[Pak Daily Times] A Pak man who participated in two multimillion-dollar ATM heists targeting debit card processors was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court on Friday to 18 months in prison.
Imran Elahi pleaded guilty last year to access device fraud and conspiracy, largely for his involvement in two precision strikes: a $9 million heist in 2008 involving RBS WorldPay and a $14 million hack in 2011 against Fidelity Information Services.
The cybercrimes were strikingly similar to the $45 million global ATM heist that Brooklyn federal prosecutors revealed last month, when US Attorney Loretta Lynch charged eight defendants with using stolen debit cards at thousands of automated teller machines worldwide over a period of hours in a coordinated attack.
That effort involved MasterCard Inc prepaid debit cards issued by Bank Muscat of Oman and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah PSC, or Rakbank, of the United Arab Emirates.
In court on Friday, prosecutors praised Elahi for immediately waiving extradition upon his arrest in the Netherlands last May and agreeing to cooperate with the government.
Elahi's case was sealed until recently, and details of his cooperation remain under wraps.
Lynch's office has not indicated whether there is any connection between Elahi's assistance and the case in May. The ringleaders of the Middle East heist, and the country in which they are based, have not been charged or publicly identified by authorities.
Assistant US Attorney Cristina Posa said Elahi had provided "significant assistance" to Sherlocks. When asked by US District Judge John Gleeson what sentence seemed appropriate, she said, "If he was to go home to his family this weekend, I wouldn't be bothered by it."
In so-called "unlimited operation" heists, like those Elahi admitted to joining, hackers gain access to the computer systems of payment processors that handled prepaid debit cards for various financial institutions and dramatically increase the available balance and withdrawal limits on a handful of cards.
Co-conspirators in countries around the world then fan out to ATMs and take out money using the stolen debit card numbers in a coordinated global operation.
The operations can net cybercrime rings enormous sums of money in short amounts of time. In the case revealed in May, "casher crews" were able to withdraw $40 million in just over 10 hours.
Authorities said Elahi was responsible for disseminating the debit card numbers to casher crews in Mexico and elsewhere. Between 2005 and 2012, Elahi's activities earned him roughly $250,000 to $300,000.
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that a soldier, missing from the Vietnam War, has been accounted for and will be buried with full military honors along with two of his crew members.
Army Spc. 5 John L. Burgess, of Sutton Bay, Mich., was the crew chief of a UH-1H Iroquois helicopter that crashed in Binh Phuoc Province, South Vietnam. Also, killed in the crash were 1st Lt. Leslie F. Douglas Jr., of Verona, Miss.; lst Lt. Richard Dyer, of Central Falls, R.I.; and Sgt. 1st Class Juan Colon-Diaz, of Comerio, Puerto Rico. Another crew member, Pfc. John Goosman, survived the crash and was rescued. Remains representing Dyer, Colon-Diaz, and Burgess, will be buried as a group in a single casket, on July 2, at Arlington National Cemetery. The crash site was very close to the Cambodian border and was off limits to investigators for decades. By the time they found remains, there wasn't enough left for DNA matching; but they did find remains. John L. Burgess was adopted. The DPMO & other federal agencies do genealogy research in cases like his, but somehow thoroughly missed the newspaper articles, personal tributes and genealogy-related facts scattered all over the internet, related to him, such as this one. The news media close to his home town were already aware of his natural family & were in fact knocking on their doors for interviews shortly after this press release. His natural siblings were completely taken by surprise. After a lot of phone calls, emails & Facebook posts, this was sorted out. Many of his closest relations will be at Arlington National Cemetery for the interment. I was very impressed by the dedication and sensitivity of those investigating John's case.
[Pak Daily Times] A Sri Lankan man suffered a fatal heart attack after being presented with a shocking electricity bill, a media report said Saturday.
The 61-year-old victim had protested at the Ceylon Electricity Board in Colombo Friday that his bill had suddenly spiked, the Ceylon Today newspaper said.
