36 indicted in global cybercrime ring that stole $530M

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Updated 07 February 2018
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36 indicted in global cybercrime ring that stole $530M

LOS ANGELES: Thirty-six people were indicted in connection with an international identity theft ring known as a “one-stop shop for cybercriminals” that sold stolen credit card information on the dark web, leading to losses of more than $530 million, US prosecutors said Wednesday.
The Infraud Organization — founded in 2010 and operated under the slogan “In Fraud We Trust” — used an online forum to buy and sell stolen credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal information, the US Justice Department said.
Investigators believe the group’s nearly 11,000 members targeted more than 4.3 million credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts worldwide, Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki said.
Most of the members of Infraud never met in person and only knew one another through their online usernames, he said. The organization’s goal was to become the premier site to purchase retail items with stolen or counterfeit credit card information, prosecutors said.
The group’s hierarchy included administrators who managed the operation and membership, forum moderators and vendors who sold illicit products and services to members. Members of the group would then use the forum on the dark web — part of the Internet often used for illegal activity — to gather information and facilitate the sale of the stolen data, officials said.
The indictment unsealed Wednesday in Nevada marks the first time the Justice Department has arrested anyone in connection with Infraud, which Rybecki called one of the largest international cybercrime rings.
“This case reflects the alarming and increasing threat posed by cybercrime,” Rybicki said. “The Department of Justice refuses to allow cybercriminals to hide behind the anonymity of the web while stealing personally identifying information, emptying bank accounts, and wreaking havoc on our nation’s digital infrastructure and financial system.”
Thirteen people were taken into custody across the globe, including in California, New York and Alabama. Suspects arrested in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Kosovo and Serbia were awaiting extradition.


Irish PM urges voters to see through last minute abortion referendum ‘tactics’

Updated 22 May 2018
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Irish PM urges voters to see through last minute abortion referendum ‘tactics’

  • Leo Varadkar: “What I see now in the final days of this campaign is a tactic by the ‘No’ campaign to try and make out that there is some sort of alternative amendment that we could put into our constitution.”
  • ‘No’ campaigners, which include more than half of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party, say the government’s proposals go too far.

DUBLIN: Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar accused campaigners opposing a referendum on liberalising Ireland’s abortion regime of trying to dupe voters into thinking the government could still change the laws even if they voted ‘No’.
Voters will be asked on Friday if they wish to repeal a constitutional amendment inserted following a 1983 referendum that enshrined the equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child, and to enable parliament to set the laws.
Some politicians appealing for a ‘No’ vote have suggested in recent days that if the referendum fails, the constitution could instead be amended again to allow for abortions in cases such as rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality.
A complete ban was lifted in Ireland five years ago for cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
“What I see now in the final days of this campaign is a tactic by the ‘No’ campaign to try and make out that there is some sort of alternative amendment that we could put into our constitution,” Varadkar, who is campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote, told parliament.
“I would ask those people 30 years after that amendment was put into our constitution, why has nobody put forward an alternative that would deal with all these hard cases? Why only three days from the vote are people only suddenly raising that?“
“It’s not a realistic alternative. It is just a tactic and I believe the Irish people will see through that.”
While not on the ballot paper, much of the campaign has focused on the legislation Varadkar intends to bring forward if the referendum is carried, which calls for terminations with no restrictions to be allowed up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
That was in line with recommendations made by an all-party parliamentary committee, which came to a more liberal position than some had anticipated after concluding that legislating for termination for reasons of rape and incest was too complex.
The leaders of Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein, the two largest opposition parties, backed Varadkar in saying amending the constitution for such cases was impossible.
However ‘No’ campaigners, which include more than half of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party, say the government’s proposals go too far.
“The government has used difficult, tragic cases to push through extreme abortion on demand. This is why people are increasingly voting “NO” to abortion this Friday,” Clare McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the LoveBoth group said in a statement.
Opinion polls have put those who favor liberalising one of the world’s most restrictive regimes in a clear lead and while there has been some tightening in the margin, two surveys on Sunday showed the ‘Yes’ side pulling further ahead.