New cyber security threat is coming from the skies: commercial drones
Drones are being used to hack computers and airdrop contraband.
Courtesy www.kmox.radio.com By Megan Lynch
9/3/19 - Maryland Heights, MO (KMOX) - Commercial drones are becoming a greater risk to our security.
KMOX found one St. Louis Company that's deploying technology to stop drone attacks.
Andy Moser, Consulting Solutions Architect with World Wide Technology says drones are being used for cyberattacks, or to smuggle weapons or other contraband into facilities such as prisons.
Moser demonstrated the technology with a test flight over World Wide's ATC - Advanced Technology Center. The flight itself triggered an alert on his phone. Inside, a wall-sized screen displayed a video of the flight along with sensor data on the drone itself.
The anti-drone technology comes from World Wide Technology partner Dedrone (pronounced Dee-Drone) a developer of drone detection systems that use cameras, sensors, even radar to locate, identify and warn companies of drone activity. Moser says often, companies don't even know they're around. "Unless you see it, you don't know it's there and you can't always hear these things. They're quiet. They can be made more silent and they can carry a payload from a pound, and you can get drones that carry 50 or 60 pounds." They can be piloted from long distances, even automated to fly without an operator.
Moser says once companies know whether there's a threat, they can take steps to harden their security. One of the easiest ways is to automatically shut down wifi when a drone threat is detected.
‘Ex-Mayor Beth Van Duyne, Known for Anti-Sharia Crusade, Running for Congress
F.B.I. Internet Crime Complaint Center:
Cyber Actors Use Online Dating Sites To Conduct Confidence/Romance Fraud And Recruit Money Mules
Senior citizens learn to use their cane in self-defense
Courtesy www.wfxrtv.com By Santiago Melli-Huber
9/3/19- Forest, VA. (WFXR) – Senior citizens and people who walk with a cane might be seen as vulnerable by would-be attackers, but a self-defense class in Forest is turning a perceived weakness into a strength.
The five-week course began on Tuesday and is designed to help develop strength, balance, and awareness and teach defensive skills based around the use of a cane.
“Well I just don’t like the idea of being vulnerable, and the older we get, the more vulnerable I’ve felt,” said Jim Akenhead.
He uses a cane, and he and his wife Charlene wanted to learn to use it for more than walking.
“To me, that’s the key here,” he said, “is to have something that doesn’t look foreign. You’re not carrying a big machine gun. You don’t have a big lump under your coat or your shirt, and yet you have something that can definitely be called to order if you need it.”
Instructor Sidney Burns wants to give his students more confidence in using their medical device. “The cane is not something that you feel that you’re weak with, but it empowers you,” he said.He says older people can be targets for attackers, but a few quick hits with a wooden or metal cane can often be enough.
“That hurts, and so it will make someone think twice about trying to grab you again.”
After one class, Jim recommends it.
“If people have access to this and they don’t take advantage of it, they’re foolish,” he said. “It’s very practical.”
A study by the Centers for Disease Control shows a big increase in the number of non-fatal attacks against people over 60. Over a 15 year period, attacks against men over the age of 60 increased by 75.4 percent.
9/3/19- Beth Van Duyne, a former Texas mayor who stoked hysteria around an Islamic tribunal and has associated with anti-Muslim hate groups, is running for U.S. Congress.
Van Duyne’s public clash with the local tribunal more than four years ago gained her fame among anti-Muslim figures and some right-wing pundits. Two anti-Muslim hate groups, ACT for America and the Center for Security Policy, have honored her with awards.
The tribunal is a faith-based arbiter offering nonbinding resolutions to civil disputes. Similar religious tribunals exist within Christian and Jewish communities in the United States.
On Aug. 5, Van Duyne stepped down as the Fort Worth regional director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a post she had held since 2017. She is seeking the Republican nomination for Texas’ 24th Congressional District after Rep. Kenny Marchant announced he wouldn't run for re-election. From 2011 to 2017, Van Duyne was mayor of Irving, Texas, a Dallas suburb.
Van Duyne gained national attention in 2015 when she became fixated on the Islamic tribunal in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
On Feb. 6, 2015, Van Duyne took to Facebook to state: “Sharia Law Court was NOT approved or enacted by the City of Irving.” She vowed to work to “better understand how this ‘court’ will function,” and added: “Our nation cannot be so overly sensitive in defending other cultures that we stop protecting our own.” The post has since been taken down.
PolitiFact found claims of a “Sharia court” taking root in Texas to be false. Sharia is a set of guiding religious principles, but anti-Muslim hate groups try to twist it into something insidious to sow fear of Islam. The idea that Sharia is gaining a foothold in the United States is a long-running conspiracy theory pushed by anti-Muslim groups.