It said the man was told that the bill was due to a hefty tariff increase from last month and suffered a heart attack on the news, collapsing at the electricity board headquarters.
The newspaper did not give the victim's bill amount, but said it was in line with the new 50 percent tariff increase. The man identified as S P Samaradasa collapsed on a chair, the newspaper said in a front-page report headlined: "Electricity tariff claims first victim."
"The cause of death was identified as a heart attack," the paper added. He was dead on arrival at hospital. Sri Lanka is one of the most expensive countries in Asia for electricity with a kilowatt- hour costing up to 47 rupees ($0.37).
[An Nahar] Officials have finally identified the culprit behind a 20-hour Internet and cellphone outage last week in northern New Mexico --an eager beaver.
CenturyLink front man David Gonzales told The News Agency that Dare Not be Named on Friday that a beaver chewed through the fiber line last week. He says the evidence was discovered by contractors who worked to repair the outage.
Officials say more than 1,800 Internet users were affected by the blackout. The number of cellphone users without service during that time is still unknown.
[Pak Daily Times] Clashes between ex-rebels and armed civilians killed six people in Bangui as anger mounted over abuses by the Central African Republic's new rulers, police and medics said Saturday.
The violence broke out on Friday in a northern neighbourhood of the capital when a student believed to have been kidnapped by ex-rebels was found dead, a police official said on condition of anonymity.
"Protesters, most of them youths, set up barricades and started burning tyres on the street to voice their anger over the discovery of the body of a student... who was kidnapped in broad daylight by Seleka forces," he said, referring to the former rebel group now in power.
The police source said the ex-rebels then "opened fire on the protesters with live bullets, killing one person."
Shots were fired back at the Seleka men, killing two, the official said, adding that another three unidentified people were rubbed out in the ensuing confusion. Twenty five people were also maimed.
"This is a provisional toll that is likely to worsen because gunfire from heavier and automatic weapons was heard in the neighbourhood later on, soon spreading to much of the city," he said.
Seleka (which means "alliance" in the Sango language) forces ousted the impoverished country's leader Francois Bozize in March. One of its leaders, Michel Djotodia, has since been sworn in as interim president but smouldering violence has continued to plague the landlocked nation. "The maimed keep coming in. Most of them were hit by stray bullets in various Bangui districts," Romain Guitizia, the director of a Bangui hospital, told AFP.
"It's tense here, we're not sure what is going to happen," he said.
Witnesses said a Protestant youth centre and a bank were looted as chaos spread across the capital.
Residents have repeatedly taken the law into their own hands over what rights groups say are executions and pillaging by ex-rebels.
Relief agencies in the Central African Republic warned on Thursday that the troubled nation was facing a serious humanitarian crisis as a result of the coup and its aftermath.
Human Rights Watch ... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world... said Seleka had "targeted and killed at least 40 civilians, and intentionally destroyed 34 villages or towns since February."
Djotodia's administration denies any involvement in the violence but senior Seleka members, including one of the former rebellion's top generals, issued a statement demanding an internal dialogue to tackle ongoing insecurity and rights violations.
Bangui has asked the regional bloc CEMAC to boost its troop presence from 700 to 2,000 in a bid to stabilise the capital.
[Bangla Daily Star] US President Barack Obama I am not a dictator!... yesterday called for Zim-bob-we's government to stop harassing its citizens and to implement reforms ahead of landmark elections expected later this year.
Free square on the Bingo card...
"Harassment of citizens and groups needs to stop and reform needs to move forward so people can cast their votes in elections that are fair and free and credible," he said during a visit to neighbouring South Africa.
Veteran president Bob Muggsy Mugabe Octogenarian President-for-Life of Zim-bob-we who turned the former Breadbasket of Africa into the African Basket Case... has set elections for July 31, drawing fierce criticism from his political foes.
Critics accuse Mugabe of attempting to push through a vote before reforms that would clean up the electoral roll, free the media and limit the military's political role.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai -- who will face Mugabe in the polls -- has threatened to boycott any unilaterally declared election date.
