Man Accused of Blocking Cell Phones on Subway

We use our mobile phones for everything these days, from playing your latest game or reading your latest to talking about the last few days to your friends. Sometimes you just want to escape this, as a man from Chicago wanted when he started blocking cell phones on his daily subway trip.

Undercover officers arrested a 63-year-old man, who according to his lawyers just wanted to have a little quiet on his commute. The device he used to get that quiet was apparently imported from China, being used to block signals going to and from cell phones in his train car.

Dennis Nicholl’s lawyer stated that “he’s disturbed by people talking around him”. While this may be the case, people have been fined up to $48, 000 for using cell phone jammers, something that apparently Nicholl’s was doing for a while now.

The police were apparently told months ago and had even managed to obtain his photo, the end result being the undercover police. With a picture of Nicholl’s using the device on the subway, it was only a matter of time before they acted on the information. The charge Nicholl’s now faces is “unlawful interference with a public utility”, something he was also charged with back in 2009 for the same action.

Alleged Teenage Hacker of CIA Director Arrested in UK

Following a reported hack of CIA Director John Brennan’s (pictured) AOL e-mail account last year – which, despite being a personal account, contained sensitive and confidential intelligence – a 16-year-old boy, suspected of carrying out the attack, was arrested in the UK on Tuesday (9th February).

The hacker, calling himself “cracka”, was responsible for illegally obtaining and releasing personal information related to 31,000 CIA and other government agents, and act he then boasted about on his (now suspended) Twitter account. When cracka spoke to Gawker’s Sam Biddle about the hack, he claimed to be a 13-year-old stoner.

The South East Regional Organized Crime Unit released the following statement to The Daily Dot:

“The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) can confirm we have arrested a [16]-year-old boy on Tuesday (9/2) in the East Midlands on suspicion of conspiracy to commit Unauthorised access to computer material contrary to Section 1 Computer Misuse Act 1990, conspiracy to commit unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences contrary to Section 2 Computer Misuse Act 1990 and conspiracy to commit unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing operation of a computer contrary to Section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990.”

While SEROCU declined to release any more information regarding the case, cracka’s accomplice, known as “Cubed”, revealed to The Daily Dot that cracka has been released on “unconditional bail.”

Image courtesy of New York Post.

Key Adviser to Silk Road Arrested in Thailand


The FBI recently arrested a man in Thailand based on his alleged links to the illicit online marketplace, Silk Road. The man, Roger Thomas Clark, was linked to the site as a supposed “key adviser” to its creator, Ross Ulbright. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced his arrest, claiming that Clark had been paid “at least hundreds of thousands of dollars” for his advise and assistance to the site.

Silk Road touted itself as an “anonymous marketplace”, and operated as a black market site on the dark net. The site was accessible through the Tor hidden service and used this to allow users to buy and sell illicit products free from tracking and monitoring. As a result, around 70% of Silk Road’s sales were of illegal drugs, but despite this, the site kept a strict list of things that were disallowed from listing, such as assassinations, weapons and jewellery. The original Silk Road site was shut down in October 2013, along with the arrest of its founder, Ulbright, who was given a life sentence in May. However Ulbright claimed to have transferred operations of the site to other parties after its founding, and a third version of Silk Road operates to this day.

According to the DoJ, Clark was a high ranking operator of the site and “served as Ross Ulbricht’s closest adviser and confidante as together they facilitated an anonymous global black market for all things illegal.” Online Clark went by the aliases “Variety Jones”, “VJ”, “Cimon” and others, with Ulbright describing Variety Jones as like a mentor to him in 2011.

Currently Clark is charged with one count of narcotics conspiracy, and one count of money laundering conspiracy. If found guilty of both, he could face up to 30 years imprisonment. It suspected he was attempting to avoid the legal repercussions of his actions in Thailand, following the arrest of Ulbright. Clark is currently in custody in Thailand, pending extradition to the United States where he will face trial.

NCA Warning After Hackers Steal £20 Million from UK Bank Accounts

The UKs National Crime Agency have urged the people of Britain to ensure they take adequate measures of online security after a significant strain of malicious software allowed criminal hackers to steal an estimated £20 million from UK bank accounts.

The highly skilled malware developers are thought to be based in Eastern Europe. The details that are collected are then exploited to steal money from individuals and businesses globally. The NSA has reported one significant arrest in relation to the multi-million pound scam. However, only after thousands of computers had already been infected by the Dridex malware known as Bugat and Cridex, with the majority of computers being Windows based machines.

