Articles about Investigators

SpaceX

SpaceX makes successful rocket launch

Elon Musk's SpaceX, space cargo contractor and purveyor of space rockets for the well-heeled masses, successfully launched a two-stage rocket into orbit on Saturday. The rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54am local time, carrying a satellite payload on behalf of Iridium Communications. Ten …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2017

Drone biz Lily Robotics takes $34m in pre-orders, ships nothing, shuts down, gets sued by San Francisco DA

Lily Robotics says its decision on Thursday to shut down and return pre-order payments for a never-delivered drone, which came on the same day that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón charged the company with false advertising and misleading business practices, was purely coincidental. "We had been in the process of …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jan 2017

Brother-and-sister duo arrested over hacking campaign targeting Italy's bigwigs

A hacking operation featuring the EyePyramid trojan successfully compromised the systems of numerous high-profile Italian targets, including two former prime ministers, say Italian police. High-profile targets were targeted by a spear-phishing campaign that served a remote-access trojan codenamed "EyePyramid" as a malicious …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2017

Bank robber reveals identity – by using his debit card during crime

On January 3, Alvin Lee Neal received a 46-month prison sentence for robbing a Wells Fargo Bank in San Diego, California, and was ordered to pay back the $565 taken. Neal, a registered sex offender, acknowledged his role in the May 13, 2016 robbery in a plea agreement with the US Attorney's Office of Southern California. As …
Thomas Claburn, 07 Jan 2017

Elon burning to get Falcon back on the launchpad

Only a regulatory sign-off stands between Elon Musk's SpaceX and the restart of its Falcon 9 launch program within a week. With its anomaly investigation complete, the company hopes to launch a Falcon carrying Iridium's NEXT satellite from Vandenberg on January 8. The Elon Musk spaceflight company says the catastrophic …

Kingpin in $1m global bank malware ring gets five years in chokey

A villain at the heart of an organized crime network that stole £840k ($1m) from victims' online bank accounts has been jailed. Tomasz Skowron, 29, of Meredith Road, Worthing, England, was sent down for five years and three months on Monday at Croydon Crown Court, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud, fraud, and …
fraud

'Public Wi-Fi' gang fail in cunning plan to hide £10m cigarette tax fraud

A gang of five men who met at roadside cafes and used free public Wi-Fi to try to hide their £10m cigarette smuggling ring, have been jailed for 16-and-a-half years. The men attempted to evade £10,199,650m in excise duty by smuggling large freight consignments of illegal cigarettes from Europe and China into the UK. The items …
Kat Hall, 15 Dec 2016
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

Look out, Brussels: Google's moving the goalposts, barks price comparison rival

Google’s leading European competition critics say its search results are a “significant leak in its money-making machines,” drawing regulators attentions to the ad giant’s conflicts of interests. The FairSearch founders, Adam and Shivaun Raff, accuse Google of moving the goalposts in the battle over price comparison engines, …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Dec 2016
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canada asks citizens: How would you like us to spy on you?

The Canadian government is asking citizens to weigh in on its plans for digital surveillance programs. A government-hosted page called Investigative Capabilities in a Digital World seeks input from residents on matters such as intercepting communications, forcing data decryption, and requiring service providers in Canada to …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2016
Image: Lem http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-310600p1.html

Shamoon malware returns to again wipe Saudi-owned computers

Thousands of computers in Saudi Arabia's civil aviation agency and other Gulf State organisations have been wiped by the Shamoon malware after it resurfaced some four years after wiping thousands of Saudi Aramco workstations. Security firms FireEye, CrowdStrike, McAfee, PaloAlto, and Symantec reported on the advanced sabotage …
Darren Pauli, 02 Dec 2016
botnet

Online criminals iced as cops bury malware-spewing Avalanche

On November 30, simultaneous raids in five countries by the FBI, Europol, and the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) finally shuttered the Avalanche criminal network that has been spewing malware and money laundering campaigns for the past seven years. The Avalanche network was a system of 600 servers around the world that were …
Iain Thomson, 01 Dec 2016

Wow. What a shock. The FBI will get its bonus hacking powers after all

Three last-ditch legislative efforts to block the changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure have failed, and from tomorrow the Feds will find hacking your PC a lot less of a hassle. The rule change was introduced by the Supreme Court in April. It will allow the FBI and police to apply for a warrant to a …
Iain Thomson, 30 Nov 2016
Privacy

