Your fingerprints reveal more than you think

Our fingerprints are what make us unique — but they’re also home to a world of information hidden in molecules that reveal our actions, lifestyles and routines. In this riveting talk, chemist Simona Francese shows how she studies these microscopic traces using mass spectrometry, a technology that analyzes fingerprints in previously impossible detail, and demonstrates how this cutting-edge forensic science can help police catch criminals.


What the public demands of police investigations vs reality

Well, the knives are out already. As we learn more and more about the harrowing history of murders in Toronto’s LGBT community over a number of years, many people are already convinced that the local police screwed up (before all the facts are in). There are even calls for a public inquiry or even a coroner’s inquest into how law enforcement was unable to stop these crimes before far too many victims died.

Radicalisation and homegrown terrorism specialist
What is driving this demand is the news that Toronto Police had interviewed the suspected killer, Bruce McArthur, years ago but only arrested him a few weeks ago, thus allowing to continue his barbarous homicidal spree against local gays. Many want to know what the police knew about Mr. McArthur back then and why he was let go. There are already op-eds implying police incompetence.
I was not born yesterday. I know that some believe, and perhaps with good reason on occasion, that some police forces in some jurisdictions have inbred biases against certain communities (First Nations, LGBT) and are perceived as not having performed their duties to the best of their abilities. If these charges are true then everyone should support, nay demand, that the necessary officers be held to account and that the necessary changes be made. We expect nothing less in a liberal secular democracy run by the rule of law and one in which everyone is treated equally and fairly.

Some police forces in some jurisdictions have inbred biases against certain communities

From my perspective, however, two things are clear so far. First, we have no idea what the police knew about the suspect when they first brought him in and until we do it is pointless, and unjust, to allege misconduct or ineptitude. We have to wait for details to emerge.
Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s attorney general, says he is reviewing a request by Toronto’s mayor for a public inquiry into missing persons cases in the Gay Village.
Secondly, the public’s jumping to conclusions demonstrates that it knows little about how investigations are done. There is seldom an ‘aha!’ moment where police officers, or intelligence operators, have enough information on which to draw solid conclusions. There are always gaps in data and times where no matter how long authorities elect to continue their efforts they will never have the full story. It is highly possible, then, that Toronto Police simply did not have enough to go on after their first attempt to interview Mr. McArthur and did not have the grounds to hold him any longer or charge him at the time.
The decision to let him go underpins one of the pre-eminent legal and moral foundations of our society. We do not tolerate indefinite detention in Canada, unlike other countries (such as Syria). If our state institutions cannot make a strong enough case to justify continued incarceration, which is a serious violation of everyone’s right to liberty, they have no recourse but to release their suspect. Should more evidence or suspicion arise, those same authorities have the right to bring the individual in and, when warranted, lay charges. That appears to be what TPS has done.

We do not tolerate indefinite detention in Canada

Monday morning quarterbacking is seldom a respectable practice. Nor is the litany of catcalls from the peanut gallery by many individuals, most of whom have no experience in law enforcement or security intelligence and hence little grounds for their ill-informed comments. If mistakes were made it is hoped that these will surface soon so that the requisite action can be taken to minimise future mistakes. We simply do not know yet what went wrong, if anything.
They often say that hindsight is 20-20. I for one would like a little less hindsight. Foresight, if it is even possible, would be nice. Me, I’d settle for better insight.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Phil Gurski

President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting. Phil worked as a strategic analyst in the Canadian intelligence community for over 30 years, including 15 at CSIS, with assignments at Public Safety Canada and the Ontario Provincial Police. He specializes in radicalization and homegrown Al Qaeda/Islamic State/Islamist-inspired extremism.

Hawaii missile alert fallout: The importance of clarity in crisis communication

Companies can learn quite a bit from the recent Hawaiian missile clusterflip, particularly about timeliness and clarity in crisis communications.

Posted on The American Genius | By Roger Jones

The federal investigation into the Hawaii civil defense snafu earlier this month revealed that there were serious errors in how the training exercise was conducted between two shifts and in the ongoing performance concerns of the employee directly responsible for sending out the alert.

For 38 minutes, citizens and visitors in the Hawaiian Islands cowered in fear, alerted to take immediate shelter by messages that were received on cellphones and broadcast on TV stations across the state. While officials attempted to calm the populace by taking to Twitter immediately to quell the concerns, many people were not—understandably—taking to tweeting what may have been their last thoughts, and thus were not informed until a follow up message was broadcast to cellphones nearly 40 minutes later.

The night-shift supervisor wanted to test the preparedness of the morning-shift workers with an unannounced drill, according to the FCC report.

Read entire article Hawaiian missile strike fallout: The importance of clarity in crisis communication | The American Genius

Hacker breaches US Military messaging system and exposes 800 Department of Defense employees

A 25-year-old broke into a DoD satellite communication system and doxed around 800 Department of Defense employees.