Computers can become infected with the virus when users open documents in emails they believe to be legitimate. I myself have recently received emails proclaiming to be from PayPal stating: “Your PayPal account has been limited! Take a few moments to confirm your information. After you do, you can shop online and send money using your account.” After checking PayPal directly (not through the given link) I establish that there was no such limitation on my account.

To avoid becoming an unwilling victim of the costly Dridex malware the National Crime Agency is encouraging all internet users to ensure they have up to date operating systems and anti-virus software installed on their machines, to protect themselves from further cybercrime attacks. The NSA also urged users to visit the CyberStreetWise and GetSafeOnline websites where they state there is a number of anti-virus tools are available to download to help clean up infected machines; these sites also are a great way to gain further advice on how to protect yourself in the future.

Mike Hulett, Head of Operations at the National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit said:  “This is a particularly virulent form of malware and we have been working with our international law enforcement partners, as well as key partners from industry, to mitigate the damage it causes. Our investigation is ongoing and we expect further arrests to be made.”

What measures do you take to ensure your online security? Let us know down in the comments below.

Thank you National Crime Agency for providing us with this information.

NCA Website Temporarily Taken Offline by Lizard Squad DDOS Revenge Attack

The National Crime Agency is a UK body which tackles online cyber attacks and recently arrested 6 people for using Lizard Squad’s DDOS tool. In an act of retaliation, the hacking group conducted a DDOS attack on the NCA website. The team mockingly used the NCA’s logo in a Twitter post and publicly announced the DDOS attack. An NCA spokesperson said about the incident:

“The NCA website is an attractive target. Attacks on it are a fact of life. DDoS is a blunt form of attack which takes volume and not skill. It isn’t a security breach, and it doesn’t affect our operational capability. At worst it is a temporary inconvenience to users of our website. We have a duty to balance the value of keeping our website accessible with the cost of doing so, especially in the face of a threat which can scale up endlessly.”

Hacking via a DDOS method doesn’t usually result in long-term chaos and the majority of sites can be up and running within 1-2 hours. Of course, this greatly depends on the scale and complexity of each hacking attempt. The NCA spokesperson emphasized this and argued:

“The measures we have in place at present mean that our site is generally up and running again within 30 minutes, though occasionally it can take longer. We think that’s proportionate.”

However, Dave Larson, CTO at Corero Network Security explained the more sinister impact of DDOS attacks on network infrastructure:

“The recent reports indicating that the National Crime Agency website has been taken offline by DDoS attack, seemingly by the increasingly popular DDoS-for-hire site, Lizard Stresser is a classic example of cyber-warfare taking aim in retaliation of the recent arrests of individuals associated with the service.  

“DDoS attacks can be a nuisance, cause temporary or long term service disruptions, and take down IT security infrastructure in any organization. What is even more distributing is the potential for even greater damage in the form of smokescreen diversions allowing hackers to run additional attacks aimed at breaching sensitive data and further impacting operations.

“DDoS mitigation strategies must be viewed as more than just protecting your website, it is protecting the business, your intellectual property and your customers.” 

In my opinion, this particular hack was nothing more than an inconvenience and predatory response to the 6 arrests. Arguably, Lizard Squad hopes this sends a warning message out to government bodies trying to infiltrate the group and arrest its leading members. Personally, I feel this is more of a PR stunt and not a valid attempt to make the NCA’s website inoperable.

What do you think of Lizard Squad?

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information.

Man Arrested For Stealing Electricity On A Train

Anyone who’s been on a train recently for a long journey will understand that most modern trains come with some power outlets. I have travelled quite a bit in recent years on trains and can safely say these power outlets have given my laptop and my phone some much-needed charge in their final moments. An artist in London, however, found that this was not always welcome after being arrested for stealing electricity on a train.

The artist in question, Robin Lee, was travelling on a train in London when he spotted the power outlet and decided to charge his iPhone. When Robin left the train though he was met by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), for those who aren’t aware a Community Support Officer is a person who has been given some police abilities in order to bridge the gap between the public and the police. The PCSO stated that he had been “abstracting electricity” and according to Robin it was at this point that she called to four police officers who were on the platform and requested that he be arrested.

Robin was arrested after trying to push past the police and taken to the British Transport Police in Islington before being de-arrested for the “abstracting electricity” charge while being reported for the “unacceptable behaviour” of pushing past the police officers.

