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  1. YEREVAN, Armenia – An Armenian court on Friday put the nation's former president in custody on charges linked to a deadly police crackdown on a 2008 protest over alleged voting fraud. Robert Kocharian, 64, spent two weeks in jail last summer on charges of violating the constitutional order by sending police to break up the protest in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. He was freed on appeal, but on Friday a higher court ordered that he should stay behind bars. Kocharian's lawyer said he walked to jail without waiting for police to escort him there. Kocharian rejects the charges, calling them a political vendetta by incumbent Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who helped stage the 2008 protest. The demonstration protested the results of an election two weeks earlier for Kocharian's replacement. Eight demonstrators and two police died in the clash. "The main organizer of the events ... tries to clean himself of blood," Kocharian said of Pashinian in a statement Friday. In the 2008 election, Kocharian, who was president from 1998 to 2008, backed Serzh Sargsyan, who served as Armenia's president for the following decade. In April, due to term limits, Sargsyan shifted into the prime minister's seat in what was seen as an attempt to cling to power. But he stepped down after just six days in office in the face of massive protests organized by Pashinian, who then took the prime minister's post. Wiretaps released earlier this week had Pashinian discussing Kocharian's arrest with the nation's top security official. Pashinian denounced the released recordings as a "declaration of war" by his political foes. Pashinian has called an early parliamentary election for this Sunday in a bid to win control of parliament, which is still dominated by members of Sargsyan's Republican Party. Pashinian's party is expected to sweep the vote. Source
  2. An 18-year -old male is in police custody after a drug deal gone wrong in Layton. It was over $250 worth of marijuana, police say. Layton Police deployed a SWAT team to serve a warrant for an 18-year-old accused of robbing a person he was trying to sell the marijuana to. Sgt. Scott Clark of the Layton Police Department tells 2News the suspect pistol-whipped the victim, causing the unregistered gun to go off. No one was hit by the shot, but the victim suffered bruising from the incident, which happened at the Quail Cove apartments at 2375 North 490 West in November. The victim is cooperating with police who say the robbery was over $250 worth of marijuana. Layton Police are not aware of any history of violence with the 18-year-old suspect. Source
  3. A child found a narcotic in her little brother's hamburger at a Sonic Drive-In in Taylor, Texas. WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — A family in Taylor, Texas received more than they bargained for when they ordered food for their children at a Sonic Drive-In. According to city officials, the family discovered an illegal substance inside the wrapper of one of the children's hamburgers, which led to the arrest of three of the fast-food chain's employees. Police said an 11-year-old girl discovered the pill as she was unwrapping a hamburger for her 4-year-old brother Thursday night. Authorities said the family brought the entire meal, including the pill, to the police station. After some tests, officials said the pill tested positive for ecstasy. Taylor law enforcement said they began investigating the restaurant to find the employee connected to the incident. Authorities said they arrested Sonic employee Jose Molina, 22; former Sonic Manager Tanisha Dancer, 30; and Sonic employee Jonathan Roberson, 35. According to police, Molina possessed marijuana at the time of the arrest; Dancer was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a parole violation out of Guadalupe County; and Roberson was wanted on four outstanding warrants for theft by check, driving while license invalid, failure to appear/bail jumping and bond forfeiture out of Brownwood. At the Williamson County Jail, police said they searched Dancer and found three Ecstasy pills. She is charged with possession of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance and endangering a child, all state jail felonies. In his nearly six years with the Taylor Police Department, Chief Henry Fluck told KVUE he's never worked on a case like this. "This is an unusual incident," he said. "It seems like they didn't do a good job of vetting their employees very well." The Sonic Director of Operations said that Dancer has been fired from the Taylor Sonic Drive-In. Authorities said the safety of the public is not at risk following the arrests. Source
  4. A woman and two men are in custody after they approached police in a stolen vehicle filled with drugs, asking for help because they had run out of gas. The trio were arrested after a traffic stop Friday afternoon as they headed northbound on Highway 2 near Glen Park Road in Leduc — but they weren’t the ones pulled over. According to an RCMP media release, the vehicle pulled over in front of the police, and a woman exited the vehicle wanting help because she had run out of gas. As officers chatted with her and provided her with assistance, they discovered she was wanted on an outstanding warrant. Then police found two men in the vehicle trying to hide, who were also wanted on outstanding warrants. One of the men was in medical distress and was transported to hospital by ambulance. Officers searched the vehicle and found almost a kilogram of what is believed to be methamphetamine, and 85 grams of what is believed to be cocaine. The vehicle was also stolen. The woman and two men are currently in custody facing a multitude of charges and awaiting a Judicial Release Hearing. Source
