31st August 2019
MARITIME INDUSTRY TARGETED BY CYBER CRIMINALS
An article on Homeland Security Today on 27th August reported that, in a recent information letter to the maritime sector, the Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) advises of an increase in the number of cyber campaigns targeting several different sectors since June 2019 and states that both the maritime sector and the oil and gas sector have been victims of such targeted attacks. The letter is said to advise that while the scope of these campaigns and the subsequent incidents are reportedly global, “companies in the United States of America, Europe, and the Middle East have been the main targets”. Although the NSM’s information letter is directed at Norwegian companies, it advises all ship operators and companies with responsibility for infrastructure onboard ships to continuously monitor and review digital security and to follow the recommendations provided in the letter. The letter also provided links to other related guidance provided.
NEW RANSOMWARE GROWS 118% IN Q1 2019 WITH INNOVATIVE TACTICS
On 28th August, Homeland Security Today reports on the latest report from McAfee which says that McAfee saw an average of 504 new threats per minute in Q1 and a resurgence of ransomware along with changes in campaign execution and code. It says that 68% of targeted attacks utilised spearphishing for initial access and 77% relied upon user actions for campaign execution. McAfee says that it observed innovations in ransomware campaigns, with shifts in initial access vectors, campaign management and technical innovations in the code.
COURT ORDERS CONFISCATION OF PROPERTIES OF SALMAN SHAHBAZ’S, SON OF OPPOSITION LEADER
The News International in Pakistan on 31st August reported that a court had ordered confiscation of the properties of Salman Shahbaz, son of opposition leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, in a money laundering case. It also ordered the start of proceedings to declare Salman an absconder.
CITES E-PERMIT APPLICATION, PROCESSING, ISSUANCE AND REPORTING SYSTEM UNVEILED
On 30th August, the UN Conference on Trade and Development reported that it is bringing new technology to the forefront of the management of endangered wildlife trade by the 183 parties to CITES. It unveiled the electronic permit system at a recent conference in Geneva. The cloud-based solution is called “eCITES BaseSolution”. It is said that the system will vastly improve the management of global wildlife trade for parties that do not have access to electronic permit management systems. UNCTAD is piloting the system with the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation to improve the authority’s capacity to control legal trade of CITES-listed species and help prevent illegal trade.
BETEL NUTS ILLEGAL IMPORT THROUGH MYANMAR BORDER CONTINUES UNABATED
Catch News on 31st August reported that the Indian government last year banned the import of betel nuts in order to prevent illegal smuggling through the Myanmar border. But the smuggling of betel nuts from SE Asian countries through Myanmar border continues unabated. According to a report, Myanmar produces 10,000 tonnes of betel nuts annually but it exports 40,000 tonnes to India – the other 30,000 tonnes coming from Indonesia and Thailand, where the price of betel nuts are comparatively lower than India.
CHINESE FIRM “BRIBED WITH CASH AND HOUSES TO WIN TENDER FOR KENYAN MALL”
The Citizen in Tanzania on 31st August reported claims that a Chinese-owned company bribed Lake Basin Development Authority board members to secure agreement to build a mall. The matter came to light as 2 Chinese directors applied for “anticipatory bail” as the Kenyan anti-corruption agency considered charging them.
“THE LAUNDROMAT”: NETFLIX RELEASE DATE, PLOT, CAST & TRAILER
On 31st August, What’s On Netflix published details of the movie based on the Panama Papers scandal. Interestingly, none of the locations listed included Panama…
LACK OF US GUN CONTROL PROVOKES RECORD BLOODSHED IN MEXICO
Insight Crime on 31st August reported that between 2013 and 2018, 70% of the 96,036 firearms recovered by Mexican authorities and turned over to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were traced back to the US. In 2018 alone, half of the 16,343 firearms recovered in Mexico were manufactured in the US. The US has a glut of weapons — especially high-powered ones — and lacks strong control mechanisms and, at the same time, criminal actors in Mexico are in constant search of such weaponry. The article says that “straw purchases” and illegal trafficking aren’t the only ways that US firearms get into the hands of bad actors. The US is the largest supplier of firearms globally but the mechanisms, however, put in place to control legal sales of firearms by licensed dealers to international actors have failed.
MARYLAND MAN GETS 30 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN $20 MILLION PONZI SCHEME
The Daily Mail reported on 31st August that Bradley Mascho, 53, had been sentenced, and also had to pay $5 million in restitution. In July, investment adviser, Dawn Bennett, 56, had been sentenced in connection with the same fraud. Investigators found evidence in Bennett’s home that she tried to silence SEC investigators by casting “hoodoo” spells.
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