Er huh.....excuse me. Calling for "Zim reforms" from a country that opening supports the Mugabe regime with funding, food, and arms. Please read your morning intelligence briefings you lazy kaffir. You might bloody learn something about what is going on in the region.
[Pak Daily Times] Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's approval rating has plunged by nearly 30 points since huge streets protests over shoddy public services and corruption rocked the country, according to a poll out Saturday.
It has gone from 57 percent down to 30 percent since June 6-7, said the Datafolha survey, which added that the percentage of people who think her government is doing a "bad or terrible" job has risen from nine to 25 percent since.
In March, Rousseff's popularity stood at 65 percent. In June, her approval rating dipped in all regions, according to the survey of 4,717 people conducted in 196 cities. The latest poll, which has a margin of error of two percent, comes as a wake-up call for Rousseff and her ruling leftist Workers Party ahead presidential polls scheduled for October 2014. The protests have been largely peaceful but have at times been marred by violent festivities with police and acts of vandalism.
Stay out of the Ghettos, Americanos are worth a lot of money to some of the AK47 toting gangs. The people in the Ghettos indeed are impoverished, buses are over crowded, with huge crowds waiting at the bus stops hoping to get on.
Bicycles and small motor bikes are the most common forms of travel for them, a small car with no A/C, manual transmission would take a life time for a family to pay for.
If a guy comes up and tries to steal from you, watch your back, his partner standing off to one side as a lookout will charge in and put a blade in your back if your resist.
The Federals don't put up with thier crap, the went in to the Ghettos near Rio and shot up a lot of gangs.
Been to Brazil to go to the Amazon, you will do fine if you follow the basics above.
European officials reacted with fury Sunday after a report that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on EU offices. The European Union warned that if the report is accurate, it will have tremendous repercussions.
"I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations," European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in a statement. "If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations. On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations."
German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger "said if the accusations were true it was reminiscent of the Cold War," ministry spokesman Anders Mertzlufft said, adding that the minister "has asked for an immediate explanation from the United States."
The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that "the U.S. placed bugs in the EU representation in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. Cyberattacks were also perpetrated against Brussels in New York and Washington."
The information came from secret documents obtained by Edward Snowden, which the paper "has in part seen," according to the report. "A 'top secret' 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington."
Of course we spy on others. So do the Europeans. Wanna bet the French have a similar system? Of course they do. Governments are charged with national security. Of course they'll spy on others to ensure their own safety. It's what they do.
The issue isn't whether the NSA spies on others. It's why the NSA spies on us.
"I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED to find that there is gambling spying going on here." :Louis Renault in 'Casablanca'. This is what these guys do. They're a lot like lawyers:They'll find work, even if they have to make it up.
The only issue here is that they got caught publicly. There's apt to be more repercusions on this than over the NSA metadata farm in Utah.
Posted by: ed in texas ||
06/30/2013 13:35 Comments ||
Sorry, but no, you don't spy on friends.
You don't bug the offices of friends.
You don't watch every communication between friends.
If you regard the EU and EU countries as "target", there will be a price to pay. The price of trust.
Don't tell me that this has anything to do with fighting terror.
Seriously I am not amused, and I really consider myself a true friend of the U.S.
But this is a bridge too far
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/30/2013 14:05 Comments ||
But, but, but Wolfgang Schmidt must be green with envy. :-(
Maybe they're just trying to figure out where all those hundreds of thousands 'untraceable' small donations that came out of Europe for the 2008 Obama election came from. Got to send a 'thank you' note. That's the ticket.
The bottom line is this: to the Intel types who do this, there are only two groups in the world: The people whom they cannot do this to, and everybody else. Group 1 is small and actually 'those who we don't DARE get caught by'. You'll note that the publis generis never enters this consideration. And not merely American; the Brits and French have been at this since before there was a US.
Swowden is, however looking more like a troll every day.
Euro Conserv: You're right. The problem is, these guys don't recognize the concept of 'friends'. Just people they can lean on. Remember the KGB's "if you're innocent you've got nothing to worry about"?
