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Showing posts with label US Police. Show all posts

US Law Enforcement Agencies Employ Obscure Phone Tech to Track People Movements


Multiple law enforcement agencies in Southern California and North Carolina are employing a powerful but relatively inexpensive cellphone tool dubbed ‘Fog reveal’ to track individual devices without a warrant based on data collected from apps installed on citizens’ smartphones. 

According to a detailed report published by the Associated Press based on documents extracted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the tool provided US police the ability to scan billions of records from 250 million mobile devices and harness the ensuing data to create “patterns of life” for each individual, which also included homes and workplaces locations. 

Fog Reveal was designed by Virginia-based Fog Data Science and is reportedly used extensively by law enforcement agencies in the US to solve criminal cases. 

According to AP, the surveillance software collected the data in a searchable way and designed software able to sift through it in a sophisticated way. Subsequently, the app makers sold the software in about 40 contracts to nearly 20 agencies, with prices starting at $7,500 a year. 

The technology is controversial as US courts are still weighing the use of location data, and the latest such ruling from the US Supreme Court held that law enforcement agencies would require a warrant in most cases, to access records of users’ movements and location. 

Additionally, mobile geolocation data of individuals should only be requested from Google (Android devices) or Apple (iPhones and iPads) by police forces in possession of a warrant released by a court.

The Virginia-based firm defended this claim by arguing that its data is anonymized, with the company not having any way of linking signals back to a specific device or owner. At the same time, some of the documents obtained by AP suggest police forces may be able to deanonymize the data to identify and locate specific individuals. 

The AP investigation primarily relied on public records (including GovSpend and Freedom of Information Act requests) and internal emails extracted by the local news outlet. The report comes days after the US military and intelligence agencies revealed a new monitoring operation to guard electoral procedures from hacking and fake news before and during the November midterms elections.

Cyber Extortionist Pretends To Be From US Police; Demands $2000 in Bitcoin To Delete Evidence!

A cyber extortionist acts to be a US State Police detective and promises to delete child porn evidence for $2,000 in Bitcoins including a phone number which could be used to contact the scammer.

“Sextortion” emails have become quite common where the sender cites that the recipient’s computer has been hacked with the recording of them while on the adult sites.

On the other hand extortionists pretend to be hitmen and asking for money to call off the hit, bomb threats and tarnishing website’s reputation.

The aforementioned extortionist accuses the victim of child pornography and that the evidence could be deleted if they pay the sender $2,000 in Bitcoins.

Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, Tennessee, California and New York are a few of the states where the victims mentioned that the mails they got were from.

Per sources, the email sent by the extortionists pretending to be from the Tennessee State Police included the following phrases:
·       “Do not ignore the important warning”
·       “I work in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, detective branch Crime Prevention with child abuse.”
·       “You uploaded video child-porno to websites”
·       “not possible to prove you didnt this”
·       “I retire in next month and want to earns some money for self”
·       “Pay me to Bitcoin wallet”
·       “This is anonymous money I want 2000$”
·       “Send transfer to my wallet”
·       “My temporary phone to contact”
·       “After receiving payments, I delete All materials”
·       “If you don’t pay me, I sending materials to The Tennessee Crime Laboratory.”

All the emails happen to be the same, the same Bitcoin address 17isAHrP2cZSY8vpJrTs8g4MHc1FDXvAMu

 but just the state’s name different.

The attacker(s) is/are using a data breach dump which contains both email and home address so that the state in the email could be matched up with the target’s state of residence.

Extortion scams don’t usually contain the scammers contact number and matching the state of residence with that in the email is surely a nice touch there.

But whenever an email turns up where the sender asks for money it’s obviously to be aborted.