  5. A 13-year-old boy was arrested and charged with intimidation in Indiana last week after he told Siri he was “going to shoot up a school.” The Valparaiso Police revealed in a Facebook post on Friday that they were currently “investigating a general threat to school safety made today by a 13-year-old male while he was visiting family” in the area. The teen, only identified as a Chesterton Middle School student from Indiana, reportedly stated to Siri “I’m going to shoot up a school” and in response, the Apple virtual assistant identified several schools in Valparaiso near his location. The boy then screenshotted his interaction with Siri and shared it to social media. Shortly after, the boy’s social media friends, who had seen the alarming post, alerted Chesterton Police who then passed on the information to colleagues in Valparaiso. The screenshot was reportedly shared on Thursday. “The male made no direct threat to a specific person, school, or school system,” the Valparaiso Police Department said in a statement on Friday. “It has since been discovered the male has no access to weapons and posted the picture on social media as a joke. The threat is not believed to be credible at this time; however, these types of communications are taken very seriously by the Valparaiso Police Department and our community.” Authorities also confirmed that the male was being held at the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center after being charged with intimidation. As of Friday, the incident was still being investigated by the Valparaiso and Chesterton Police Departments. The two departments did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for an update on Sunday. So far in 2019, there have been 4,581 total gun violence incidents across America which have resulted in approximately 1,256 deaths and 2,219 injuries, according to Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that provides free public information on gun-related violence. Of those, 29 were mass shootings. Last year, Education Week, an education journal in American, recorded 23 incidents of school shootings that resulted in the injuries or death of 113 victims, reported BBC. While a U.S. Center for Homeland Defense and Security database claims that 2018 experienced the highest number of incidents in recorded history, which dates back to 1970, with 94 shootings. The two sources utilized different methods of identifying gun violence in schools. Source
  6. Two computer hackers have pleaded guilty to concocting an extortion scheme that entangled Uber in a year-long cover-up of a data breach that stole sensitive information about 57 million of the ride-hailing service's passengers and drivers. The pleas entered in a San Jose, California, federal court by Brandon Charles Glover and Vasile Mereacre resurrected another unseemly episode in Uber's checkered history. Glover, 26, and Mereacre, 23, acknowledged stealing personal information from companies that was stored on Amazon Web Services from October 2016 to January 2017 and then demanding to be paid to destroy the data. Uber met the hackers' demand with a US$100,000 (RM417,000) payment, but waited until November 2017 to reveal that the personal information of both its riders and drivers around the world had fallen into the hands of criminals. US attorney David Anderson ripped into Uber for not immediately alerting authorities about the loss of so much personal information that could have been used for identity theft and other malicious purposes. "Companies like Uber are the caretakers, not the owners, of customers' personal information," Anderson said in a statement. Uber declined to comment on the guilty pleas and Anderson's criticism. The San Francisco company has previously said it mishandled the data breach. By the time Uber came clean about the incident, it had ousted its co-founder, Travis Kalanick, as CEO. Dara Khosrowshahi was then brought in to replace Kalanick and burnish an image that had been tarnished by revelations of rampant sexual harassment within Uber's ranks, attempts to dupe government regulators and accusations of stealing self-driving car technology. As part of their scheme, Glover and Mereacre also tried to blackmail Lynda.com, part of professional networking service LinkedIn, according to authorities. Instead of meeting those demands, LinkedIn tried to identify the extortionists, the government said. The two men each face up to five years and prison and a US$250,000 (RM1mil) fine. A status conference about their sentencing has been scheduled before US District Judge Lucy Koh. Source: Hackers plead guilty in data breach that Uber covered up (via The Star Online)
  7. Law enforcement arrested two men who broke into Iowa’s Dallas County Courthouse this week, despite their insistence that they had been hired to do so by the state court administration. Early in the morning of Wednesday, September 11, deputies responding to an alarm found the two men with several burglary devices on the third floor of the courthouse. Justin Wynn and Gary Demercurio told officers they had been “contracted” to test the security system, but Dallas County officials said they didn’t know of the arrangement, according to a criminal complaint As the Des Moines Register reports, authorities soon found out that the men were telling the truth. The state court administration (SCA) had hired them, but it apparently didn’t realize just how far the security agents would go to test the system. In a statement issued by the Iowa Judicial Branch on Wednesday, the state court administration