Posted by: ed in texas ||
06/30/2013 15:58 Comments ||
"These" people can't do such things without the approval of the President.
As a matter of fact, we all have things to hide. That's why we wear clothes and shut the door when using the wash room.
We are currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the U.S. Of course certain conditions have to be met, it's a give and take. Now we find out that the U.S. places bugs in places where it isn't supposed to (translation: flagrantly breaking the law). This seriously puts negotiations into jeopardy.
It's about trust and these revelations are very damaging.
The NSA has no business to find out where I'm going, whom I'm talking to, whom I'm trading with etc. Simply no business.
We are in a common fight against terror and of course we cooperate. Cooperation needs trust. If you consider us "targets", then it's time to reconsider our relations.
Seriously, this needs to STOP.
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/30/2013 16:12 Comments ||
Posted by: regular joe ||
06/30/2013 17:53 Comments ||
"Sorry, but no, you don't spy on friends."
Sure you do. What if you have learned of a spy cell in your country that is connected somehow to a friendly country and you have the means of collecting some further information in that friendly country on behalf of that friendly government?
What if you are able to learn that a company in a friendly company has been penetrated by a third country and is having their technology stolen?
There is a reason why Obama had to buy invite his small crowd in Berlin this time.
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/30/2013 20:08 Comments ||
I'm very sorry EC, but you must realize with Tyrant Obama in office, that isn't going to happen. He will stab anyone and everyone in the back to get what he wants or thinks he wants. He has no shame, no sense of honor or decency or any other quality that might come close to qualifying him as a human being. He shits on people and tells them to like it or he'll have our press call them racists and worse.
When you have the conservative, US friendly German press up in arms that means something.
Oh well but Ms. Rice sees no problems. It's going to be a long three years
Posted by: European Conservative ||
06/30/2013 20:19 Comments ||
EC, the NSA is saying "but we prevented 50 terrorist attacks" and we are supposed to believe them? The government never lies ;-|
This is the problem with all this secrecy. With regular courts, the proceeding are open for all to see. We the people can judge the fairness for ourselves. With the Black Courts (e.g. FISA) there is no public oversight. When the NSA is accused of violating FISA, that is the last straw. If true, that is a violation of the US Constitution.
Of course FISA doesn't help you EC. I agree that friends should be treated as friends. That kind of intelligence gathering needs to be focused (coordinated and shared), not shotgunned for "Big data" analysis.
I see lots of problems: if we're innocent and Snowden's been spewing a bunch of lies and half-truths, and the stuff he's releasing has been carefully massaged by foreign intelligence groups, well, we can't really _do_ anything about that without wrecking what real intelligence capabilities we have.
plus your also massively outnumbered and the technological advance the west has may suddenly turn. Not only that the EU advocated for a world currency (very similar to bitcoin) rather then the dollar. Now if world opinion turned so much against you (and were only past a decade in this century) then you would lose more tax revenue then you could dream of - and the US government would owe the world so quickly so big.
While the west is the west it's good, but we cannot turn on each other because as above financially that would be it. Militarily your strength would be nil and the US people would be on the bad end of the line.
On top of this how do you now think the UK people feel about Europe? They love the US and hate Europe, this is bad bad news. A year and a half before an election.
Thing From Snowy Mountain,
All the more reason for the Intelligence guys to keep that legal line bright and clear as opposed to depending on secrecy to keep transgressions hidden.
I have an operational definition of good and bad. Good is anything you do that benefits you. Bad is also anything you do that benefits you. Hey, are you trying to hurt yourself? Of course not.
The difference is that bad benefits you right now but leads to your long term determent. Good almost always hurts right now but leads to your long term betterment.
Look at the ten commandments and they fit this definition to a tee. If you look at the US Constitution, the same applies.
Short term expediency, in secret, leads to distrust by the American people. I call that a bad thing.