Transport for London has released a statement saying that there are signs near the plugs stating they are for cleaners use and they are not for use by the public.

I don’t know about you but next time I go on a train I will be reading all those signs a little more carefully. Do you think that it’s acceptable to be arrested for a little bit of electricity? Do you charge your devices on the trains?

Thank you Standard for the information and the image.

Drone Seized over Sporting Event Again!

As drones are becoming cheaper and more commercially available, owners are getting more experimental with what they could fly over and potentially record. Earlier this year police arrested a pilot for attempting to film a Premier League football match and now another drone operator has been arrested for flying over matches being held for the Wimbledon Tennis event.

The operator was operating the drone over the All England Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday morning and the Metropolitan Police found the pilot on a nearby golf course. As you would expect, the drone was immediately seized and pilot arrested.

Under rules set by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), you must have direct line of sight of your drone at all times and if the drone has a built-in camera; you must also avoid people, vehicles and buildings by at least 50 metres, unless you own the vehicle or building of course.

It’s unclear whether the drone was seized due to possible recording of a tennis game, being too close to people or the tennis club itself. “Anyone intending to fly a drone should give prior consideration to the surrounding landscape and any structures or venues,” inspector Roger Robinson said. “While it is not our intention to prevent people from enjoying the use of drones, it is important that regulations are adhered to.”

UAVs have already been banned from the eight Royal Parks in London, so maybe sporting venues will soon be added to the list.

Do you own a drone, would you try to fly over events like this? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to engadget for providing us with this information.

Drone Lands Radioactive Sand on Japanese Prime Minister’s Office

A 40-year old Japanese man has admitted to being the drone operator that carried radioactive sand to the top of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office in central Tokyo. All of which to protest nuclear power generation.

The drone in question was a modified DJI Phantom 2, modified to handle the extra weight of the sand. It had a sign on it which said “Radioactive” and was carrying a small container of sand which was contaminated with radioactive cesium and the pre-fitted camera. Even though the radiation levels were not to any health risks, witnesses took this message as the initiation of a terrorist attack.

The unemployed man has been named as Yasuo Yamamoto, he faces a maximum of three years in prison if convicted. “I was operating the drone around 3:30 in the morning on April 9 to express my opposition to nuclear power generation” police quoted the operator was saying.

Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart the nuclear reactors after the devastating tsunami that struck Japan back in 2011 that destroyed the Fukushima power plant. A public broadcaster said that the sand had originated from a beach near the Fukushima meltdown.

The drone remained undetected until last Wednesday when a group of employees were taking a tour of the buildings roof; meaning that the drone has been sat dormant for around two weeks.

Well that peaceful protest ended up badly; how do think a UK Prime Minister or the US President would react if a similar stunt was played on them? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to arstechnica for providing us with this information


Another Arrested Over Lizard Squad Attacks

Police have arrested another person believed to be connected to the DDoS attacks upon Xbox Live and PlayStation Network over Christmas. The UK South East Regional Organised Crime Unit arrested an 18-year-old on Boundary Street in Southport this morning (Friday).

Gizmodo says that the individual was arrested under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in connection with “unauthorised access to computer material, unauthorised access with intent to commit further offences and threats to kill”. The individual has also been linked to “swatting” – the practice of falsely informing the police about a supposed suspect or incident, leading to the deployment of oftentimes armed police officers to the victim’s property.

This news follows the late December arrest of Vinnie Omari – another Lizard Squad suspect liked to similar charges. Omari was however later released with no charges placed against him.

Lizard Squad hit the headlines over Christmas after a series of debilitating DDoS attacks upon Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Both networks were down for most of Christmas Day, with PSN down for a couple of days following that.

Source: Gizmodo

Former Apple Manager Gets 1 Year in Jail, $4.5 Million Fine for Leaking Apple Secrets

Paul Devine, formerly Apple’s Global Supply Manager, has received a year of jail time as well as a fine of $4.5 million for leaking the company’s secrets.

Devine leaked secret product plans to a number of accessory manufacturers in return for money. This comes after Devine pleaded guilty to  wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy over 3 years ago. Devine reportedly made $1 Million on the leaks, after working for Apple between 2005 and 2010. As MacRumors points out, it was initially suggested that Devine could receive up to 20 years in jail over his crime, so it’s intriguing that he received such a comparatively small sentence.

Source: MacRumors

10 Protesters Arrested at Google Headquarters

It appears that Google had some ‘disturbance in the force’ at its headquarters in Mountain View in California last Tuesday, where authorities arrested 10 people demonstrating their belief in internet freedom.

