Seven men connected by friendship or business association were arrested this week for allegedly participating in insider trading, the Federal Bureau (FBI) of Investigation announced in a candid press release. These latest arrests are the most recent developments in "Operation Perfect Hedge," the FBI's systematic targeting of insider trading in the hedge fund industry that began more than four years ago.
A 23-year old Arizona man is in FBI custody today charged with breaking into Sony Pictures computer systems as a member of LulzSec. Cody Kretsinger is alleged to have used proxy servers to access Sony’s systems back in May. The FBI is not making any statements, but other search warrants are apparently being executed.
After months of watching helplessly while Anonymous and LulzSec pulled down our virtual pants and stuck their tongue out at Internet users worldwide, several members of the two groups are now being taught a crucial lesson: nobody likes a smartass. We reported yesterday that the FBI raided the homes of 3 suspected Anons in New York, but it turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg. Authorities in the US and UK say they've slapped the cuffs of 15 alleged Anon affiliates and one person possibly associated with LulzSec. Oh, and one more guy.
What's ironic about the hacking group known as Anonymous is that it's virtually impossible to remain truly anonymous on the Internet. We're not saying hackers can't hide themselves really well, but throw enough time and resources into the hunt, and chances are they'll be tracked down. The FBI has done just that and raided the homes of three suspected Anonymous hackers living in New York.
The notion of having honor among thieves doesn't necessarily extend into the underground hacking community in the U.S., a world the FBI and Secret Service have successfully burrowed into and, in a sense, even maintain at least a modicum of control. A new report suggests that one in four hackers are FBI informers who secretly drop dimes on their peers rather than face what could be stiff penalties for running afoul of cyber laws.
FBI investigators tried a new approach to taking down a zombie PC gang. For the first time ever, federal authorities in the U.S. seized control of the bad guys' servers, a move that required the U.S. Justice Department to seek permission from a judge in order to carry out the sting. After doing so, authorities were able to counter-attack by issuing their own commands, programming the malware to shutdown, and also log IP addresses of infected machines.
You may remember early last summer when the brand new iPad 3G ended up being a bit of an embarrassment for AT&T thanks to a security exploit. Some industrious hackers managed to use a brute force attack to extract user email addresses and names. Now, Reuters is reporting that Daniel Spitler and Andrew Auernheimer have been arrested and charged with perpetrating the attack. Auernheimer was previously arrested on an unrelated drug charge.
These shady folks created a hacking tool that masqueraded as 3G iPad, and queries AT&T's servers with random ICC numbers. When a number turned out to be valid, the AT&T servers would autofill the corresponding user's real email address and name. The security hole was blamed on a feature AT&T said was included to make log-ins more convenient for users. The hack exposed the information of high-profile politicians, business execs, and journalists. It's no surprise arrests have been the result.
Both defendants were charged with one count of fraud and one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. If convicted, each charge could net the accused five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
It appears all that good natured DDoS-ing allegedly perpetrated by 4chan forum members has attracted the attention of the FBI. In the last few months, the group known as Anonymous has engaged in attacks on sites for the RIAA, Gene Simmons, the BPI, and other anti-piracy groups. The case may have been kicked into high gear when Anonymous attacked the US Copyright Office site last week.
A DDoS attack is a dead simple proposition. A particular web site is hit with huge amounts of traffic at a predetermined time. This almost always makes the site unreachable by overwhelming the servers. Participating in a DDoS attack could result in felony changes and large fines. In fact, a 23 year old from Ohio was just sentenced to 30 months in prison for (among other things) launching DDoS attacks.
Anonymous has always contended they are fighting for the free flow of information. The group considers the heavy-handed copyright laws to be a form of censorship. Those on the other side of the fence say they are simply trying to rationalize stealing content over p2p networks. Should members of Anonymous be prosecuted?
Cybercrime has never been more profitable, according to a new report by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The annual report notes more than 336,000 complaints in 2009, a 22.3 percent increase from 2008. Businesses and individuals unwittingly forked over nearly $560 million to online fraudsters last year, more than double the amount in 2008.
"Law enforcement relies on the corporate sector and citizens to report when they encounter online suspicious activity so these schemes can be investigated and criminals can be arrested," stated Peter Trahon, section chief of the FBI's Cyber Division. "Computer users are encouraged to have up-to-date security protection on their devices and evaluate email solicitations they receive with a healthy skepticism -- if something seems too good to be true, it likely is."
Ranking high on the too-good-to-be-true list of scams were advanced fee scams that fraudulently used the FBI's name. This was followed by non-delivery of goods and/or payment as the second most reported offense, IC3 reports.