BTW, my rule of thumb is that if I think that I can survive a good decision, I will take it. The cost of a bad decision is that eventually, you have to make another decision. The fallacy is that, like the man jumping off the building, they always think that there will be that opportunity to make another bad decision.
Funny you should mention past abuses by Germany. It's one of the reasons I'm actually reluctant to engage in the sorts of public disclosures that would essentially amount to intelligence disarmament. We did that in the aftermath of WW1 and it didn't work out that well. I think the catchphrase used then was "Gentlemen do not read each others' mail."
We're on the horns of a dilemma, IMHO. I don't feel particularly trustful of the current administration. I also don't feel particularly trustful of people like your government who basically shut down _their_ energy infrastructure in favor of Gazprom. Finally, I think we have real problems with both foreign-government-sponsored-groups that not only support random violence in the form of terrorism, but are attempting nuclear proliferation.
We don't need Jahwn to 'confront' doubters. We need him to win them over. In other words, we're doomed...
Secretary of State John Kerry heads to talks in Asia trying to quash fears that the vaunted US refocus on the region is not serious as he puts a personal priority on peace in the Middle East. Kerry plans to attend Southeast Asian talks in Brunei from Monday, which has become his unofficial deadline to wrap up his latest Middle East trip in which he is shuttling between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to revive peace talks.
Even in Brunei, his focus will not be solely on Asia as he is expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on tensions over the Syria war and the mysterious presence in Moscow of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
What's "mysterious" about it?
Kerry has visited the Middle East five times in as many months. His second trip to Asia since taking office in February -- he earlier went to China, Japan and South Korea -- is again part of a larger tour.
Kerry dismissed suggestions he was uninterested in Asia, saying that he planned to travel "shortly" to Indonesia and Vietnam and believed in President Barack Obama's so-called "pivot" of putting more of a focus on Asia.
Is he traveling upriver to Cambodia?
Kerry said that the United States has always been capable of "dealing with more than one crisis in more than one part of the planet at the same time".
"People should not think that, because we are trying to bring peace to an area that has been struggling for 30 years now under the yoke of conflict and dissension, that that means we can't also pay attention to these other issues," Kerry told Voice of America during his latest trip.
Diplomats and some analysts have voiced concern that the United States is shifting back to older priorities after the departure of Kerry's predecessor Hillary Clinton, who prided herself on paying attention to Asia.
She prided herself on a whole lot, in fact, not that her performance matched...
Clinton sought to develop a broader relationship with a rising China and spearheaded US outreach to Myanmar, which has surprised even many critics by embracing democratic reforms in the past three years.
Clinton was the first secretary of state to visit all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with her aides arguing that the previous administration of George W. Bush neglected the economically dynamic and mostly US-friendly bloc due to preoccupation with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
If visiting is all it takes to accomplish something, send Jahwn on a tour of Mauritania...
A senior US official acknowledged that Asian nations voiced doubts about the Asia commitment as Clinton left. But he said that at a substantive rather than symbolic level, the United States is stepping up spending on its Asia projects at a time of belt-tightening.
The official noted that Obama has welcomed to Washington in recent months the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Brunei and -- for the first time in half a century -- Myanmar. Asian nations that were concerned a few months ago were now asking "more of what we bring to the table than whether we are at the table," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Because he didn't want to be laughed at behind his back for making such a stupid statement on record...
Some observers said it was natural that a new secretary of state would try to be different. Kerry may face fewer risks in delving into the Middle East as, unlike fellow former presidential candidate Clinton, he is virtually certain not to entertain future political ambitions.
Oh really. Jahwn has no political ambitions? Hah. He might not but Teresa sure does, and we all know who wears the pants in that relationship...