However, reports point to the protesters moving on to the Google I/O Developer Conference in Moscone Center, San Francisco on Wednesday morning. The protesters apparently are part of the #OccupyGoogle movement, having a website and Twitter account. They are said to have appeared on Tuesday outside Google’s headquarters armed with tents and signs in order to protest.

The signs had messages regarding net neutrality and how Google is apparently suppressing it. They say that the group wants to “create and maintain…an Internet that acts as a free speech zone.”

The protest was calm and peaceful during the day, having everyone at Google carrying out their usual routine and seemed not to care too much about what was going on in front of their working place. However, the same cannot be said during the night, having Google calling authorities in order to break up the protest.

Authorities were not called due to violet behaviour, having arrived and assisted quite relaxed judging by the pictures. The call must have been made due to the fact that Google might have had enough ‘excitement’ for one day.

It is said that at some point, a police officer asked the protesters to leave, warning them that they will be arrested for trespassing. But as nobody listened, the officers apparently took 10 of the protesters into custody. Up to this point, Google have not officially responded to comments about the protest and arrest.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Mashable

I Spy With My Little Eye…. A Drone Watching Me?

Fox News reportedly got word of a first-ever case of a U.S. citizen being convicted and sentenced to prison based in part on evidence gathered by a drone. Farmer Rodney Brossart, from Lakota N.D., got a three-year sentence for his role in an armed standoff with police that began after he was accused of stealing his neighbors’ stray cattle in 2011.

Bossart reportedly was arrested after him and his family restricting ‘at gunpoint’ authorities armed with a search warrant to investigate the reports of his neighbors. But later, he was released on bail. Warrants were then issued for his three sons, but the family refused to show up in court. In this extreme case, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke spoken to the U.S. Border Patrol to deploy a Predator drone in order to conduct live video surveillance of the farm.

The drone monitored the family’s movements on the farm following the armed standoff. It was not clear how long the drone was deployed or whether it gathered evidence of the alleged cattle theft. However, the drone gathered enough evidence to prompt Janke’s men to finally move in November 2011, arresting five family members on terrorizing charges. Brossart was found not guilty for the cattle theft accusations, but did get three years for his part in the armed police standoff based in part on video recorded by the drone.

The case could prove significant, because Brossart’s attorney tried unsuccessfully to have the terrorizing charges related to his standoff with police dropped because evidence was gathered by the drone without a search warrant specifically allowing for it.

Should we be worried that our privacy will not be so private in the future? According to Fobers magazine, they predict it won’t be the last time drones are used to put Americans in prison, and reported the use of drones for police missions is on the rise. Between 2010 and 2012, law enforcement agencies used CBP Predator drones for 700 missions, the media outlet reported.

Thank you Fox News for providing us with this information

Suspect Arrested For Creation Of Blackhole Malware Exploit Kit

The suspected creator of the advanced malware tool Blackhole has been arrested. The man taken into custody is suspected of being the owner of the online alias “Paunch”, the name used by the creator of the Blackhool and Cool exploit kids that were used to attack flaws in Java, Flash, Windows and PDF files.

A spokesman for the law enforcement agency Europol said “Europol and the European Cybercrime Centre has been informed that a high-level suspected cyber criminal has been arrested” when speaking with the BBC.

Released back in 2010, the Blackhole kit has proved popular on the crimeware market, especially throughout 2012 and the start of this year. The code was licensed out for around $1,500 and could even be rented from the kits creator for around $200 a week.

The kits in question were fairly advanced and had a broad range of attacks that involved infecting hundreds of websites, downloading root kits, fake software and more to users computers that allowed access to the users computer or their data.

“If it’s true that the brains behind the Blackhole has been apprehended it’s a very big deal – a real coup for the cybercrime-fighting authorities, and hopefully cause disruption to the development of one of the most notorious exploit kits the web has ever seen,” said Graham Cluley. “However, it’s worth remembering that nature abhors a vacuum, and there would surely be other online criminals waiting to take their place, promoting their alternative exploit kits and malicious code.” he continued, when speaking with the BBC.

It appears the arrest may even be working already, as use of the software has dropped by 2% in recent days.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BBC.