confirmed it hired the two men to check the security of court’s electronic records and apologized for the clusterfuck. “The company was asked to attempt unauthorized access to court records through various means to learn of any potential vulnerabilities,” the statement read. “SCA did not intend, or anticipate, those efforts to include the forced entry into a building. SCA apologizes to the Dallas County Board of Supervisors and law enforcement and will fully cooperate with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and Dallas County Attorney as they pursue this investigation.” An updated statement from the Court issued on Friday says that it is aware of a break-in at the nearby Polk County Historic Courthouse, which “is similar in nature,” but the SCA is investigating the matter and “has no other information to share at this time,” adding that the “State court administration does not condone forcible entry into any building as a part of cyber-security or any other type of testing.” According to the Register, Wynn and Demercurio and employees of cybersecurity firm Coalfire. Dallas County Attorney told Gizmodo he couldn’t comment on pending criminal matters. Coalfire also said it could not comment on this case as it is an active legal matter and because it does not comment on client engagements “due to the confidential nature of our work and various security and privacy.” But Coalfire did say, “We have performed hundreds of assessments for similar government agencies, and our employees work diligently to ensure our engagements are conducted with utmost integrity and in alignment with the objectives of our client.” This case shows the challenges that security researchers like Wynn and Demercurio face—difficulties that can disincentive them from doing their job to the best of their ability. Wynn and Demercurio’s bond has been set at $50,000. They are set to return to the Dallas County Courthouse for preliminary hearings on September 23. Source
  8. Egregor ransomware members arrested by Ukrainian, French police A joint operation between French and Ukrainian law enforcement has reportedly led to the arrests of several members of the Egregor ransomware operation in Ukraine. As reported first by France Inter, on Tuesday, law enforcement made the arrests after French authorities could trace ransom payments to individuals located in Ukraine. The arrested individuals are thought to be Egregor affiliates whose job was to hack into corporate networks and deploy the ransomware. France Inter also reports some individuals provided logistical and financial support. Over this past year, Egregor has attacked numerous French organizations, including Ubisoft, Ouest France, and, more recently Gefko. The operation was reported launched through an investigation opened last fall by the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris after receiving complaints about the ransomware gang. It is not known at this time how many people were arrested. BleepingComputer.com has contacted French law enforcement but has not heard back at this time. Rise and fall of Egregor Egregor operates as a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) where affiliates partner with the ransomware developers to conduct attacks and split the ransom payments. In partnerships like this, the ransomware developers are responsible for developing the malware and running the payment site. At the same time, the affiliates are responsible for hacking into victims' networks and deploying the ransomware. As part of this arrangement, developers earn between 20-30% of a ransom payment, while affiliates make the other 70-80%. Egregor launched in the middle of September, just as one of the largest groups known as Maze began shutting down its operation. At the time, threat actors told BleepingComputer that Maze affiliates moved to the Egregor RaaS, allowing the new ransomware operation to launch with experienced and skilled hackers. In November, the ransomware gang partnered with the Qbot malware to gain access to victims' networks, increasing the volume of attacks even further. Due to Egregor growing so quickly in a relatively short period, victims had to wait in a queue to negotiate a ransomware payment. In early December, Egregor suddenly started slowing down with far fewer attacks conducted by the operation. You can see this dramatic decrease beginning on December 9th, 2020, in the graph below of Egregor submissions to ID Ransomware. ID-Ransomware submission stats showing a huge decline Last month, Bill Siegel, CEO of ransom negotiation firm Coveware, told BleepingComputer that they too had seen a decline in Egregor attacks and told us affiliates might have moved to another RaaS. In January, Egregor's data leak site went offline for approximately two weeks, and when it came online again, there were issues with the site. This unusual activity led other threat actors to become suspicious that Egregor was hacked or breached by aw enforcement. Hackers concerned Egregor may have been Whether the decline of Egregor activity is law enforcement related or simply the ebbs and flows of ransomware operations is not currently known. In a new report released last week by cybersecurity firm Kivu, researchers state that Egregor has amassed over 200 victims since it launched, and is comprised of 10-12 core members and 20-25 semi-exclusively vetted members. Some of the well-known companies that have been attacked by Egregor include Barnes and Noble, Kmart, Cencosud, Randstad, Vancouver's TransLink metro system, and Crytek. Thx to pancak3 for the tip! Source: Egregor ransomware members arrested by Ukrainian, French police
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