The hacker stole “ranks, usernames and email addresses of more than 800 users, as well as of about 30,000 satellite phones,” according to a press release by the National Crime Agency, or NCA.

The hacker was arrested in March of 2015, according to the NCA. At the time, the NCA said a hacker stole data from “an international satellite message dissemination system”, the Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services, which is used by the the Pentagon to communicate with employees around the world via email or phone.

The hacker then allegedly claimed the attack with a message on the text-sharing site Pastebin, according to the NCA.

“We smite the Lizards, LizardSquad your time is near,” the message read, according to the NCA. The hacker appeared to taunt the infamous hacking group Lizard Squad, notorious for targeting Xbox Live and other online gaming services.

The message, or a copy of it, appears to be still up. The author of the message claimed to be affiliated with ISIS, and shared a few screenshots to prove his feat. The screenshots show full names, phone numbers, email addresses and usernames of servicemen.

The intrusion caused $628,000 in damages, the DoD said. The hacker pleaded guilty to one offense under the UK’s anti-hacking law, the Computer Misuse Act.

Source: MotherBoard


Pirates stole the new ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie and are holding it for ransom

Have real-life pirates taken aim at Disney’s pirates?

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed Monday that hackers claiming to have access to a Disney movie threatened to release it unless the studio paid a ransom. Iger didn’t disclose the name of the film, but said Disney is refusing to pay. The studio is working with federal investigators.

The hackers demanded Disney pay a huge sum of money, provided in Bitcoin. The hackers threatened to release parts of the film online in increments—first five minutes at a time, then 20-minutes chunks—until the full film is published or their monetary demands are met.

The exec says the thieves demanded a ransom, which the company is refusing to pay.

Deadline reported the stolen film is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment in the franchise fronted by Johnny Depp. The film is slated to open May 26. The other prominent film set for release from Disney in the near future include Cars 3, which is due to hit theaters June 16.

Rumors circulated online last week that a work print of Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been pirated and was being held for ransom, but days later online chatter tipped that rumor as a hoax. The studio had no comment.

While movie piracy has long been a scourge, ransoms appear to be a new twist.

The ransom demand of Disney comes only weeks after a hacker uploaded 10 episodes of the upcoming season of Orange Is the New Black to The Pirate Bay after Netflix refused to pay an undisclosed amount. The episodes were posted on Pirate Bay six weeks ahead of the series’ official June 9 launch.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Supply chain: Theft in distribution centers is a growing threat

Theft in distribution is a growing threat in the US, security expert Barry Brandman of Danbee Investigations said during a very interesting presentation last week at the annual Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC) conference in Ft. Worth.

One recent change fueling the increase: the internet, which now provides a global marketplace where pilfered goods can be sold virtually anonymously, especially on auction sites, Brandman says, whereas in the past stolen merchandise mostly had to be sold locally.

That also means once goods make it outside the DC, the chances of recovering it – or even tracking the source – are very low, Brandman said. There are a number of different theft scenarios, Brandman said, including individual employees stealing goods on their own, the very common scenario of employees working inside a DC colluding with drivers to steal, and drivers stealing from customers during deliveries.

Brandman cited a recent survey that found 40% of delivery drivers said they had been propositioned about joining in some kind of theft activity – a high number from which certainly some said Yes.

Relative to collusion, Brandman cited a recent example in which a second shift supervisor conspired with order pickers to select extra cases that were then loaded on a truck, with a driver also part of the scheme. Text messages were sent by the DC employees relative to what extra cases were on the vehicle.


He offered other interesting examples. In one case, a driver was caught on film in a major city exchanging the stolen goods from the truck on to another vehicle right in the open, even as police drove right by. Brandman said this exchange was performed on the driver’s route, just a few blocks from his last delivery, so that nothing would look amiss from GPS tracking and so-called geo-fencing systems.

Another driver sold some $200,000 of merchandise over a period of time, at a heavy discount to their retail value, so that the value of the goods was probably around $800,000, Brandman said. That is pretty big time.

What can companies do?

There are no easy answered, Brandman said. A detailed security audit is a good place to start, and these need to involve more than the simple checklists that are often used. The audits should include a true analysis of processes, Brandman said.

RELATED: Become a certified ISO 28000 SCMS Lead Auditor

Companies should also employ unannounced audits, Brandman said, and the results should be included in the performance reviews of DC managers.

Brandman said it is critical to have some kind of hotline where employees can privately and anonymously report illegal activity. That anonymity is key to getting many employees to call about the theft. There are third-party service companies that can maintain such hot lines for a company, Brandman said, and having the service managed by an outside company might be viewed as less risky to employees, increasing the number of tips.

Source: Supply Chain Digest

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Sugarcoating extortion

If the rule of law is not adequately enforced, it will be impossible to stanch corruption. In turn, it is not by chance that multinational companies face the most problems with bribery in countries with debased governments.

The most common bribery-related risk facing multinational companies and their third-party vendors is unadulterated extortion by government officials.

