Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Bloomberg: Steve Jobs Behind NYC Crime Wave

December 29th, 2012 12:33 admin View Comments


theodp writes “Rudy Giuliani had John Gotti to worry about; Mike Bloomberg has Steve Jobs. Despite all-time lows for the city in homicides and shootings, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said overall crime in New York City was up 3.3% in 2012 due to iPhone, iPad and other Apple device thefts, which have increased by 3,890 this year. ‘If you just took away the jump in Apple, we’d be down for the year,’ explained Marc La Vorgna, the mayor’s press secretary. ‘The proliferation of people carrying expensive devices around is so great,’ La Vorgna added. ‘It’s something that’s never had to be dealt with before.’ Bloomberg also took to the radio, urging New Yorkers who didn’t want to become a crime statistic to keep their iDevices in an interior, hard-to-reach pocket: ‘Put it in a pocket in sort of a more body-fitting, tighter clothes, that you can feel if it was — if somebody put their hand in your pocket, not just an outside coat pocket.’ But it seems the best way to fight the iCrime Wave might be to slash the $699 price of an iPhone (unactivated), which costs an estimated $207 to make. The U.S. phone subsidy model reportedly adds $400+ to the price of an iPhone. So, is offering unlocked alternatives at much more reasonable prices than an iPhone — like the $299 Nexus 4, for starters — the real key to taking a bite out of cellphone crime? After all, didn’t dramatic price cuts pretty much kill car stereo theft?”

Source: Bloomberg: Steve Jobs Behind NYC Crime Wave

Illegal Downloading Now a Crime In Japan With Increased Penalties

October 1st, 2012 10:47 admin View Comments


eldavojohn writes “Although downloading songs without paying for them in Japan used to be a civil offense starting in 2010, it is now a crime with new penalties of up to two years in prison or fines of up to two million yen ($25,700). The lobbying group behind this push for more extreme penalties is none other than the RIAJ (the Japanese RIAA). The BBC notes this applies to both music and video downloads which may put anime studios in a particularly uncomfortable position.”

Source: Illegal Downloading Now a Crime In Japan With Increased Penalties

Lying Online No Longer a Crime In Rhode Island

June 27th, 2012 06:13 admin View Comments

The Internet

stevegee58 writes “In a sudden outbreak of common sense, Rhode Island repealed an obscure law enacted in 1989 that made it a crime to lie in online postings. Violations of this law carried a maximum penalty of $500 and up to a year in prison. From the article: ‘”This law made virtually the entire population of Rhode Island a criminal,” said Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union. “When this bill was enacted nobody had any idea what its ramifications were. Telling fibs may be wrong, but it shouldn’t be criminal activity.” The law aimed to stop fraud, con artists and scammers, but also outlawed the “transmission of false data” regardless of whether liars stood to profit from their deception or not.’”

Source: Lying Online No Longer a Crime In Rhode Island

Belief In Hell Predicts a Country’s Crime Rates Better Than Other Factors

June 19th, 2012 06:17 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “Religion is often thought of as psychological defense against bad behavior, but researchers have recently found that the effect of religion on pro-social behaviors may actually be driven by the belief in hell and supernatural punishment rather than faith in heaven and spiritual benevolence. In a large analysis of 26 years of data consisting of 143,197 people in 67 countries, psychologists found significantly lower crime rates in societies where many people believe in hell compared to those where more people believed in heaven.”

Source: Belief In Hell Predicts a Country’s Crime Rates Better Than Other Factors

Aussie Police Consider Using Automated Spy Drones

May 13th, 2012 05:15 admin View Comments


beaverdownunder writes “Police in the Australian state of Victoria have confirmed that they are investigating employing unmanned drones in the war against crime, following the lead of law enforcement agencies in the United States, set to begin using drones as of tomorrow. This revelation has alarmed Australian civil libertarians, who fear that in a country with no constitutionally-protected civil rights, people could be surveilled for political reasons.”

Source: Aussie Police Consider Using Automated Spy Drones

Internet Crime Focus of Black Hat Europe

March 15th, 2012 03:45 admin View Comments


kierny writes “‘The Internet needs crime,’ said renowned cryptographer Whitfield Diffie, kicking off the Black Hat Europe conference in Amsterdam. His analysis — that there can’t be good guys without bad guys — helps explain not just the rise of black hat hackers and, more recently, hacktivism, but signals that the information security profession will continue to not just be relevant, but demanded, especially as the number of data-spewing devices increases exponentially.”

Source: Internet Crime Focus of Black Hat Europe

Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime

February 14th, 2012 02:51 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that transit officials have started to get a handel on subway crime when they started playing Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Strauss at the Lake Street light-rail station after neighborhood residents complained about the station becoming a haven for rowdy teens and vagrants. ‘If it encourages some people to wander away because it’s not their favorite type of music, I guess that’s OK,’ says Acting Transit Police Chief A.J. Olson. The program is modeled after one is Portland that has shown early signs of success, though the numbers are so small as to be statistically insignificant and even supporters of the music haven’t reached a consensus on whether such environmental changes actually deter crime or just push it down the block. Not everyone is sold on using ‘lovely lovely Ludwig Van’ as a deterrent. ‘Classical music lovers hate the fact that urban planners use classical music to disperse youth,’ says Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff. ‘Does it chase crime away?’ adds Olson. ‘It’s hard to measure. But I do think it makes it a more pleasant place to wait for a train.’”

