Posts Tagged ‘cyber crime’

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Terror plotting news: suggested reading

April 7, 2016
  • Al Qaeda in Syria seizes weapons from Western-backed rebels… more>>
  • U.S. indicts 7 Iranians who hacked 46 American banksmore>>
  • Documents seized from ISIS show Turkey gave their fighters safe passage to Syria… more>>
  • Belgium’s alleged Muslim Brotherhood front is funded by Qatar Charitymore>>
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Of money and fundamentalism: news links

July 16, 2015
  • Man sentenced to 7 years for paying $2,450 toward a suicide bomb that wounded 300… more from Jihad Watch>>
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Clandestine money news: suggested reading

February 12, 2015
  • Vigilante hackers want to bankrupt terrorists by attacking their banks’ websitesmore>>
  • A federal judge rejects a slap-on-the-wrist deal with a corporation that made $21 million from illegal transactions with Iran… more>>
  • ISIS is assessing a 50 percent payroll tax against Iraqi civil servants working in their territory… more>>
  • Despite being designated a state sponsor of terrorism, Syria has been given $200,000 of your tax dollars through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation… more>>
  • Want more news? Visit Drugs & Thugs Blog for more recommended reading… more>>
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Terror finance predictions for 2015

January 1, 2015
  • Counter-terror attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner says that a jury trial will begin in January for the Sokolow v. Palestinian Liberation Organization. The case is notable in that it takes on the Palestinian Authority itself in addition to the PLO, and could set the precedent for further lawsuits to help de-fund the PA and PLO by terrorist victims’ families.
  • A trial to set damages for Arab Bank PLC’s role in financing terrorism is scheduled to begin in May (h/t Sal). Arab Bank wanted to skip the trial and settle for $12 million, but U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan ruled that a trial would be a more useful starting point.
  • NYU professor Maha Hosain Aziz predicts that lone wolf Islamist terrorist attacks will increase, requiring closer monitoring of social media by law enforcement (h/t Don). Money Jihad predicts that public officials will cite these increased lone wolf attacks as an excuse for why they fail to interdict terrorist funds. They will claim that self-financed attacks are harder to detect than transactions across terrorist financial networks.
  • Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford says Afghan forces will be “tested” by the Taliban in 2015. As Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq indicated, leaving inadequate forces to combat terrorists can lead to their financial resurgence as it did with ISIS. This looks even more ominous when coupled with the Pakistani Taliban’s “stockpiling” of cash through extortion and kidnap-for-ransom schemes in 2014.
  • The FC Barcelona soccer team will not renew its sponsorship deal with Qatar in 2015 over terror finance concerns.
  • Finally, increased cyber-attacks and cyber-theft are always a safe bet. McAfee Labs predicts that “Small nation states and foreign terror groups will take to cyberspace to conduct warfare against their enemies” and increased ransomware attacks in 2015.

Money Jihad predictions last year for 2014 were somewhat prescient, including the projection that Narendra Modi would move against illicit finance if elected as prime minister of India, which he was and which he did, and that ransomware would develop into a larger cyber-security threat. But our predictions that Congress would declassify 28 redacted pages of its report into 9/11, and that Congress would tighten sanctions on Iran proved to be off.

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Financial war on terror: recommended reading

August 21, 2014
  • Time for a good old-fashioned asset freeze, arms embargo, and international travel ban against 6 ISIS terrorists… more>>
  • The beltway chatter is that the U.S. can’t do much to stop the financing of ISIS because it makes millions locally, which is harder to interdict that international funds transfers. Newsmax disagrees… more>>
  • ISIS may be behind high-profile cyber-hacks against Tony Blair, P-Diddy, and banks in order to finance their terror in Iraq… more>>
  • A British mosque will host a fundraiser with a speaker from the radical Hizb ut-Tahrirmore>>
  • U.S. taxpayer dollars fund UNRWA, a UN agency in the Palestinian territories staffed by a Hamas-run labor union whose members’ salaries are siphoned by Hamas as union dues… more>>
  • The German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the main civilian airport is Iran has been transformed into a “hub of terror” for arms shipments by the IRGC to Hezbollah… more>>
  • The feds will force 21,550 banks to mine more data on 8 million accounts a year. The American Bankers Association asks, “Once you have that information, what do you do with it?” more>>
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Mad money news: recommended reading

