The FBI arrested 20 persons suspected to be members and operators in an international cyber crime network charged with bank fraud scheme. The network compromised dozens of individual and business accounts in the U.S. and transferred more than $3 million under false identities. The FBI is charging more than 60 people from Russia, from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, as well as U.S. nationals, some already convicted in money laundering and fraud. Of the 60 charged in this case only 20 were arrested in recent days, 17 are still at large in the U.S. and abroad. The charges followed Tuesday’s arrests of 19 people in Britain on computer crime charges being part of “a sweeping and coordinated effort to combat the 21st century’s variation on traditional bank robbery,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said in New York.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk, attributed the attack to the ‘Zeus Trojan’ malware which allegedly allowed hackers to get into victim accounts from thousands of miles away. “They did it with far less exertion than a safecracker or a bank robber.” Fedarcvk admitted but assured, they, “Like the money mules, many, if not all, will end up behind bars.”
According to the FBI, the scheme was headed by Artem Tsygankov, a Russian national, age 23, who recruited other young students to operate as mules and managed their activities, directing the money gained by the scheme through fraudulent wire transfers to the mules’ accounts. The network followed ‘multi-level’ scheme, where recruits and recruiters keep around 10% of the amount they transfer. The network recruited ‘mules’ by targeting young students holding U.S. tourist Visas, targeted on Russian social network sites. Tsygankov is still at large, wanted by the FBI. If convicted, he faces more than 30 years imprisonment.
After the ‘mules’ have opened hundreds of bank accounts, under false identities, at U.S. banks, the cyber attack was launched from Eastern Europe, unleashed by sending millions of emails containing the “Zeus Trojan”, targeting computers at small businesses and municipalities in the United States where security awareness is considered low. According to the FBI, once the email was opened, the malware embedded itself in the victims’ computers, and recorded their keystrokes – including their account numbers, passwords, and other vital security codes – as they logged into their bank accounts online. The hackers responsible for the malware then used the stolen account information to take over the victims’ bank accounts, making unauthorized transfers of thousands of dollars at a time to receiving accounts controlled by the co-conspirators.
Hundreds of receiving accounts were set up in advance by a “money mule organization” responsible for retrieving the proceeds of the malware attacks and transporting or transferring the stolen money overseas. To carry out the scheme, the money mule organization recruited individuals who had entered the United States on student visas, providing them with fake foreign passports, and instructing them to open false-name accounts at U.S. banks. Once these false-name accounts were successfully opened and received the stolen funds from the accounts compromised by the malware attacks, the “mules” were instructed to transfer the proceeds to other accounts, most of which were overseas, or to withdraw the proceeds and transport them overseas as smuggled bulk cash.
The investigation began in February 2010 when New York Police Department (NYPD) investigated a suspicious $44,000 withdrawal from Bronx bank, said Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “It soon became evident that it was just the tip of an international iceberg.” said Kelly. The investigation unfolded far beyond New York, involving national and trans-national agencies to reach and decipher the international scheme which represents the profile of typical modern cyber crime. As the incidence of transnational cybercrimes continues to rise, investigations and prevention activities are elevated to include the Diplomatic and Secret Service. “The results of this investigation clearly demonstrate how the Secret Service is forging strong partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, successfully combating cyberfraud, and bringing high-tech perpetrators to justice.” DSS Special Agent-in-Charge Christopher Paul added “The charges announced today send a strong message: Diplomatic Security is committed to collaborating with our law enforcement partners to make sure that those who commit fraud face consequences for their criminal actions. Diplomatic Security’s strong relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law agencies around the world continues to be essential in the pursuit of justice.”
Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd. was established after privatization of the former Israel Military Industries (IMI) Small Arms Division, which has been the leading weapon manufacturer in Israel for over 70 years.
Company Website: israel-weapon.com
IWI Product Line:
Today, IWI is part of a group of companies specializing in the development, manufacturing and marketing of defense products for the local, and international market, offering equipment to customers, including military forces and law- enforcement agencies.
Employing state of the art design, development and manufacturing technologically, IWI has consistently provided weapons favored by the best military and police forces around the world – from the legendary UZI SMG to IWI’s latest addition, the TAVOR, X-95 Assault Rifles and NEGEV Light Machine Gun.
Development, manufacturing, testing and quality assurance, specified to the most stringent military standards, are carried out in-house at IWI’s facilities, enabling the company to operate efficiently, maintain highest quality standards, while rapidly adapting to customer- requirements and market trends.
IWI’s firearms are developed in close collaboration with the IDF. IWI and the IDF established joint Research and Development (R&D) teams, to create the weapons, whose ultimate configuration is the product of ongoing interaction, field tests and modifications, applied from most recent combat requirements.
IWI Product Line:
IWI is one of the world’s leading producers of combat proven small arms for over 70 years. The company’s range of weapon systems include:
The Tavor was developed by IWI in cooperation with the IDF. Its compact rifle and long barrel are key attributes for its excellent usability for modern, asymmetric combat. The weapon has an integral, advanced and accurate sighting system attached directly to the barrel. Designed with optimal ergonomics Tavor increases the user’s comfort and confidence level.
