge in Newark sentenced Angelo Virtucio to 63 months on Thursday. He had pleaded guilty to one count…

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Cybersecurity gets more sophisticated – but so does hacking

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 Just when you thought you had the ultimate password to foil hackers, along come new cyberthreats that make you WannaCry. Meet the …

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Erie man gets life in prison for wife’s stabbing death

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ Jurors found in March that Billy Ray Gordon stabbed his wife 20 times before dumping her body along East 19th Street in July. By Madeleine O’Neill An Erie man who tried …

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