UCL snags head of Europol for a seminar on privacy

The head of Europol will be contributing to a seminar at UCL on "the state of the current privacy landscape", which will run in January. The event – Privacy Online and Offline: The Citizen, the Personal and the Public Interest – is being run by UCL's Institute of Brand and Innovation Law. The talks will take place over 23-24 …

Deliver-oops! Takeaway pusher's customers burger-ed by hijackers

Customers of online takeaway firm Deliveroo are getting their accounts hijacked and charged for food they never ordered, according to an investigation by BBC One's Watchdog. Investigators from the campaigning TV consumer affairs programme uncovered evidence that scores of customers of the newly be-logo-ed Deliveroo are being …
John Leyden, 23 Nov 2016
police

FYI: The FBI is being awfully evasive about its fresh cyber-spy powers

Senior US senators have expressed concern that the FBI is not being clear about how it intends to use its enhanced powers to spy on American citizens. Those are the spying powers granted by Congressional inaction over an update to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These changes will kick in on December 1 …
Iain Thomson, 23 Nov 2016

Hospital info thief malware puts itself into a coma to avoid IT bods

A Trojan targeting US healthcare organizations attempts to avoid detection by going to sleep for prolonged periods after initial infection, security researchers warn. Symantec estimates that thousands of organizations have been hit by the Gatak Trojan since 2012. The malware is programmed to spread aggressively across an …
John Leyden, 22 Nov 2016
Samsung Town, Seoul

How could things get worse for Samsung? Glad you asked

Police in South Korea have raided the corporate offices of Samsung in connection with a high-profile government corruption probe. The Korea Times reports that police conducted the search on Tuesday at Samsung's headquarters on the suspicion that executives at the company were involved with illegal payments to foundations run …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Nov 2016
shutterstock_318151469_jesus

We're great, you don't understand competition law, Google tells Europe

Google has sought to blunt the European Commission’s three-prong inquiry into its business practices – by claiming the Eurocrats don’t understand antitrust law. Writing on Google’s corporate blog, senior VP and general counsel Kent Walker disclosed that Google has responded to the Commission’s shopping and advertising concerns …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Nov 2016

America has one month to stop the FBI getting its global license to hack

In one month, an obscure procedural rule tweak will come into effect allowing US cops and federal agents to potentially hack any computer in the world using a single warrant issued anywhere in America. No one in Congress has voted on this legal update. It means a warrant granted somewhere within the US can be executed on the …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2016
fail

'Hacker' accused of idiotic plan to defraud bank out of $1.5 million

A newly unsealed indictment has detailed accusations of what appears to be one of the most inept pieces of computer crime in recent history. Dwayne Cartouche Hans Jr, 27, from Richland, Washington, is charged with computer and wire fraud, as well as money laundering charges, and accused of stealing $134,000 from a bank and …
Iain Thomson, 28 Oct 2016

FBI reopens Hillary spillery

Newly discovered messages linked to the private email server run by Hillary Clinton when she was US Secretary of State are being investigated by the FBI. The Feds previously probed the Presidential wannabe's system and basically found nothing. It was feared hackers had ransacked the server looking for juicy sensitive files. …
Iain Thomson, 28 Oct 2016
Internet anonymity

Judge orders FBI to reveal whether White House launched 'Tor pedo' torpedo exploits

A US judge overseeing an FBI “Playpen case” has told agents to reveal whether or not their investigative hacking was approved by the White House. The case is one of several the Feds are pursuing against more than 100 alleged users of the child sex abuse material exchange network called the Playpen. The prosecutions have become …

NSA, GCHQ and even Donald Trump are all after your data

Comment As production and usage of data keeps growing globally, it’s worth remembering that the US government wants access to your information and will use warrants, decryption or hacking to get to it. That’s not news and the US government has many tools in its box. Many had already heard of the Uniting and Strengthening America by …
Frank Jennings, 20 Oct 2016
Riven Media http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1141187p1.html

Security research tool had security problem

Security researchers and the networks they rely on were at risk of breach by the hackers they investigate, thanks to now mitigated man-in-the-middle holes in a popular plugin for analysing debugger OllyDbg. The debugger disassembles binaries, making it a handy way to understand an application's workings without having access …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2016

Euro Patent Office staff demand new rights to deal with terrifying boss

Staff at the European Patent Office (EPO) have asked its administrative council to adopt new guidelines to protect them from the organization's rampaging president. The open letter [PDF] urges the council – which meets this week in Munich – to adopt the same rules for disciplinary proceedings and internal investigations that …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Oct 2016
man in suit clutches briefcase full of cash. Photo by Shutterstock

