WANNACRY ATTACK: NHS, major organisations left reeling by co-ordinated hack

 

Winnipeg – VIJAY SHAH via Winnipeg Free Press and ReportCA.net

Several of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service trusts, as well as numerous large companies across the globe are still recovering from a large-scale ‘unprecedented’ ransomware cyber attack which occurred this weekend, ReportCA.net wrote yesterday.

The ‘cyberextortion’ attack, which involved hackers accessing computers via phishing emails, and locking systems and encrypting company data, also affected numerous firms engaged in the manufacturing, finance and transport sectors. Government agencies were also caught up in the debacle. Technicians at the NHS, which offers subsidised healthcare in the U.K., scrambled to limit the spread of the ransomware, which caused problems with accessing patient data and hospital appointments, among other things. Many companies ordered their employees to disconnect their workstations from the Internet and to avoid opening emails from unfamiliar sources.

Such was the scale of this weekend’s mass attack, Microsoft was moved into changing its cybersecurity policy, making free of charge updates and patches for computers running older packages such as Windows XP, which many small and medium enterprises still rely on, due to the expense of system upgrades or lack of technical knowledge and ICT skills.

 

 

 

Apart from the NHS, Spain’s Telefonica and Iberdrola also reported computers being targeted. The German national railway Deutsche Ban was another victim. ReportCA.net published a photo taken by an eyewitness at Chemnitz rail station, showing a display board for train times. The screen was partly obscured by a red and white pop-up with a padlock logo, a sight reported by other victims of the attack. The hackers locked out users and demanded payment in bitcoin currency to release encrypted data. Other victims included the Russian Interior Ministry, the country’s mobile phone operators MTS and MegaFon, French car maker Renault, and football clubs in Europe. One long-established club, IF Odd, said Saturday that its online ticketing service was crippled by the ransomware.

The British home secretary Amber Rudd said that one in five of her country’s 248 NHS trusts, which manage hospitals and patient services above general practitioner level, had been hit. Thousands of patient appointments and operations, including for serious conditions, were cancelled, as medical staff were frozen out of their databases and systems. According to Rudd, 48 trusts were affected, but quick reaction times by their ICT departments meant that as of yesterday, only six were still reporting issues. The National Cyber Security Centre also stepped in to mitigate the impact of the attack.

Cybersecurity officials urged both individuals and companies to ensure they regularly update their anti-virus and security systems, enact security updates if they are Windows users and to back-up data on a separate server or in the cloud.

The source of the attack is as yet unknown, although Russian and Chinese hackers have targeted companies and governmental agencies in the West in past years. Two cybersecurity firms, Avast and Kaspersky Lab, have said that the ransomware attacked PCs in 70 countries, with Russia the most affected. There have been reports that the hackers used the WannaCry ransomware program, said to have been based on spying technology utilised by America’s NSA (National Security Agency). More than 36,000 infections were detected by yesterday. It is reported that the hackers behind ‘WannaCry’ stole the hacking tools from the NSA, which created the tool to exploit a loophole in Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Ori Eisen, founder of Trusona cybersecurity firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, warned that the WannaCry attack is just the beginning and another more advanced attack could have serious and potentially lethal implications. Speaking with the Associated Press news agency, Eisen said: This is child”s play, what happened. This is not the serious stuff yet. What if the same thing happened to 10 nuclear power plants, and they would shut down all the electricity to the grid? What if the same exact thing happened to a water dam or to a bridge?” he asked.

“Today, it happened to 10,000 computers,” Eisen said. “There”s no barrier to do it tomorrow to 100 million computers.”

Intranational policing agency Europol described the attack as at “an unprecedented level and will require a complex international investigation to identify the culprits.”

The onslaught of WannaCry was successfully halted after a 22-year-old British cybersecurity researcher, known only by his or her tag ‘MalwareTech’ accidently stumbled across a ‘kill switch’ that disabled the ransomware. By entering a nonsensical domain name, MalwareTech was able to stop the malware spreading further. He or she purchased the domain name for around £9, yet this quick thinking decision saved companies millions in potential damage control. The kill switch only worked for those not affected however, and many organisations who were already hit were forced to pay the ransom demand or call up emergency data stocks.