Source: Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime

Police Investigate Offensive Wi-Fi Network Name

January 20th, 2012 01:50 admin View Comments

Wireless Networking

An anonymous reader writes “Police in Teaneck, New Jersey, with apparently too much time on their hands, are investigating an offensive wireless network name. Although the police didn’t reveal the name, the New York Daily News reports that it was anti-Semitic and racist in nature. The incident is being investigated as a possible ‘bias crime.’ It’s definitely not what proper people do, but a ‘bias crime?’”

Source: Police Investigate Offensive Wi-Fi Network Name

Big Data, Big Attraction for Organized Crime

December 23rd, 2011 12:00 admin View Comments

bigcrimedata.jpgMaybe Marc Goodman’s talk from the Strata Summit on the business of illegal data grabbed me because I just finished watching the entire series of The Sopranos from start to finish last week. But even if you don’t have a penchant for mob shows, Goodman’s talk is worth the time to watch.

As we wax on about the wonders of big data, Goodman reminds us “the more data you produce, the more criminals are happy to receive what you produce.”

Much of that, he says, is stolen by organized crime. Goodman says 85% of data stolen is stolen by organized crime.

The criminal underground, says Goodman, has already figured out systems to take advantage of data. Whether that’s data with obvious value like credit card information, or not so obvious. Goodman says that “social data is great for criminal underground.” How do they get it? Two main ways, one is malware. The other? Social engineering.

Business of Stolen Data

You know how prices for legitimate data services tend to normalize? Amazon and Rackspace, for example, price their cloud storage offerings pretty similarly. Well, Goodman says that stolen data has fairly standard pricing as well. In the market for stolen data, $10 will get you a stolen credit card with a $25,000 limit. For $700, you can get a bank account with a $82,000 balance.


The “good” news? A big one like the Sony PlayStation breach means that it drives the price down for data. Just like any other market, there’s supply and demand – and a big flood of data drives the price down.

The Sony PlayStation Network hack got a great deal of attention, but it turns out that it’s not even the biggest breach recently. Heartland Payment Systems was hacked to the tune of 130 million records in January 2009. TJX Companies were breached in 2007 for 94 million. Sony was “only” 77 million accounts. (You have to wonder how many unfortunate folks had their data compromised with Sony, Heartland and TJX.)

Crime as a Service

How do criminals scale? Goodman says “crimeware” is available, and there’s a full “illicit data supply chain” that happens across different organized crime groups around the world. Because there’s not enough acronyms in the world, Goodman calls this Crime as a Service (CaaS). This includes free demos, service level agreements (SLAs) and discounts for buying in bulk.

Even more impressive, or scary depending on your point of view, is that Goodman says that some CaaS providers offer 800 numbers to support their software.

Terrorist Use of Data

He also talks about terrorist use of data to plan attacks, and says that the 2008 Mumbai attacks were “the most technologically advanced attack planed by a terrorist organization to date.” What was different, says Goodman, was that terrorists were mining data in real time during the attack. Goodman’s final story will make you think a little more carefully about the information you put online.

Take a few minutes to watch Goodman’s talk, it’s definitely something to think about.

Source: Big Data, Big Attraction for Organized Crime

Gulf Bloggers Sentenced to Prison

November 27th, 2011 11:43 admin View Comments

mansour 150.jpgToday, the Federal Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates, acting as the “State Security Court,” sentenced five bloggers to prison time. Pioneering Emirati blogger Ahmed Mansour received the harshest sentence, three years. The other four received sentences of two years each.

Mansoor was charged in April with a very popular “crime” among the tyrannies that crack down on difference of opinion: “insult.” In this case, insulting the U.A.E.’s leadership; specifically, the Vice President of Abu Dhabi.

uae.jpgMansoor is a prominent blogger in the Arab World. He is also a communications engineer and published poet. One of his publishers was the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. Mansoor was the creator and administrator of the Web forum “Hiwar” (which means Dialogue in Arabic), which the court ordered shut down. His fellow defendants were active on the site.

Others sentenced, according to Agence France Presse, were Nasser bin Gaith, a lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of the Sorbonne University, activists Fahid Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq. They were also convicted with insulting the country’s leadership, as well as “calling for a boycott of September’s Federal National Council elections and… anti-government demonstrations.”

The trial took five months, according to Reuters.

International human rights groups condemned the kangaroo court. Among other things, the “crime” of insult is not recognized as such by most countries. The sentences are clearly disproportionate (precedent for the law they were convicted under treated the crimes as misdemeanours) and used by a frightened oligarchy who fear their loss of privilege, despite the country being only lightly touched by the Arab Spring that has swept through the region.

Supporters have taken to Twitter to register their opinions on the “U.A.E. 5,” as they are called, with the hashtag #uae5.

Other sources: TNW

Source: Gulf Bloggers Sentenced to Prison