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Archive for April, 2011

Policewoman rips axe

from man’s hands

April 28, 2011 – 10:03AM

A female detective has acted quickly to wrench an axe from a man’s hands as her colleague held his attention with his drawn police pistol at a tavern in Perth’s north.

The officers rushed to the Wanneroo Tavern in Wanneroo about 10.50pm yesterday after bar staff called police to report a man was in the public bar courtyard armed with a metre-long axe.

On arrival the officers were confronted with the man, prompting detective sergeant to draw his handgun and warn him to drop the weapon, a police spokesman said.

As the man was distracted by the gun, a female detective “reached across and tore the axe from his grip”, the spokesman said.

Following further warnings, the officers managed to seize a bottle from the man.

Other police arrived at the scene and assisted in restraining the violently struggling man, who kicked officers and bit one on the wrist before he was handcuffed on the ground, the police spokesman said.

No one suffered any serious injuries in the struggle.

A 29-year-old Wanneroo man has been charged with going armed in a public place to cause fear and resisting police.

He was due to appear in the Joondalup Magistrates Court on Thursday.

AAP       


Tiny Tokelau is the giant

of cyber crime havens.

Has Bill Gates of Microsoft got a nuclear fallout bunker in New Zealnad and is it connected to this tiny cyber crime capital of the world???

April 28, 2011 – 12:47PM

It has no capital, no airport and only 1400 people who call it home, but the tiny isle of Tokelau has become the cyber crime centre of the world.

A new report by an international group tackling internet scams has confirmed that Tokelau, a New Zealand territory, has more malicious registrations under its .tk domain name than any other domain except .com.

These fraudulent web addresses are used for phishing, where emails are sent to random web addresses in an attempt to steal banking information and other personal details.

Tokelau sold its domain name to a Dutch company, BV Dot TK, which provides the domain free worldwide, making it an easy target for scammers.

“By offering free domain names, .tk has become the third largest country code top-level domain after Germany’s .de and Great Britain’s .uk,” The Anti-Phishing Working Group wrote in its latest global report, released at a technology conference in Malaysia this week.

The report examined all phishing attacks in the second half of 2010 and found a “significant” number used the tropical nation’s domain.

“While there were phishing domains registered across 183 top-level domains, 89 per cent were concentrated in just four: .com, .tk, .net and .info,” the report stated.

About 80 per cent of Tokelau-registered names used for phishing were targeting Chinese institutions.

Tokelau itself is not responsible for the problem. The sale secured islanders free high speed broadband internet without the hassle of policing their domain.

Owner BV Dot TK appeared to be aware of the problem, admitting on its website: “we are used by fraudsters and we are very aware of this”.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group said the e-crime landscape was a constantly shifting battlefield, where phishers were always moving away from well-defended sites toward ripe targets.

“That makes free domains like .tk especially vulnerable to ongoing abuses,” it said.

AAP  


Drug culture all the rave

in sporting cradle

ACT Canberra capital of Australia

BY HENRIETTA COOK
28 Apr, 2011 06:44 AM

Revellers at a dance party hosted by the Australian Institute of Sport on Tuesday openly boasted of being high on hard drugs.

And the institute, the breeding ground of Australia’s future Olympians which maintains a hardline anti-drugs policy, is refusing to say how much cash it reaped from the all-day event.

The Canberra Times attended the Warehouse Festival and found the event was rife with drugs, with illicit substances found in the toilets and strewn across the dance floor.

ACT Policing maintained a heavy presence, including a drugs detection dog, outside the event but said they were not invited inside by the organisers, Kicks Entertainment.

Officers caught two revellers with pills believed to contain party drugs and placed one person into protective custody for drunken behaviour.

But inside the event there was ample evidence that a drugs party was in full swing.

One 24-year-old male, who did not wish to be named, said he had smuggled the synthetic drug MDMA into the elite sporting institution.

”I’ll probably pop a few pills later on, they are very easy to find in Canberra, too easy,” he said.

Another reveller said he couldn’t afford alcohol sold at the event so was ”getting high” instead.

An AIS spokeswoman said Government officials were unaware of drugs being brought into the sporting facility and had carried out a thorough risk assessment.

”The AIS did not have any advice that drugs would be present at the event,” she said.