SOURCES:

HEM Newsbreakers, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-newsbreakers

Report 24 Canada, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Report24CA

“Unprecedented global “ransomware” attack seeks cash for data” – Winnipeg Free Press via ReportCA.net (13 May 2017) https://reportca.net/2017/05/unprecedented-global-ransomware-attack-seeks-cash-for-data/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Wana Decrypt0r screenshot.png” – WannaCry via SecureList, Wikimedia Commons (12 May 2017) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wana_Decrypt0r_screenshot.png

 

BRENDAN MASON: Man attacked and killed by ‘friends’

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Leicester, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via JEN MILLS and Metro

A Leicester man with learning difficulties was lured to his death by two so-called friends who savagely beat him for kicks, U.K. newspaper Metro reports today.

Brendan Mason was taken along to Abbey Park by two men, Joshua Hack (aged 21) and Keith Lowe (aged 22) on the pretext of spending some time together, on July 5th last year. Once they arrived at the park, they began attacking him, hanging him from a tree and then took turns striking him, while the other held Matthews still. They also laughed at and taunted the victim, as well as filming the incident, telling Mason to ‘smile for the camera’.

 

 

The victim then fell unconscious. Hack and Lowe proceeded to strip Mason of his clothes, removed him from the tree and then dumped him in the park’s lake. The park’s grounds workers found him at 7.40 am, bleeding and naked. He was airlifted to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, but died from the injuries. Medics there said Mason had a catalogue of 99 injuries on his head and body, including brain damage, five broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Joshua Hack, from Beaumont Leys, Leicester, admitted murder, but his accomplice, who hails from Crown Hills district of the same city, refused to plead guilty and was put on trial last week. Four days into the trial, Keith Lowe changed his plea after police offered up damning new evidence in the form of a video shot on the defendant’s iPhone.

“Officers were able to see the video on the Cloud, showing an unfortunate scene,” prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said.

‘It shows Brendan’s battered and naked body with Lowe landing blows.’

She added: “It was being made for a third party to show them what happened to Brendan.”

Messages from the murderers’ Facebook show at 2.46am Hack said to Lowe: “Just do it dude.”

Lowe replied: “Shall we do it because he’s f** me off with the lies.”

Moore further explained to the court: “They were using their phones to communicate because Brendan doesn’t know what’s about to happen to him.”

Brendan Mason’s death was attributed to ‘unsurvivable’ brain damage, Metro stated.

After the court case, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Mick Graham said: “Brendan was known to the defendants and considered them as friends, and they lured him to the park with the full intention of hurting him.”

The Mason family released a statement, saying “It is not right how two evil people can do such a horrific thing and leave a massive hole in our lives that will never be filled again.

‘Brendan was a lovely young man and he was so happy. He had numerous learning difficulties and very poor vision.

‘Even though Brendan had numerous learning difficulties and was very easily led by others, he always knew right from wrong.

‘The police have been a big part of our life for the past seven months; they have been amazing, but there will never be closure for us”

The two defendants will be sentenced tomorrow at Leicester Crown Court.

 

SOURCES:
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
“Friends hung man with learning difficulties from tree and beat him to death” – Jen Mills, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (19 February 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/19/friends-hung-man-with-learning-difficulties-from-tree-and-beat-him-to-death-6457997/?ito=facebook
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Police Line Do Not Cross” – Pexels (26 July 2016) https://www.pexels.com/photo/police-line-do-not-cross-132752/

BATUCO ROBBERY: Yoga instructor kills two burglars in self-defence

Batuco, CHILE
VIJAY SHAH via Associated Press and Daily Mail

A Kundalini yoga instructor in Chile allegedly shot dead two burglars in her home after four men attacked the property to rob it, the Daily Mail newspaper reported via AP this Friday.

Hari Nam Kaur Khalsa, a convert to Sikhism from Texas, USA who has been living in Chile since 1979, was in her bedroom at the property in Batuco, 20 miles north of the Chilean capital Santiago, when four men broke into her home the previous Thursday. The 61-year-old, who is a martial arts expert and studied sociology in her native country, was taken by surprise by the burglars, who struck her in the head with a firearm, the Daily Mail reported.

 

 

She was then tied up, but managed to free herself, and in an act of self defence, picked up a registered Taurus model revolver she owned, and gunned down two of the robbers. The gunshots caused the two others to flee the house. One news site, Emol.com said one of the robbers was shot five times. Dallas News reported that a second man collapsed and died in Khalsa’s front garden.