Tax-swerving IT director disqualified for 8 years

Anthony Hodges, a Basingstoke-based IT consultant, has been barred from acting as a company director for eight years due to mischief undertaken as his company went into liquidation. Investigating the demise of management consultancy Hodges & Coley, of which Hodges was the sole director, the Insolvency Service said it had …

Feds collar chap who allegedly sneaked home US hacking blueprints

An American who worked at the same intelligence contractor as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been charged with the theft of classified documents. Harold Martin, 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was arrested in late August after the FBI raided his house and storage shed, allegedly finding a number of top secret documents he …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Oct 2016
Sniper

SpaceX searches for its 'grassy knoll' of possible Falcon rocket sabotage

In its search for the reason behind last month's explosion that destroyed its Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has vowed to leave no stone unturned. Now one of its staffers may be taking things a little too far. The doomed Falcon 9 suffered a catastrophic failure while being fueled for a static firing test. It is believed a failure in …
Iain Thomson, 04 Oct 2016
Falcon9

SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably

A large breach in the liquid oxygen tank of SpaceX’s Falcom 9 rocket likely caused the explosion during a test at the start of this month, investigators have said. A static firing test at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida ended abruptly when the rockets burst into flames on the launchpad and disintegrated, along …
Paul Kunert, 24 Sep 2016
wargames

Uni student cuffed for 'hacking professor's PC to change his grades'

A student at Kennesaw State University in Georgia is accused of hacking into his professor's computer to improve his grades. Chase Arthur Hughes, 19, was arrested and charged this week after allegedly raiding the university's computers in May. The teen made a number of alterations to his grades, and those of his friends, for …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016
Windows 10 floppy disk

Microsoft sues Wisconsin man (again) for copyright infringement (again)

Microsoft is hoping the third time will be the charm in its efforts to shut down a man once again being accused of pirating its products. The Redmond giant has filed suit [PDF] in the US District Court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, against Anthony Boldin for illegally selling product activation keys for its products. The complaint …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Sep 2016
Pluto, visible and X-ray

Pluto's emitting X-rays, and NASA doesn't quite know how

The Chandra space telescope has spotted X-rays emanating from Pluto. What? That's “cold, dead, former planet Pluto with no magnetic field”, to most of us: orbiting between 4.4 billion km and 7.4 billion km from the sun out in the Kuiper belt, with no way to generate heat. That Pluto. Since we don't suppose the former-planet …
TOkyo

Apple's tax bill: Big in Japan. Like, $120m big

Apple has again been hit with a relatively small bill for skirting tax laws, this time in Japan. A report from national broadcaster NHK World claims that the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau has told Apple to cough up $120m (12.3bn Yen) to cover back taxes that the Cupertino giant failed to pay. The report notes that Apple has …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Sep 2016
Man shouting the news from a rolled up newspaper

Spam texters fined £30K

Manchester firm Carfinance247 has been fined £30K over a spam text campaign. The car finance brokerage firm’s noxious text messaging tactics generated 912 complaints to the ICO, the UK’s data privacy watchdog. The firm’s four-month marketing campaign involved the distribution of 65,000 messages to people who hadn’t first …
John Leyden, 15 Sep 2016

Student charity's ex-IT boss in the cooler for stealing $1.3m through fake tech contracts

A former IT executive has been ordered to spend the next 45 months behind bars after he stole $1.3m from a charity in Virginia, US. Demetrius Arnold Washington, 51, of Louisa, must also pay back the mountain of dosh that he funneled into his pockets via bogus tech consultancies. He was jailed after pleading guilty to mail …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016
White House drone

Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

An airliner circling Heathrow narrowly missed colliding with a drone flying at 7,000 feet – while another aircraft approaching the London airport saw a drone hurtle past just 30 feet from its cockpit. The first near miss took place in mid-May when an Airbus A319 pilot flying to Heathrow saw a one metre-long drone, painted …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Aug 2016
Kim Jong Un

North Korea unveils its home-grown Netflix rival – Manbang

Denizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (aka Best Korea) get precious little internet access as it is, but the lucky (and loyal) few will now have a Netflix-style streaming service to match similar systems in the decadent rest of the world. The system – unfortunately dubbed Manbang – comes as a set-top box …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2016