”However, the AIS and the promoter put in place a number of measures to minimise any risks.”

The Government spokeswoman said event organisers had engaged with emergency services, worked with the police and enforced a ”no tolerance policy” in relation to drugs.

She said a ”confidence arrangement” prevented the AIS from disclosing the amount of money it received for hosting the event.

Kicks Entertainment director Ryan Phillips said the event had been a success and the AIS was one of the few venues in Canberra where a dance festival could be hosted.

”There will be some people who chose to do the wrong thing and that’s why we have situations in place to limit [drugs],” he said.

about how they use drugs at these events.”

More than 4,500 people attended Warehouse Festival, which is now in its fourth year and attracted international acts including Deadmau5, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson and Skrillex.

Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia director, Paul Dillon, said it was impossible to keep drugs out of dance events and the institute’s decision to host Warehouse Festival was motivated by money.

But he said there was a big danger in reducing the number of venues where dance festivals take place.

”What happens is they take place elsewhere. And when they go underground there is a chance of things going wrong. It’s getting harder and harder to find a venue to take them on. Young people who are involved with dance culture have become blase about how they use drugs at these events.”

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Preteen girls charged

over Facebook sex prank

April 28, 2011 – 6:42AM

Two preteen US girls accused of hacking into a classmate’s Facebook page and posting sexually explicit photos and messages have been charged with cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing.

The girls, ages 11 and 12, have been under investigation since the alleged victim’s family contacted Issaquah police in Washington state on March 18, according to the charges filed in King County Juvenile Court. According to the charges, the two defendants used the victim’s password information to post sexually explicit content on her Facebook page.

They also posted messages that indicated the victim was willing to perform sex acts on people.

The defendants instant-messaged some boys to arrange dates where sex acts were to be performed by the victim, according to the charges.

Jon Knight, the stepfather of the 12-year-old alleged victim, said his family is relieved that the case has resulted in criminal charges. He said that he wasn’t taken seriously when he reported the incident to Issaquah police and to staff at Issaquah Middle School.

Knight said his stepdaughter, Leslie Cote, has asked the media to use her name in hopes of bringing attention to the issue of cyberstalking.

Issaquah police were called to the Cote-Knight home on March 18 after Leslie’s mother, Tara Cote, called to report vulgar postings on her daughter’s Facebook page, charges said. A woman who mentored Leslie told the family that she had noticed photos on the page had been changed to show Leslie with “devil’s horns” and with the words “I’m a slut” scrawled across one image, prosecutors said.

The alterations and postings apparently became more vulgar as the night progressed.

Prosecutors said that Leslie had been over at a defendant’s house in early March when she logged into Facebook. Leslie’s password information was somehow stored on the other girl’s computer.

After the girls had a falling out, the defendants hacked into the page “with the intent of embarrassing and tormenting the victim,” Issaquah police Detective Ryan Raulerson wrote in the affidavit of probable cause filed to support the charges.

Sara Niegowski, spokeswoman for the Issaquah School District, said Tuesday the district was not conducting its own investigation into the incident because it did not occur on school property. She said the defendants are still enrolled at Issaquah Middle School.

“This incident happened off-campus, off school time and not related to our school environments. There is no disciplinary action at all. It’s not a school district incident,” Niegowski said.

Niegowski said that the incident has not been a disruption at the school.

“You know what’s a disruption is the media coverage,” she said. “We always look out for the welfare of our students.”

Knight said that his stepdaughter has been granted a restraining order forbidding the defendants from contacting her and barring them from riding her school bus. The three girls are in some of the same classes, Knight said.

On Tuesday, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said, “This case reveals the dark side of social media sites used by young people.”

In a news release, Satterberg wrote: “Many kids think that on a social media site that their actions will be anonymous and that they are free to use it as weapon to bully, harass, and intimidate another person. This case demonstrates that assuming the identity of another person on the Internet with the intent to torment them and expose them to the harassment of others is a crime.”

MCT  

FBI probes of some

cyber attacks face troubles

WASHINGTON | Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:31pm EDT

(Reuters) – FBI agents have had trouble investigating cyber attacks involving national security because they lack the needed technical expertise or are often transferred or diverted to other cases, according to a government report released on Wednesday.