Silk Road Drug Marketplace Shutdown By FBI

Sites like the Silk Road have gained a cult personally on many dark corners of the internet. Silk Road provided people with an anonymous market place to buy and sell illegal drugs and items, mostly via the use of the digital currency BitCoin. Now the FBI have arrested Silk Road owner Ross William Ulbricht, 29, who goes by the name “Dread Pirate Roberts”.

According to court filing Ross was picked up by police on Tuesday in San Francisco, since then the site has been taken off line and is no doubt being investigated and picked clean by FBI agents, who have already seized $3.6 million worth of BitCoin that was tied to transactions on Silk Road. A small percentage of the estimated 9.5 million BitCoins it is believed the site has generate, roughly $1.2 billion worth!

While this isn’t the first Silk Road related bust, most of the catch in the past has been through clients of the site, not the owner. Yet since the site was operated on the Onion Router, also known as the Tor network, catching the people using the service has been complicated.

Users of the service have already taken to sites like Reddit to vent their frustration at lost funds they had deposited on the site, likely in a bid to purchase illegal substances, but the full scale of this shutdown, or how many arrests will come from it, will likely not be known for sometime.

Thank you Orlandosentinel for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Orlandosentinel.

Ransomware The Good, Bad, And The Ugly

There are some sick people out there, people that try to take advantage of poor souls that do not know and understand computers. Today I happened upon a friends computer that had this strange image posted up on his screen. Once you start up the computer you are unable to access task manager or exit out of the program. Essentially the computer is locked down tight, and this particular virus can infect your entire network.

What is it? You might ask, or perhaps you know. This warning is not real, it is fake, it is a virus called Ransomware. Ransomware first showed up in 1989, in which it would have you send $189 to a P.O. Box in Panama. Today ransomware has you pay with a non-traceable MoneyPak card.

NBC Washington recently reported that ransomware has done some good, tricking Jay Matthew Riley, 21, of Woodbridge, Virginia, a child abuse image collector from the United States into turning himself in. Ransomware tells the user that they have been using their computers for illegal activities and that they can pay a nominal fee to make it all go away. Riley hauled his computer down to a local police department turning himself in. Police then looked over his computer finding images of underage girls, which warranted a search of his home. Police found several devices, which had more illegal images. Riley is currently being held without bail.

So if you see this image or an image like it pop up on your computer, you can check out Microsoft’s official website for tips on how to protect yourself, as well as removing this nasty software. But if you are an online law breaker, make sure you grab your computer and take it down to the local police department and save us all the trouble.

NYPD Police Officer Steals Pornographic Images From Arrestee

The New York Daily News recently reported on a case about a woman who possibly had her privacy invaded by an officer of the New York Police Department.

We are living in a digital age. An age where we are able to have and use many different electronics to communicate with others, as well as keep track of our day to day life, many of these electronics are all-in-one units. Pamela Held a 27 year old woman, is set to sue the New York Police Department because an officer, Sean Christian, allegedly forwarded explicit images and videos of Held, to himself. The digital content was stored on Held’s cellular phone. Held is claiming that the officer invaded her privacy by forwarding the content. Her lawyer, Richard J. Soleymanzadeh, has said that the phone the content was sent to is the officer’s personal cell phone.

On 6 February 2013, Held and her friend were pulled over by a police van because there was not an inspection sticker on the vehicle. When held was pulled over the police found prescription drugs and marijuana in the vehicle, then arrested Held and her friend for possession. At the station-house the police questioned Held about where she had been that night, she explained that she was visiting a friend and that she could prove it by providing them with text messages. Held gave an officer the passcode for her cell phone and pointed out the messages. The officer left the room with her phone while she was processed for the drug charges.

Three hours later Held’s phone was returned to her as well as a desk appearance ticket, which is an order to appear in Criminal Court for arraignment. Later that evening was looking over her phone and noticed that a text message was sent with photos and videos of her attached to it. There were a total of 20 explicit photographs, and five videos of her that were forwarded from her cell phone. Held contacted her lawyer, who had his private investigator trace the number, which lead to Christian’s phone.

Christian has been an officer for 10 years, and has denied forwarding the photos and videos, he also claims that he has never met held or worked at the 104th Precinct. Police sources have confirmed that Christian is assigned to the 104 Precinct in Ridgewood, Queens, and that he is currently being investigated by Internal Affairs because of the complaint by Held. Internal Affairs detectives worked with Held to secretly record a call to Christian in which he chatted with Held, even flirting with her for 50 minutes.

The case about the drugs against Held and her friend have been adjourned with the contemplation of dismissal.

Image from Axeman627’s PhotoBucket