During a February 2015 interview with Glenn Beck, Van Duyne accused the imams associated with the tribunal of “bypassing American courts.” She did not respond to Hatewatch’s emails asking for comment.
In March 2015, at the behest of Van Duyne, the Irving City Council voted 5-4 to pass a resolution in support of an anti-Sharia bill then making its way through the Texas Legislature. While that anti-Sharia bill in Texas died, a similar law passed in 2017.
Since 2010, more than 200 model anti-Sharia law bills have been introduced in statehouses across more than 40 states. These bills aim to prevent state courts from applying foreign law. Such bills are superfluous because while judges may take foreign law into account, the U.S. Constitution would supersede the application of any foreign law based on religion. As the Brennan Center for Justice notes, “For decades, American courts have applied foreign law as long as it does not violate U.S. public policy.”
At least 10 states have enacted some form of an anti-Sharia-inspired bill. An amendment specifically targeting Sharia law that passed in Oklahoma was overturned by a federal court in 2013 after it was found to be unconstitutional. More neutral language such as “foreign” or “international” law has since been used in recent iterations of these bills, including one that later passed in Oklahoma.
The mastermind behind anti-Sharia bills, David Yerushalmi, admitted the true intention of this legislation to The New York Times in 2011. “If this thing passed in every state without any friction, it would have not served its purpose,” he told the newspaper. “The purpose was heuristic – to get people asking this question, ‘What is Sharia?’ ”
For her efforts, Van Duyne was honored by the national ACT for America organization during its annual conference in Washington in 2016. She was given the group’s National Security Patriot Award. One of ACT’s main goals is to use its chapter network across the country to lobby state lawmakers to introduce anti-Muslim legislation, including anti-Sharia bills.
Van Duyne’s appearance at the ACT event appears to have been facilitated through Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, according to emails that Hatewatch obtained. Flynn previously was an adviser to ACT’s board of directors. A month after Trump’s election, ACT bragged about having a “direct line” to the White House.
On Aug. 11, 2016, Flynn sent an email to Van Duyne titled “Meeting (10 Aug),” stating: “If you can continue to engage with Act For America, I would sincerely appreciate it. I’m cc’ing Roy White [then-head of an ACT chapter in Texas] in case there are any questions you might have and I would ask you to seriously consider joining us this September at out [sic] Annual Convention in WDC…Roy can get you more details…but I am certain, [ACT founder] Brigitte Gabriel would be honored for you to speak.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that Flynn met with Van Duyne on Aug. 10, 2016, before speaking at an event the Dallas chapter of ACT for America organized. During the ACT event, Flynn likened Islam to a “cancer,” the paper reported, and accused it of being “a political ideology” that “hides behind being a religion." On Aug. 12, 2016, Lisa Piraneo, ACT’s director of government relations, emailed Van Duyne to tell her that she would be “honored with a special award” at the conference.
Van Duyne responded to Piraneo that Aug. 18, writing: “Thank you very much for the invitation and acknowledgement. I am truly honored and humbled. It would be a privilege to attend. Roy White encouraged me to stay for as much of the conference as possible so I'm planning on arriving Monday night and leaving Wednesday late afternoon.”
Roy White led ACT’s San Antonio chapter until he reportedly was fired in 2017 after allegations of hosting an event that would teach participants how to “shut down mosques.” White is involved with two other anti-Muslim hate groups, Truth in Textbooks and the Texas chapter of G416 Patriots. Flynn was also a keynote speaker at ACT’s 2016 conference.
In June 2015, Van Duyne received an award from the Center for Security Policy, a group known for publishing dubious reports about Muslims and Sharia.
That same year, she was a guest on Frank Gaffney’s radio program several times. Gaffney, the founder and executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy, is well-known for engaging in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.
Speaking with Van Duyne during a June 23, 2015, episode, Gaffney claimed Irving had become “a hotbed, it turns out, of efforts to inculcate inside her city, well, a program that is quite at odds with our Constitution. Its adherents call it Sharia.”
Van Duyne also participated in a Homeland Security Forum in January 2017 sponsored by Texas state Rep. Kyle Biedermann. Her co-panelists included Nonie Darwish and Chris Gaubatz, two figures known for their anti-Muslim rhetoric. Van Duyne used the opportunity to urge lawmakers to investigate the tribunal, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The Dallas County Republican Party and Republican Party of Texas did not return requests for comment.
WHAT IS CONFIDENCE/ROMANCE FRAUD?
Confidence/romance fraud occurs when an actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trust relationship—whether family, friendly, or romantic—and leverages the relationship to persuade the victim to send money, provide personal and financial information, or purchase items of value for the actor. In some cases, the victim is persuaded to launder money on behalf of the actor.