Sensitive government computer networks are under regular attack from hackers seeking to steal classified material or to cripple critical operations. About 19 percent of the FBI’s cyber agents focus on national security cases.

Some cyber agents complained they did not have the proper experience to investigate such cases, were assigned to other matters or were rotated between offices too often, according to a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

“Because national security intrusion cases are highly technical and require a specific set of skills, new cyber agents are often not equipped to assume responsibility of a national security intrusion investigation,” the report said.

Further, field agents do not have enough tactical analytical support for those cases, “hampering their ability to connect the dots in an investigation and to determine those responsible for intrusions,” it said.

The FBI in 2007 issued a plan for agents to become experts for cyber security investigations with 12 core courses and expected them to complete it along with on-the-job training in five to seven years. The number of agents who have completed the coursework was not made public in the report.

The inspector general’s office tested 36 cyber agents it interviewed to see if they had the technical skills for national security cases and found that 64 percent did.

Five of the 36 field agents interviewed said that they did not think they were able to effectively investigate national security intrusions and were not qualified to do so, according to the inspector general’s report.

The FBI told the inspector general that it was looking into the concerns about transfers and that the cyber division has also begun realigning its career path program to ensure “field offices had qualified agents to investigate national security intrusion matters,” the report said.

The inspector general also recommended that the FBI create regional hubs with cyber agents who can deal with the national security cases, an idea the agency said it was considering.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Jackie Frank)

Police accidently shoot

dog attack victim

(Reuters) – A German woman who had escaped without serious injury from a dog attack was accidentally shot by police while she hid from the animal behind a door, police said on Wednesday.

Police in Berlin shot the dog dead, but a stray bullet went through the door behind which the woman was cowering, striking her in the arm.

The woman was not seriously injured. She had gone to visit neighbors at their apartment on Tuesday evening when their two-year-old dog Carlito attacked her.

A police officer was also grazed in the throat by a ricocheting bullet. Police are investigating possible charges of negligence against both the dog’s owner and the police officers who fired the shots.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey, editing by Paul Casciato)

PlayStation hacking scandal:

police chief says

contact your bank now

Asher Moses

April 27, 2011 – 12:59PM

Millions affected by PlayStation hacking scandal

NSW Australian police fraud squad are warning Australian PlayStation users may have to cancel their credit card after hackers obtain personal information from millions of users.

  • 77 million customers affected
  • Notification delay: breach happened April 17-19
  • No law requiring companies to tell customers of breach
  • Passwords, logons, email addresses exposedNothing to stop hackers acquiring new credit cards

The head of the NSW Police fraud squad has warned Australian PlayStation users that they may have to cancel their credit cards after hackers stole enough information to even take out loans on the victims’ behalf.

The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, said he was “very concerned” and would contact Sony for more information on the breach, which security researchers have said may be the largest theft of identity data on record. His office has begun an “own motion investigation” into the matter.

Despite its PlayStation Network being knocked offline for the past week, Sony waited until today to notify its 77 million customers that an “illegal and unauthorised person” gained access to their names, addresses, email address, birthdates, usernames, passwords, logins, security questions and more.

The company also could not rule out credit card numbers and expiry dates being stolen. But even if no credit cards were stolen, the other details are enough to cause significant identity theft issues.

“If you’re armed with enough personal information you could basically do anything that the legitimate person could do themselves … [such as] obtain various forms of credit, you could target their banking accounts,” said NSW Police Detective Superintendent Col Dyson in a phone interview.

Detective Superintendent Dyson said those who obtained the personal information could use it to commit identity crimes or use the information to build a profile of the victims, which would then be used to gather further information about them before committing the crime.

“Personal or financial information is a valuable commodity and generally these days we find organised groups harvesting information and then selling it to other groups to use,” he said.

NSW Police advises affected Australians to consider cancelling their credit cards or at the very least call their banks to inform them that their cards may have been compromised. People should also change their passwords if they use their same PlayStation Network password for other services.

Sony Australia confirmed that the issue affected all PlayStation Network users, including Australian account holders. It said it had not received any reports or claims that credit card information had been used improperly to date.

“For the security of our valued customers, we are encouraging all account holders to be aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information,” Sony Australia said.