Local police have said that Khalsa will not be charged over the incident at her home, as she is considered to have acted in ‘legitimate self-defence’ under Chilean law. Prosecutor Osvaldo Soto said she will be allowed to remain free, but will be allocated a security escort in case of revenge attacks by associates of the four men who tried to rob her.

“This is not a grandma as you can imagine,” Jose Nuñez, who manages the condominium where she lives told local press.

“So don’t be imagining a little grandma who killed two crooks with her cane.”

The men who were killed have not been identified. Khalsa has refused to speak further about the incident.

SOURCES:
“American yoga instructor, 61, shoots dead two of four burglars after they broke into her home in Chile” – Associated Press via Mail Online News/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (25 November 2016) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3972488/US-yoga-instructor-kills-2-burglars-self-defense-Chile.html
Sherrie Bachell.
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Sunset yoga” – graham, Flickr (10 July 2007) https://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamking/826142536

 

 

‘SAVAGE’: Man who stabbed friend to death over video game on trial

London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via British Asians UK

A man from London who described himself as ‘savage’ in currently on trial after stabbing his best friend to death after being teased about losing a match on the video football game FIFA, news site British Asians UK reports.

Azeem Issa, aged 22, lunged at Sahill Roy, 28 after they squabbled over the game. Issa, who was a frequent cannabis user, plunged a knife into Roy’s neck, fatally wounding him, the Old Bailey senior court heard. Roy was due to get married. The argument which led to the killing had happened two days earlier, it was reported.

The court found that after the dispute over the football game match, Roy cut himself off from his former friend, refusing to take his calls and not answering the door when Azeem Issa showed up at his house. Issa was said to have been angered by Roy disowning him, accusing the deceased of ‘taking the p***s’ with him.

 

Eventually they did meet up on April 10, 2016, Issa pulled out a bladed weapon in the heat of a second argument and attacked Roy, striking him in the right shoulder and then again in the right side of his neck. The attack was said to have been sparked by Roy’s refusal to show Issa a cannabis grinder he owned.

The court Prosecutor Riel Karmy Jones QC narrated the story of the argument between the two friends to the jury.

Mr Roy had invited Issa and other friend’s to his home to play video games on his X Box.

“There was some disagreement about which game they would play, FIFA or UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion)”, she said.

Ricardo (Azeem Issa’s nickname) got irritated because he couldn’t play the game he wanted. In the end they gave him the spliff to stop him moaning.

“They played the game and at one point Ricardo got wound up because Sahill was teasing him about losing.”

Issa left Roy’s home, seething that he felt Roy had ‘disrespected’ him for laughing at his loss in the game.

On the day of the attack, Mr Issa had met up with some acquaintances, including Mr Roy, to smoke cannabis joints on the housing estate in which they all lived.

Prosecutor Jones, continued: “Before the meeting, the defendant had been in an agitated mood, and had been desperate to find Sahill, who it seemed had been trying to avoid him.

The victim and Issa became embroiled in a row, and started pushing each other, it was said.

“In an outburst of temper, the defendant pulled out a knife that he had concealed on his person, and stabbed Mr Roy twice.”

Issa then hurriedly left the scene, while Roy’s friends desperately carried him to a nearby communal car park, where he somehow fell to the ground, bleeding profusely from the injuries Issa caused. Despite emergency services attending, Roy died the same day.

Issa has eight previous convictions, including for possession of an offensive weapon, attempted robbery and assault, the court heard. The defendant denies intending to commit murder.

The trial continues.

SOURCES:
British Asians UK, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/BritishAsiansUK/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf
“Man who calls himself ‘savage’ stabbed his friend to death after being teased for losing at FIFA” – British Asians UK http://britishasiansuk.com/man-stabbed-his-friend-to-death-after-being-teased-for-losing-at-fifa-game/ 
IMAGE CREDIT:
“TQ3181 : The Old Bailey” – Nigel Cox, geograph (23 May 2010) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1884025

FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION: London council launches hate crime helpline

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Harrow, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH

In the wake of a massive rise in reported hate crimes such as racist attacks and taunts following the outcome of the EU referendum in June 2016, a London local government body has launched a specialised helpline for its residents to report incidents and crimes of xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.

Harrow Council, in north-east Greater London, had set up the service after several people in the borough of Harrow came forward to report ‘low level’ incidences of verbal racial abuse, which the council’s iHarrow portal stated was “causing distress amongst community members” in the borough of 215,000, one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse among London’s 32 borough areas. The council also expressed concerns that while Harrow escaped the worst of the spike in hate-motivated incidents in the wake of Brexit, much of these crimes were going unreported to the police.