August 7, 2014
  • Boko Haram schools are funded by Saudi charities… more>>
  • What could Hamas have bought and built for its own people for the same price as its smuggling tunnels?  Infographic>>
  • Fethullah Gulen and his Turkish operatives have quietly begun donating tens of thousands of dollars to elected officials in the U.S…. more>>
  • Terrorists are planning major cyber attacks according to the Department of Justice and the 9/11 Commission. Targets:  the economy and power grid… more>>
  • Companies should think twice before making a donation to a “charity” tied to a public official… more>>
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Terror funding & financial crime predictions for 2014

December 31, 2013
  1. As U.S. troops depart Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban is poised for a banner year, financially speaking.  The Pakistani Taliban is laying the groundwork for a resurgence too, accumulating money from an extortion spree against businessmen (see here, here, here, here, and here) throughout 2013.
  2. The 28-page section of the 2002 report from Joint Congressional Inquiry into Sept. 11, 2001, implicating Saudi financing of the 9/11 hijackers could either be declassified or leaked in 2014.  Enough of a consensus is gathering that the section was redacted for diplomatic purposes, and should be disclosed so the American people know the truth (or at least more of the truth than is already known about Saudi Arabia’s role in financing global terrorism).
  3. “A major data destruction attack will happen,” and ransomware will be involved.  Websense explains, “Historically, most attackers have used a network breach to steal information for profit. In 2014, organizations will need to be concerned about nation-states and cyber-criminals using a breach to destroy data. Ransomware will play a part in this trend and move down market to small and medium sized organizations.”
  4. Narendra Modi could become elected prime minister of India next year.  Mr. Modi has spoken out against corruption, black money, hawala, and terrorism to a greater degree than the current ruling Congress party.  His victory would represent a significant threat to the established criminal and terrorist underworld in India and Kashmir that are being backed by Pakistan.
  5. New legislation including, at the federal level, renewed sanctions against Iran, and at the state level, sharia law bans (“American laws for American courts” initiatives), and anti-fraud legislation at the state level dealing with no-fault car insurance fraud and counterfeit airbags, may be enacted in 2014.

Some other thoughts come to us from the Council on Foreign Relations, which has published an interesting forecast of 2014 based on surveys of public officials and experts, including the possibility of major terrorist attacks in the U.S., in Kashmir, and by al-Shabaab against Somalia’s neighbors.

Incidentally, prosecutors in the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are pushing for a fall 2014 trial, although defense lawyers have argued that will be too soon.

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Money jihad news: recommended reading

October 3, 2013
  • Cooking the books to cook up a plot? A KMPG accountant who confessed to funding Al Qaeda is sentenced to 18 years in prison… more>>
  • Granting recognition to the “State of Palestine” is more than symbolic; it allows for smuggling contraband into the Palestinian territories under diplomatic cover… more>>
  • While volunteering in a Jerusalem dental clinic, Dr. Wise was severely wounded by three bombs set by Hamas. She’s suing Iran for damages in the first of what will be many new lawsuits filed by Canadian victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism… more>>
  • One year after the cyber-attacks against our banks by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the time has come for your business to brace itself toomore>>
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Flash crash and the Obama hoax

May 14, 2013

When a fake news bulletin was distributed after the Associated Press’s Twitter feed was hacked on April 23, the stock market instantly dropped a full 1 percent. 

On his Global Economic Warfare website, Kevin Freeman tackles the implications of the fake tweet on the market, and how market manipulation can be used as a financial warfare tactic.  Read his important posts here and here.  An excerpt follows:

A Single, Man-Made Stock Market Crash is a New-Concept Weapon

Bogus tweet claims president hurt

When the two PLA Colonels wrote Unrestricted Warfare in 1999, they listed “a single man-made stock market crash” as one of three specific new-concept weapons for the 21st Century. They called it financial warfare.

We have been warning about market manipulation for several years, first in our report for the Department of Defense and then in the New York Times Best-Seller, Secret Weapon. Yet, most in the intelligence and defense community know little about the financial markets. And, those who understand the markets generally know little about defense. Unfortunately, our enemies have studied both.

This week, we saw a hacked Twitter account used as a weapon resulting in a mini flash crash for stocks. Even as the market recovered in minutes, estimates are that there was something like $150 or $200 billion lost even if only briefly. We mentioned this in an earlier post.

While any human could clearly see that the White House was not bombed as the hacked tweets claimed, computer algorithms that monitor social media sites could not tell the difference. As a result, massive sell programs began and other high-frequency algorithms picked up on it.