The Australian Bankers’ Association said there had yet to be any Australian reports of credit card details being compromised or other fraud that has occurred as a result of the Sony breach. It said banks would be in contact with individual customers if their cards need to be re-issued and any credit card holders who become affected would be protected from loss in genuine fraud cases.

With many web services now requiring users to give out personal information, which is then stored on company servers in the internet “cloud”, privacy breaches such as this are becoming more common.

Detective Superintendent Dyson said the move to storing personal information in the cloud had created new issues for law enforcement as the data was usually stored overseas, often in multiple jurisdictions.

“People should always be cautious about putting any personal information online or providing information to companies and the fact that the information or data is stored overseas is a challenge for law enforcement on a global scale really,” he said.

“It creates issues for law enforcement and makes the importance of us having a strong network with overseas law enforcement more important than ever.”

Detective Superintendent Dyson said he would wait for the lead overseas law enforcement agency on this matter to make contact and provide a briefing before he would assign local officers to investigate.

“There’s no use in us going out and starting interviewing people without knowing the full background of it and receiving a formal request,” he said.

It’s not clear how the PlayStation Network break-in occurred or how many Australians out of the 77 million global users are affected, but it is believed to include everyone with a PlayStation Network account.

The loose-knit group of online miscreants, Anonymous, has denied that it was responsible for the hack, despite it issuing a statement last week warning Sony it would be targeted as payback for Sony suing customers who cracked the PlayStation 3 software.

Colin Jacobs, chair of the online users’ lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, criticised Sony for the delay in notifying customers of the breach, which Sony said occurred between April 17 and April 19.

“A week is too long. If that information fell into the wrong hands, and you have to assume that it did immediately, those users could have been receiving sophisticated scams all week long,” he said.

“It’s a shame that it has come to this, but mandatory reporting laws might be necessary to prod companies to do the right thing regardless of the public relations consequences.”

Since Australia does not have mandatory notification laws for when data breaches occur, companies are not obligated to even inform customers when their personal information has been stolen. Dell Australia opted to inform customers when their details fell into the wrong hands recently but there were many more affected companies who did not come forward.

A recent report on privacy laws compiled by the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended that new data breach notification requirements be implemented, but the Federal Government has yet to say whether it will take this recommendation on board.

The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, said when breaches occur it was important for organisations to “notify their customers promptly” as this would help “mitigate any potential impact on individuals such as the risk of identity theft and fraud”.

“This is a massive data breach, with millions of users’ personal data compromised,” said Jacobs.

“Sony have an uphill battle in restoring their reputation and we can only hope their users don’t suffer too much for this lapse.”

Despite the criticisms that it took too long to notify people, Sony Australia believes it “responded quickly and are behaving responsibly”. It said that as soon as it learned of the issue it temproary turned off the PlayStation Network, engaged an outside security firm to conduct a full investigation and took steps to enhance security and strengthen its network infrastructure.


Hunt for French dad

over family deaths

April 22, 2011
The missing family.
Police have found five bodies believed to be the family of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes.

 

French police are looking for a man after a search for his family yielded a severed leg, then five buried bodies – believed to be those of his wife and their four children.

A source close to the investigation said an “active search” had been launched for Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, 50, after the macabre find at the family’s home in the western town of Nantes.

Mr De Ligonnes, a business manager, his school assistant wife Agnes, 49, and their children – sons Thomas, 21, Arthur, 18, and Benoit, 13, and daughter, Anne, 16 – disappeared from their home in the western town of Nantes this month.

French police at the site where three bodies were found.
French police at the site where the bodies were found. Photo: AFP

 

He had earlier told acquaintances he was a secret agent and was leaving to join a witness protection scheme.

Police probing the disappearance found a section of human leg in the garden of the grey stone two-story house on Thursday morning, then gradually unearthed five bodies throughout the day, Nantes prosecutor Xavier Ronsin told journalists in the city.

Three bodies, those of Agnes, Thomas and Arthur were exhumed first from under a patio of the house, said the prosecutor, adding they died “in all likelihood by firearm”.

Later in the day, a statement said “a fourth body – that of Anne – was exhumed with those of the family’s two dogs”.

In a later update, the prosecutor’s office said a fifth body – that of Benoit – had been dug up.