The new hotline, 0800 138 1625, which is free to call and runs 24 hours a day, was set up by the council in tandem with the Stop Hate UK service. The service is also being promoted across the borough to encourage people to speak about hate crimes affecting them, their families, friends and communities.

People who witness others being personally attacked or having their property attacked because of their disability, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity and where it is not an emergency can call the helpline in strict confidence. People whose first language is not English can arrange for a translator to return their call within five working days by simply leaving their contact details.

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:
Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
iharrow.com, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/iharrow
“Report Hate Crime in Harrow – 0800 138 1625” – iharrow.com (16 August 2016) http://www.iharrow.com/council/report-hate-crime-in-harrow-0800-138-1625/

NORTH TURKEY POLICE ATTACK: Two police officers murdered by unknown assailants

 

Trabzon, TURKEY
VIJAY SHAH via Ace Worldwide News Group/Dogan News Agency/Hurriyet

As Turkey still reels from several bombings in Istanbul and Ankara and an attempted coup by a faction of the armed forces last Friday, more tragedy struck today as a number of ‘unknown assailants’ opened fire on a group of police officers in the Maçka district of Trabzon province in northern Turkey, which borders the Black Sea. Two officers were reported killed, according to the English-language version of the newspaper Hürriyet, via Ace Worldwide News Group and local news organisation, the Doğan News Agency.

 

The police officers were conducting road checks when the gunmen opened fire on them from a nearby forest. Two officers were killed on the spot and five other officers and a passing civilian were injured. Extra police and ambulances were drafted in. Locals angered by the atrocity and spurred on by the recent failed coup, took up arms and proceeded to the forest to find the killers. Clashes were reported, however there is no word as to the fate of the gunmen.

Last Friday, a coup was instigated by members of the Turkish army opposed to the government of president Tayyip Recep Erdogan. While the president was on holiday in the Mediterranean port of Marmaris, soldiers and army officers were seen driving tanks down main streets in Ankara, the country’s capital, and road blocks were set up in Istanbul. An F-16 bomber plane even aimed gunfire at the Turkish parliament. The rebellion was quickly put down, with around 200 people killed and more than a 1,000 injured. Since then, Erdogan has vowed to flush the ‘virus’ of rebellion out of the armed forces and police. Thousands have been arrested or dismissed from their posts, with some senior army officers fleeing to nearby Greece.

It is not known if the Maçka attackers were connected to the coup, or to Kurdish rebels or Daesh, both of whom have a history of launching fatal attacks on Turkish soil. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) usually launch attacks on army or police attachments and patrols, but their attacks are largely confined to the Turkish part of Kurdistan.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
#AceBreakingNews ‏Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/AceBreakingNews
“#Breaking144 – Unknown assailants opened fire on #police officers in Maçka district of the Black Sea province of Trabzon, #killing two #policemen – Hurriyet – @AceBreakingNews” – #Breaking144 @Breaking144, Ace Worldwide News Group (19 July 2016) https://acebreakingnews.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/breaking144-unknown-assailants-opened-fire-on-police-officers-in-macka-district-of-the-black-sea-pr-ovince-of-trabzon-killing-two-policemen-hurriyet-acebreakingnews/
“Two police officers in killed in attack in Turkey’s north” – Doğan News Agency via Hürriyet Daily News (19 July 2016) http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/two-police-officers-in-killed-in-attack-in-turkeys-north.aspx?pageID=238&nid=101788
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Turkish police forces.jpg” – Mahmut Bozarslan via Voice of America and Wikimedia Commons (18 January 2016) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Turkish_police_forces.jpg

CALGARY STABBING: Man attacked on Friday night; hospitalised

Calgary, CANADA
VIJAY SHAH via ReportCA.net
Chinook arch over the city of Calgary, Alberta...
Chinook arch over the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An unidentified man was viciously attacked and stabbed in the southwest of the Canadian city of Calgary on Friday night, according to a brief report by online regional news site ReportCA.net yesteday.

The man sustained serious stab wounds and was found at around 11:30 pm local time on Friday night. He was taken to a nearby hospital in serious condition, the site reports.