[Pak Daily Times] KARACHI: An official of the provincial home department was reportedly suspended for making and issuing fake promotion documentation of a police officer, on Saturday. As per details, additional secretary for home Waseem Ahmed has reportedly suspended a section police officer at Sindh home department, namely Abdul Rasheed Jhokio. He was accused of helping Irshad Ali Raza Sehar by making fake appointment as DSP rank and issuance of fake promotion order of SP rank. Sehar is currently enjoying SP rank after getting promotions and serving as the personal staff officer (PSO) of Sindh Inspector General of Police Shahid Nadeem Baloch. Sehar when approached for comments declared it is fake news and a conspiracy against him. However, you can observe a lot just by watching... sources claim that an inquiry has also been conducted against Jhokio.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/30/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
So it finally happened, after 50 + years, somebody copied the C-130 Hercules.
Prediction: Flurry of EU sales, giveaways (discounts) to South America, but after a relatively short operational life, will be quietly retired. And the C-130 (next) will keep on chugging.
"One of the major, and little mentioned, revolutions in air combat is the availability of more powerful and reliable helmet mounted displays and sights. This enables a pilot to "look and shoot" as well as keep their heads up more of the time and more quickly make decisions in air-to-air combat."
"In the last three decades these helmets have come to handle more data and chores while also being easier to wear. But these helmets are still heavy. That's why the better balance of JHMCS II is important. Even so, six years ago the U.S. Air Force introduced a new neck muscle exercise machine in air force gyms frequented by fighter pilots. This was because the new helmets weighed 2 kg (4.3 pounds), which was about fifty percent more than a plain old helmet. That extra weight may not seem like much but when making a tight turn, the gravitational pull (or "Gs") makes the helmet feel like it weighs 17.3 kg (38 pounds). You need strong neck muscles to deal with that. For decades now fighter pilots have had to spend a lot of time building upper body strength in the gym, in order to be able to handle the G forces. Otherwise, pilots can get groggy or even pass out in flight, as well as land with strained muscles."
"In the air combat community the innovation is recognized as real and, for those not using it, a deadly disadvantage."
"Elite drivers will put up with 4 to 5 G's sustained in a corner for between five and 15 seconds, maybe even 20," says physicist Brian Beckman, a software architect with Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., and an amateur sports car racer. Since 1990 he has authored a series of articles on the physics of racing. "If you weigh 200 pounds, at 5 G's you're being pushed sideways at 1,000 pounds."
Although the concept is great for immediate requirements, the long-term pull (no pun intended, but accepted) is for remotely-piloted platforms w/computer assist. G-force limitations will increasingly apply more towards airframes + systems and less to pilots - working towards the 89-degree sustained hypersonic bank - (imho)....
TFA (as well as other news articles about the pending requests for bids) dances around the fact that the buyer will automatically lose the value of his/her bid because of its pension liabilities, if the $100 million figure is accurate. Helluva a way to run a newspaper, if you ask me.
It used to be shameful to ask buyers of an entity to take such a severe screwing in a proposed purchase. There used to be a concept in business in which even if you stand to lose money in a deal, the least you can do is to walk away with cash and the buyer with a sense he/she received something of value.
My brain used to be good at this, but I am having a hard time with what it is called.
Now I remember: profit.
Seems to me the NY Times would be better off just auctioning off what little value remains in the fixed assets and tell the union to find some other entity to wreck.
The New England Media Group, the division that manages the Globe, has about $110 million in pension liabilities, according to two of the people familiar with the matter. Times Co. would prefer cash to help offset the liabilities rather than bids that assume even part of them, one of the people said. Such bids would be less attractive because in the event a new owner of the Globe were to become insolvent, the Globe's pension liabilities would revert back to Times Co., the people said. Pretty funny. If your business is worth 11 times less than what it was 20 years ago, you ARE insolvent!
Seems to me they would be better of "donating" the Globe to the union and saying, "Here Comrades, You are now Liberated ! You now own the means of Production ! You are no longer Slaves to the evil Master... Capitalism ! We at the NYT Salute You and Set you Free to control your own Destiny!" (no need to thank us, it is the least we could do for you.)
Posted by: Au Auric ||
06/30/2013 0:28 Comments ||
... a better question : WHY is your business worth 11 times less than what it was 20 years ago?
Could it have anything to do with ideology over profits?
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.