“So the investigation of a worrying disappearance has become one for kidnap and murder,” said Mr Ronsin, adding there was no sign of violence in the house itself.

The prosecutor described the father’s tales of espionage as “self-contradictory ravings”, adding the family had settled their children’s private school fees, claiming they were planning to emigrate to Australia.

Investigators said, however, they could find no records suggesting the family had made any major bank transactions or passed through a port or airport.

Police had sealed off the house and were conducting a painstaking forensic examination behind a screen of black plastic sheeting on Thursday.

After the remains of Benoit were found, a statement said the grave “does not contain any other bodies”, adding that investigators would provisionally withdraw from the crime scene on Thursday night.

Autopsies on the five bodies would be conducted at Nantes’ institute of forensic medicine on Friday, authorities said.

AFP    


Teen charged over mother’s death

Georgina Robinson
April 22, 2011

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of his mother, who was found dead in their house in northern NSW on Wednesday.

Police found the boy, from Suffolk Park, outside a motel in Port Macquarie yesterday evening after launching a public appeal for his whereabouts.

He had not been seen since a family friend found the body of the 48-year-old woman in their home on Hayter Street, about 11am on Wednesday.

Police said she had suffered a number of injuries but a post-mortem examination would determine the exact cause of her death.

Investigators found the boy’s car, a Holden Commodore, near Port Macquarie yesterday morning.

They arrested the boy about 5.45pm yesterday and last night charged him with murder, illegal use of conveyance and stealing.

The boy suffered from a medical condition and might not have taken his medication in recent days, police said.

He was refused bail and will appear in Port Macquarie Local Court today.


MOTHER & STEP-DAD CHARGED WITH CHILD MURDER-KEISHA

Police investigating the disappearance of Sydney girl Kiesha Abrahams have found skeletal remains in bushland in Sydney’s west.

The remains were found in a number of spots in bushland off Stony Creek Road, Shalvey, about 8am today, police said.

Officers attached to Strike Force Jarocin, set up to investigate Kiesha’s disappearance, are at the location and are helping specialist police. 

Murder charge ... Kiesha Abrahams.
Murder charge … Kiesha Abrahams.

 

Police said they had not yet positively identified the remains, which will be taken to Glebe Morgue for forensic examination.

The discovery comes after Kiesha’s mother and stepfather were charged with her murder.

Kiesha, who would have turned seven today, was reported missing from her Mount Druitt home in August last year but had not been seen alive for three weeks prior.

Police search bushland in Shalvey.
Police search bushland in Shalvey. Photo: Nick Moir

 

Early today, police arrested Kristi Abrahams, 28, and Robert Smith, 31, at Freya Crescent in Shalvey.

Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, from state crime homicide squad, said forensic officers would remain at the crime scene, but would not confirm they were searching for a body.

“Suffice to say that we will remain out there until we find what we’re looking for,” he said.

Police have set up a crime scene in Shalvey.
Police have set up a crime scene in Shalvey. Photo: Nick Moir

 

He said it had been a long and arduous investigation.

“We had tremendous community support all along the way and I think it was simply the case that we never wanted to give up on this matter.”

Ms Abrahams and Mr Smith chose not to appear via video link at Parramatta Bail Court this morning.

Their solicitor, Alexander Reetov, told the court that Ms Abrahams was distraught.

“She has instructed me that she does not wish to appear on the screen,” he said.

“She indicated to me she is immensely distraught this morning.”

The pair did not request bail and registrar Ross Lawton formally refused it, meaning they will remain in custody for now and are due to front Penrith Local Court on April 29.

Investigators set up a crime scene in the bush behind the quiet, suburban street which backs on to a large, open reserve peppered with litter and the shells of burnt-out cars.

Police tape has been strung across a laneway that connects the reserve with the street.

Just before dawn, three police officers walked out of the trees. Since then, more officers arrived.

A community vigil was expected to be held today at Woodstock Avenue, where Kiesha once lived, in honour of her birthday.

Mr Smith’s mother, Rebecca, was taken to hospital by ambulance from her home in Bidwill this morning.

Her partner, Jim Taupau, said she had been suffering with shortness of breath.

“It was shock,” he said.

“She was a bit short of breath.”

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