Calgary police officers were called out to a car park close to a pub on 11 Avenue and 8 Street South-West in a touristy part of the city, near the MEC sports shops and restaurants.

Police have yet to determine how the incident unfolded. They are currently investigating and searching for the assailants.

The man’s age and details have not yet been released.

SOURCES:
Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
HEM News Agency, Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-news-agency
Report 24 Canada, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Report24CA
“Man stabbed Friday night in Calgary’s southwest” – Globalnews.ca via ReportCA.net (11 June 2016) https://reportca.net/2016/06/man-stabbed-friday-night-in-calgarys-southwest/
Google Maps https://www.google.co.uk/maps
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Chinook Arch-Calgary.JPG” – Qyd, Wikimedia Commons (9 March 2007) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chinook_Arch-Calgary.JPG

 

112: New countrywide emergency number for India from 2017

New Delhi, INDIA
VIJAY SHAH via PTI & Deccan Herald

India will follow in the steps of Europe and North America by instituting a single number for emergency services as of 1st January 2017, enabling more convenience for the services and the public, the Deccan Herald reports.

As with America’s ‘911’ and the U.K.’s 999 services, Indian citizens looking to report a crime or incident will be able to dial ‘112’ to give them direct access to the fire brigade, ambulance service and the police, and this will be operational as of the first day of next year, a senior governmental official told the country’s Press Trust of India (PTI). The new easy to dial number has been formally approved by Telecoms Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

English: Emergency service in The Czech Republ...
English: Emergency service in The Czech Republic. Firemen and Emergency medical services are getting injured person from the car – practice show for public. Česky: Integrovaný záchranný systém. Hasiči a zdravotnická záchranná služba vyprošťují zraněnou osobu z auta – ukázkové cvičení pro veřejnost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

112 will be available even to mobile phones and landlines that are out of coverage, low on credit or that are barred from making outgoing calls. Currently, the emergency services are contactable via different numbers. To dial the police, callers must use 100, for the fire brigade, it is 101. Ambulances are reached through the number 102 and Emergency Disaster Management crews are contacted via 108. Having 112 as a single number to cover all the services will greatly improve response times and co-ordination between emergency responders in the nation of 1 billion people.

The unnamed official told PTI: “Telecom operators have been asked to direct all emergency calls to 112. The process to direct calls made on to 112 to concerned departments is being worked out,”

“At present, there are call centres which handle emergency number calls. They will be asked to handle calls on 112 as well. Besides, requirement of additional capacity is being worked out which will be in place by January 1,”

People will also be able to contact emergency services by texting 112, and operators will be able to obtain their location via their mobile signal. The telecoms ministry also plans to bring in an associated ‘panic button’ system which will be made compulsory for all mobile handsets sold in India as of 2017, the Herald reports. GPS navigation systems will also be made compulsory on all handsets to enable emergency services to trace callers in distress.

All calls to the police and others will be routed through a call centre with operators on hand who will be able to take calls and texts in English, Hindi and regional languages such as Gujarati and Tamil.

SOURCES:
HEM News Agency, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-news-agency
Deccan Herald, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TheDeccanHerald
“India’s single emergency number ‘112’ to be active from Jan 1” – Press Trust of India via Deccan Herald – Home – National/The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd. (8 May 2016) http://www.deccanherald.com/content/545167/indias-single-emergency-number-112.html
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Integrovany zachranny system.jpg” – Michal Maňas, Wikimedia Commons (20 September 2006) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Integrovany_zachranny_system.jpg

CHARLES MANSON: California state governor rejects parole bid by killer’s follower

Sacramento, UNITED STATES
VIJAY SHAH via Fox News and Ace Breaking News

The leader of the California state government has rejected a bid for parole by a jailed follower of the Seventies cult leader and murderer Charles Manson, the U.S.’s Fox News service reports today.

The state’s governor, Jerry Brown, threw out the parole application for the follower more than forty-six years after Manson and his cult wrecked havoc in southern California, bringing terror to its well-heeled neighbourhoods, a crime spree that still is recounted today.

The bid applicant, a Bruce Davis, was originally jailed for the murders of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea, which occurred in 1969. Manson’s cultists were most notorious for the bloody murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others, before they were apprehended and jailed by local police.