Privacy advocates rail against US Homeland Security's Twitter, Facebook snooping

A proposal to ask people to provide details of their social media accounts before entering the United States has been criticized as "highly invasive" by privacy advocates. A coalition of 28 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), Consumer Federation of America, and …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Aug 2016
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

Californian gets 50 months in prison for Chinese 'technology spy' work

A sting operation by the US Department of Homeland Security has netted one California woman a 50-month sojourn in prison after she was found guilty of trying to break the US Arms Export Control Act. The court heard that between March 2011 and June 2013, Wenxia Man, 45, of San Diego, worked with a Chinese national – who she …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2016

Google had Obama's ear during antitrust probe

Updated According to emails released under the US Freedom of Information Act, Google briefed the White House amid an antitrust investigation into itself, breaking a 40-year precedent of the President's office staying well away from competition issues. Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton and the web giant's antitrust lawyer Matthew Bye met …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2016
Smilin' Marv

Cisco confirms two of the Shadow Brokers' 'NSA' vulns are real

It's looking increasingly likely that the hacking tools put up for auction by the Shadow Brokers group are real – after Cisco confirmed two exploits in the leaked archive are legit. The two exploits, listed in the archive directory as EPICBANANA and EXTRABACON, can be used to achieve remote code execution on Cisco firewall …
Iain Thomson, 17 Aug 2016
stingray

Baltimore cops accused of violating FCC rules with Stingrays

Three civil rights groups have filed a complaint with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the use of Stingray devices by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The filing [PDF] accuses police investigators of operating without a license and interfering with the cellular network, both while unfairly targeting …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2016
Old school emissions testing at the EU's Joint Research Centre

DoJ preps criminal charges for VW over Dieselgate

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reportedly preparing to file criminal charges in the Volkswagon emissions testing scandal. Citing sources familiar, The Wall Street Journal reports that the DoJ has found evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the German automaker and is in talks with VW lawyers to propose a deal …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2016

Forensics tool nabs data from Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp

USENIX VID University researchers have developed a new method to help forensic investigators extract data information from memory. The tool, dubbed Retroscope, recovered data from up to the previous 11 screens displayed from up to 15 apps, with an average of five screens pulled from each. Apps included Signal, Skype, WeChat, Gmail, …
Darren Pauli, 15 Aug 2016
Assange

Julian AssangeTM to meet investigators in London

Couch-surfing sex crimes suspect Julian Assange will soon meet with Swedish authorities. In case you came in late, Assange has spent most of the last four years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He's there because Sweden wants a word over an investigation into possible sex crimes, but Assange fears if he sets foot in Sweden …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2016
Comcast outage map

IP mapping hell couple sues

A couple in Butler County, Kansas, US, is suing web mapping company MaxMind after their rented home was the default physical location for all IP addresses in America. Whenever anyone used MaxMind's geoIP databases to look up where an internet IP address is associated, the software would default to the coordinates 38.0000,-97. …
Team Register, 10 Aug 2016

Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that golden backdoor keys are a terrible idea

Updated Microsoft leaked the golden keys that unlock Windows-powered tablets, phones and other devices sealed by Secure Boot – and is now scrambling to undo the blunder. These skeleton keys can be used to install non-Redmond operating systems on locked-down computers. In other words, on devices that do not allow you to disable Secure …
Chris Williams, 10 Aug 2016
Police Scotland employees stand outside the Scottish Parliament. Pic: Shutterstock

Police Scotland to cough 0.001% of annual income for unlawful RIPA spying

Police Scotland has been ordered to pay a Scottish policeman-turned-novelist £10,000 in damages after being found guilty of abusing surveillance powers to hunt down sources who blew the whistle on a bungled murder enquiry. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal published its judgment yesterday. Although five people filed claims …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Aug 2016
DEF CON encryption panel

US Politicians tell DEF CON it'll take Congress ages to sort out how to regulate crypto

DEF CON It’s going to be at least a year or so, and probably a lot longer, before the United States Congress gets around to ruling on the second war on encryption, two members of the US House of Representatives told the DEF CON event. Alex Stamos, chief security officer (CSO) of Facebook, hosted a panel with Representatives Eric …
Iain Thomson, 07 Aug 2016
A medical sample cup

Very peed off: Ohio urologists stay zipped after embarrassing leak

A medical group in Ohio has confirmed it was ransacked by miscreants who leaked hundreds of thousands of medical files, financial documents and patient records – but offered little else in the way of an explanation. The Central Ohio Urology Group told The Register it is still working with investigators and IT security experts …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2016