Actors often use online dating sites to pose as U.S. citizens located in a foreign country, U.S. military members deployed overseas, or U.S. business owners seeking assistance with lucrative investments.
In 2017, more than 15,000 people filed complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) alleging they were victims of confidence/romance fraud and reporting losses of more than $211 million. In 2018, the number of victims filing these complaints increased to more than 18,000, with more than $362 million in losses—an increase of more than 70 percent over the previous year.
In 2018, confidence/romance fraud was the seventh most commonly reported scam to the IC3 based on the number of complaints received, and the second costliest scam in terms of victim loss.
IC3 receives victim reports from all age, education, and income brackets. However, the elderly, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted.
After establishing their victims’ trust, scammers try to convince them to send money for airfare to visit, or claim they are in trouble and need money. Victims often send money because they believe they are in a romantic relationship.
For example, an actor claims to be a U.S. citizen living abroad. After a few months of building a relationship with the victim, the actor asks the victim to send gifts or electronics to a foreign address. After a few more months, the actor expresses a desire to return to the U.S. to meet the victim. The actor claims not to have the money to pay for travel and asks the victim to wire funds. In some cases, the actor claims the wired funds did not arrive and asks the victim to resend the money.
Some actors provide a fake travel itinerary. When they don’t arrive as scheduled, they claim they were arrested, and ask for more money to post bail. They may also request more money for travel or to recover assets seized during their “arrest.” Requests for money may continue until the victim is unable—or unwilling—to provide more.
In some situations the victim may be unknowingly recruited as a “money mule”: someone who transfers money illegally on behalf of others. Actors groom their victims over time and convince them to open bank accounts under the guise of sending or receiving funds. Grooming is defined as preparing a victim to conduct fraudulent activity on their behalf through communications intended to develop a trust relationship. These accounts are used to facilitate criminal activities for a short period of time. If the account is flagged by the financial institution, it may be closed and the actor will either direct the victim to open a new account or begin grooming a new victim.
In other situations, the actor claims to be a European citizen or an American living abroad. After a few months of developing trust, the actor will tell the victim about a lucrative business opportunity. The actor will inform the victim there are investors willing to fund the project, but they need a U.S. bank account to receive funds. The victim is asked to open a bank account or register a limited liability company in the victim’s name and then to receive and send money from that account to other accounts controlled by the actor.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Most cyber criminals do not use their own photographs; they use an image from another social media account as their own. A reverse image search can determine if a profile picture is being used elsewhere on the internet, and on which websites it was used. A search sometimes provides information that links the image with other scams or victims.
To perform a reverse image search on profile photos:
Right click on the image and select “Search for image.”
Right click again and select “Save image as” to save the photo to your device.
Using a search engine, choose the small camera icon to upload the saved image into the search engine.
Always use your best judgment. While most dating sites routinely monitor account activity and investigate all complaints of falsified accounts, most dating site administrators do not conduct criminal background checks when an account is registered. Keep in mind it is always possible for people to misrepresent themselves. Do not ignore any facts which seem inconsistent and be aware of the following common techniques used by romance scammers:
Immediate requests to talk or chat on an email or messaging service outside of the dating site.
Claims that your introduction was “destiny” or “fate,” especially early in communication.
Claims to be from the U.S. but is currently living, working, or traveling abroad.
Asks for money, goods, or any similar type of financial assistance, especially if you have never met in person.
Asks for assistance with personal transactions (opening new bank accounts, depositing or transferring funds, shipping merchandise, etc.).
Reports a sudden personal crisis and pressures you to provide financial assistance. Be especially wary if the demands become increasingly aggressive.
Tells inconsistent or grandiose stories.
Gives vague answers to specific questions.
Claims to be recently widowed or claims to be a U.S. service member serving overseas.
Disappears suddenly from the site then reappears under a different name using the same profile information.
The FBI advises:
Never send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer.
Never provide credit card numbers or bank account information without verifying the recipient’s identity.
Never share your Social Security number or other personally identifiable information that can be used to access your accounts with someone who does not need to know this information.
What to Do If You Are a Victim
If you are a victim of a confidence/romance scam, the FBI recommends taking the following actions:
Report the activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, your local FBI field office, or both. Contact IC3 at www.ic3.gov. Local FBI field offices can be found online at www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field
Contact your financial institution immediately upon discovering any fraudulent or suspicious activity and direct them to stop or reverse the transactions.
Ask your financial institution to contact the corresponding financial institution where the fraudulent or suspicious transfer was sent.
Report the activity to the website where the contact was first initiated.he IC3 has received complaints reporting cybercriminals are targeting the online payroll accounts of employees in a variety of industries. Institutions most affected are education, healthcare, and commercial airway transportation.