The governor ruled that Davis, now aged 73, still poses a threat to society and a danger to public safety and will remain behind bars. Gov. Brown has already blocked two previous parole applications by Davis, and an earlier bid for jail release was annulled by previous state governor and former film star Arnold Schwarzenegger. The killer is currently detained at California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, in California’s south, where he is serving a life sentence for the slayings of Hinman and Shea. In addition to the murders, he was also sentenced for ‘conspiracy to commit murder and robbery’, according to Fox.

Since he was put behind bars, Davis has become a devout Christian and studied at the jail’s school, earning himself a doctorate in religious philosophy and is now a prison minister carrying out devotional service to his fellow inmates at the Colony.

His attorney, Michael Beckman, said that California’s Board of Parole Hearings has fulfilled all legal processes in recommending that his client be made eligible for parole. However, Los Angeles County prosecutors opposed the parole bid on the grounds of the sadistic nature of the murders of the two entertainers, alongside the intention of Charles Manson, Davis’ one time leader, to spark a race war between white and black Americans which would benefit his cult.

Bruce Davis was born in Monroe, Louisiana state in October 1942, the youngest of two children. He was a school dropout who moved west to California after becoming interested in the new hippy subculture that was taking shape in the 1960s. He met Charles Manson and his band of followers in 1967, where he made a niche for himself handling stolen credit cards and churning out fake identification for the Manson ‘family’. In 1970, after the murders of Hinman and Shea, Davis was ordered by Manson to turn himself in and was then duly sentenced for the two murders and as a criminal accessory.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
#AceBreakingNews, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/AceBreakingNews
“California gov rejects Manson follower’s parole bid” – Associated Press via Fox News – U.S. Home – California/FOX News Network, LLC. (23 January 2016) http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/23/california-gov-rejects-manson-followers-parole-bid.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
“Bruce Davis” – CieloDrive.com http://www.cielodrive.com/bruce-davis.php
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Images via Zemanta.

 

 

EXPRESS COURIERS: Warning about alleged card-cloning delivery scam

 gb
London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH and ALIA HELLZ BACHELL

A Facebook user has put out a warning on the social media site about an alleged card-cloning scam being perpetrated in the London area using the delivery of parcels to people’s addresses as a cover, the Half-Eaten Mind exclusively reports.

The user, Chris Gladman, first shared the warning on the 6th December, 2015 and it is now going viral. In his letter, Gladman reports the experience of a victim of the scam who received a phone call from an individual purporting to be from a delivery company named “Express Couriers”. The scammer asked the victim if they were going to be present at their home to sign for a package in their name and told them that the package would arrive in an hour.

In the incident, which was said to have occurred on the Wednesday preceding Gladman’s letter, a uniformed delivery man arrived at the victim’s house within the hour with a package said to contain flowers and a bottle of wine, which confused the victim as there was no special occasion and they were not expecting any such deliveries.

The victim inquired as to the sender’s identity, but the delivery worker claimed to not know who sent the gifts and that they were only delivering the parcel. The delivery worker did however claim that a card would be sent separately, and the victim also is said to have discovered a consignment invoice along with the gifts. Gladman reports that the card never in fact came.

The delivery worker then went on to tell the victim that the gift would be charged to them at a fee of £3.50 as it had contained alcohol and they needed to confirm that the package was not being delivered to a minor, and to prevent the package from being left on the property where it could be stolen.

The victim offered to pay in cash, but the delivery person insisted that all payments be made by credit or debit card for legal and safety reasons. The victim, satisfied with the explanation, is said to have then got her husband, who was now on the scene, to pay the fee with his card. The delivery worker, who claimed his name was John, then produced a card payment device with a ‘small screen and keypad’. The victim’s husband entered his PIN and collected a receipt of payment for the mysterious parcel. The delivery driver then left the premises after wishing them good day.

A few days later, Gladman said that the couple found that £4,000 in total had been stolen from the husband’s account from several ATMs, and he surmises that the card payment machine was in fact a cloning device that skimmed off the data stored on the victim’s husband’s card, and combined with the entered PIN, was used by the fraudsters to steal money from the couple.

The couple reported the incident to their bank and to the local police, who are said to have confirmed that similar scams by Express Couriers were already known to them.

At the end of the letter, Gladman warns others to be vigilant about receiving strange parcels from delivery companies they have never heard of. He said “Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!”

There has been no official statement from the police or other agencies regarding such a scam in the London area, but people are advised as a matter of course to always be aware and careful of unknown visitors to their home.

SOURCES:
Chris Gladman
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Images via Zemanta