The Syrian Electronic Army claims that they were the source of the false tweet…

Mr. Freeman also included this graphic which showed the plunge in trading.  The person or entity responsible for the planned Twitter forgery could have anticipated the miniature flash crash and hedged against it in order to profit from the hack:

Market nose dive from Twitter hoax

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One Algerian’s financial cyber-crime spree

May 7, 2013

Bank robbery cartoon:

Hacker Hamza Bendelladj’s malware infected personal computers in order to steal the financial credentials of unsuspecting users and sell the data to third parties.  If one man with a computer and an Internet connection can operate a scheme like this, just think of what an enemy state actor could accomplish.

This press release comes to us from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Atlanta Division of the FBI on May 3 (h/t Douglas McNabb):

Algerian National Extradited from Thailand to Face Federal Cyber Crime Charges in Atlanta for SpyEye Virus

ATLANTA—Hamza Bendelladj, an Algerian national also known as Bx1, will be arraigned on federal cyber crime charges for his role in developing, marketing, distributing, and operating the malicious computer virus SpyEye.

“No violence or coercion was used to accomplish this scheme, just a computer and an Internet connection,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Bendelladj’s alleged criminal reach extended across international borders, directly into victims’ homes. In a cyber netherworld, he allegedly commercialized the wholesale theft of financial and personal information through this virus which he sold to other cyber criminals. Cyber criminals, take note—we will find you. This arrest and extradition demonstrates our determination to bring you to justice.”

“Hamza Bendelladj has been extradited to the United States to face charges of controlling and selling a nefarious computer virus designed to pry into computers and extract personal financial information,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman. “The indictment charges Bendelladj and his co-conspirators with operating servers designed to control the personal computers of unsuspecting individuals and aggressively marketing their virus to other international cybercriminals intent on stealing sensitive information. The extradition of Bendelladj to face charges in the United States demonstrates our steadfast determination to bring cyber criminals to justice, no matter where they operate.”

“The FBI has expanded its international partnerships to allow for such extraditions of criminals who know no borders,” stated Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The federal indictment and extradition of Bendelladj should send a very clear message to those international cyber criminals who feel safe behind their computers in foreign lands that they are, in fact, within reach.”

Bendelladj, 24, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia on December 20, 2011. The 23-count indictment charges him with one count of conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and 11 counts of computer fraud. Bendelladj was apprehended at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, on January 5, 2013, while he was in transit from Malaysia to Egypt. The indictment was unsealed on May 1, 2013. Bendelladj was extradited from Thailand to the United States on May 2, 2013, and was arraigned in United States District Court before United States Magistrate Judge Janet F. King.

According to court documents, the SpyEye virus is malicious computer code, or malware, which is designed to automate the theft of confidential personal and financial information, such as online banking credentials, credit card information, usernames, passwords, PINs, and other personally identifying information. The SpyEye virus facilitates this theft of information by secretly infecting victims’ computers, enabling cyber criminals to remotely control the computers through command and control (C&C) servers. Once a computer is infected and under the cyber criminals’ control, a victim’s personal and financial information can be surreptitiously collected using techniques such as “web injects,” which allow cyber criminals to alter the display of webpages in the victim’s browser in order to trick them into divulging personal information related to their financial accounts. The financial data is then transmitted to the cyber criminals’ C&C servers, where criminals use it to steal money from the victims’ financial accounts.

The indictment alleges that from 2009 to 2011, Bendelladj and others developed, marketed, and sold various versions of the SpyEye virus and component parts on the Internet and allowed cyber criminals to customize their purchases to include tailor-made methods of obtaining victims’ personal and financial information. Bendelladj allegedly advertised the SpyEye virus on Internet forums devoted to cyber crime and other criminal activities. In addition, Bendelladj allegedly operated C&C servers, including a server located in the Northern District of Georgia, which controlled computers infected with the SpyEye virus. One of the files on Bendelladj’s C&C server in the Northern District of Georgia allegedly contained information from approximately 253 unique financial institutions.

If convicted, Bendelladj faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud; up to 20 years for each wire fraud count; up to five years for conspiracy to commit computer fraud; up to five or 10 years for each count of computer fraud; and fines of up to $14 million…

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Money jihad news: recommended reading

April 26, 2013
  • “We know that the financial markets are one of the battlefields on which future wars will be fought.”  So what are we doing about it?  More>>
  • It’s not just the big boys. Increasing cyber-attacks even have your community bank looking over its shouldermore>>
  • As a thief, it doesn’t get any better than pulling off a $97 million heist. Until you realize you’re stuck with a million pieces of paper weighing half a ton stacked 40 stories high… more>>
  • “Lawfare” is used to stifle, intimidate, and discredit those speaking and writing about Islamism, terrorism, and its financing—a fancy way of trying to cut out our tongues… more>>