Simply put, in high-risk countries, it is either pay bribes or do not plan on doing business in that country. Therefore, the simplistic anti-bribery efforts many companies have implemented over the years are not effective. The reason, all but invariably overlooked, is the fact that in high-risk countries it is corrupt officials who are calling the shots, not a multinational company’s management or its local vendors.

Often, company employees pay off corrupt officials not just to ‘speed up the process’ but also because these same employees often do not feel confident that they can successfully pursue legal courses of action, are afraid that going ‘against the grain’ will jeopardise operations – or both. One example of a problem is when ‘clearance by customs’ is not provided in a timely manner – deadlines are missed or perishable goods may be lost.

Another and often dangerous scenario occurs when bribes are ‘requested’ by members of law enforcement, who are supposed to be protecting people and assets from crime. Foreign company personnel quickly come to realise that reaching out to local law enforcement for assistance is not only all but useless, and doing so only encourages even more ‘requests’ for bribes.

Such practices flourish in countries where the rule of law is not adequately enforced and thus corruption is widespread throughout such a country’s governmental operations – and, typically, up to the highest levels. The collector of an extortion payment usually only keeps a percentage of the money received, with the remainder of the bribe money passed up the food chain for others’ consumption. Further, money extorted by corrupt officials is often used to keep these same corrupt officials in power, fund other nefarious activities – or both.

In fact, the degree of extortion perpetrated by public officials in a high-risk country is symptomatic of how endemic, tolerated and accepted is corruption as a cultural norm. Therefore, in low-integrity countries, it is all but impossible to work around corrupt officials as the flow of extorted money up the food chain invariably short-circuits investigation and prosecution of corrupt officials.


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Quebec winter storm ‘shambles’ prompts government investigation

The Quebec government has launched an investigation into the response that left hundreds of vehicles stranded on a snowy Montreal highway.

The Quebec government has apologized, sanctioned two employees and is investigating its mishandling of a winter storm this week that stranded hundreds of vehicles for more than 12 hours on a Montreal highway.

The debacle on Highway 13, a route that runs from Montreal in the south to the populous suburb of Laval in the north, has already resulted in sanctions against a bureaucrat in Quebec’s Transport Ministry and the reassignment of a Sûreté du Québec officer who has been blamed for the delay in evacuating motorists and passengers from the highway.

Officer should have made a much earlier decision to shift the focus of the police response from clearing the road to instead evacuate the people in the roughly 300 cars stuck on the highway.

The provincial government has also requested an external investigation into what the different agencies and jurisdictions did and did not do between 6 p.m. Tuesday, when two tractor trailers became immobilized in the snow storm, and Wednesday morning, when the last of the passengers were evacuated and their vehicles towed.

“Yes, we were faced with an exceptional situation, but the response to that exceptional situation fell short,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

“Faced with the evidence of this shambles—and I don’t think there is any other word for it—in the name of the government and myself I want to apologize to those people who were put in danger or injured.”

The internal provincial police investigation has already resulted in a decision to place the officer in charge of the SQ’s response on administrative duties, said spokesperson Guy Lapointe.

Lapointe said the force has determined that the officer should have made a much earlier decision to shift the focus of the police response from clearing the road to instead evacuate the people in the roughly 300 cars stuck on the highway.

“If that had started earlier it would have been finished earlier and people would not have been stuck there for as long,” he said.

The highway blockage began Tuesday night when two truckers came to a halt in the southbound lanes of the highway. It was initially believed there had been an accident, but that was not the case. Lapointe said that the drivers refused to have their vehicles towed, despite tow trucks that were on the scene. He said investigators are looking into whether those refusals were criminal acts that could result in charges.

One driver who got stuck on the highway wrote on Facebook that she had left work at 8 p.m. Tuesday for a drive that normally takes 20 minutes. Instead, she only made it home at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.

According to a preliminary timeline of events released by Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, the first conference call between city and provincial officials shortly before midnight on Tuesday included representatives from the provincial transport ministry.

Those officials mentioned that Highway 13 was closed and there had been difficulties arranging for plowing services from a private company under contract to do the work.

“Yes, we were faced with an exceptional situation, but the response to that exceptional situation fell short” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

But no one mentioned that there were drivers and passengers stranded on the road. Transport ministry officials did not participate in a second conference call at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday.

The City of Montreal timeline said that 317 calls had been placed to 9-1-1 for assistance in areas of Montreal that are the responsibility of the provincial police.

In addition, the officers on patrol along Highway 13 placed about 100 calls themselves to the transportation ministry in an attempt to get snowplows to the scene, to no avail, Montreal’s La Presse newspaper reported Thursday.

It was only at 4:30 a.m.—more than 10 hours after the crisis began—that provincial police took the initiative to contact Montreal firefighters for help evacuating the drivers and passengers who hadn’t already abandoned their vehicles.

The fire department dispatched two trucks initially and then, within half an hour, sent another three trucks as well as a bus equipped with water, blankets and toilets.

Source: thestar

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