The standard LMG of the Israel Defense Forces. High reliability and versatility that suits a large variety of operations. NEGEV can optimized for dismounted operations. It can also be used as vehicle mounted weapon, on helicopters or naval crafts.
Galil is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine fed multi-purpose personal weapon. It is designed for firing from the shoulder or hip. The Galil was combat proven as a highly reliabile weapon, proving itself in difficult and extreme conditions. The ACE is based upon the reliable mechanism of the GALIL. It is perfectly suitable for modern battle field, with enhanced human engineering. The five Picatinny rails allow adding an array of optical devices and accessories. The ACE is easy to use and simple to maintain.
This is a semi automatic sniper rifle, designed for high accuracy, ease of operation and convenient carriage under tough operating conditions. The weapon is offered with a folding stock for use by special units and law enforcement. Galil Sniper Rifle is in service with military and government agencies worldwide.
The first and leading SMG. The legendary UZI has been the most popular weapon for over 50 years. Since the introduction in 1956 over 2 million units were sold worldwide. The combat-proven UZI has proved itself as the most reliable SMG to date.
IWI is offering two types of handguns – the Jericho and Barak. Jericho is built on a high quality, all steel construction. Its barrel has polygonal rifling for greater accuracy and longer barrel life. Among the ergonomic features are the forward-positioned center of gravity providing for reduce barrel jump, polymer stock and safety on slide. Barak Is a lightweight, ergonomically designed handgun offered for self-defense and law enforcement needs. It is available in 3 cal: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.
CONTROP specializes in the development and production of Electro-Optical and Precision Motion Control Systems. The company’s specialists have over 35 years of experience in Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) products for surveillance, defense and homeland security.
Company website: controp.com
CONTROP’s main product lines include automatic passive intruder detection systems for coastal surveillance, port and harbour security, border surveillance, security of sensitive sites, perimeter security surveillance and ground troops security; High performance stabilized observation payloads used for day and night surveillance on board UAVs, mini UAVs and aerostats/balloons, helicopters, light aircraft, maritime patrol boats and ground vehicles; Thermal imaging cameras with high performance Continuous Zoom Lens and state-of-the-art image enhancement features, and more. The company’s range of surveillance, defense and homeland security systems include:
CONTROP’s specialists design and assemble optical lenses (zoom), in high accuracy mechanical subsystems. The company’s products are also supported by in-house electronic design, of both analog and digital systems, software design and implementation, inertial stabilization, servo-loops design testing, with inertial and GPS-aided INS systems expertise.
CONTROP’s main product lines include: Automatic passive intruder detection systems for coastal surveillance, port and harbor security, border surveillance, securing sensitive sites, perimeter security surveillance and ground troops security; High performance stabilized observation payloads are used for day and night surveillance on board UAVs, mini UAVs and aerostats/balloons, helicopters, light aircraft, maritime patrol boats and ground vehicles; thermal imaging cameras with high performance Continuous Zoom Lens and state-of-the-art image enhancement features, and more. CONTROP’s products are in daily operational use by many of the most critical homeland security and defense programs worldwide.
The company has a vast in-house knowledge base in all technological fields related to inertially-stabilized electro-optical payloads, and their applications for airborne, land or naval applications. The company also has the required design, simulation and testing tools and equipment supporting the product’s life cycle, from CONTROP has mastered all critical technological aspects required for successful implementation and integration of technological advances in electro-optical systems, including system-level design, analysis and simulation of electro-optical and Infra-red (thermal) sensors – both cooled and uncooled thermal imaging cameras. The company’s R&D teams specialize in real-time image enhancement and image processing, video tracker hardware / software design, implementation and integration of laser systems.
CONTROP has mastered all critical technological aspects required for successful implementation and integration of technological advances in electro-optical systems, including system-level design, analysis and simulation of electro-optical and Infra-red (thermal) sensors – both cooled and uncooled thermal imaging cameras. The company’s R&D teams specialize in real-time image enhancement and image processing, video tracker hardware / software design, implementation and integration of laser systems.
CONTROP’s payloads are gyro-stabilized in two or three axis, using 3, 4 or 5 gimbals for applications in helicopters, aircraft or ground surveillance vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Unmanned Ground Vehicles, land vehicles or naval vessels, as well as sensors protecting fixed sites. These payloads can carry multiple sensors or a single camera, according to the user’s requirements. They come in different weight and performance levels, from 46 kg to 0.75 kg. Back
CONTROP was one of the world pioneers in the development of Scanning & Observation Surveillance Camera Systems. These sensors are providing both observation and panoramic scan capabilities using a single camera observation system. The company has been delivering such systems since the late 1990′s, meeting a wide range of operational requirements with numerous military and governmental agencies. Typical applications are Intruder Detection for border protection, perimeter security for air bases and other strategic sites, coastal defense and air defense applications. Back
CONTROP developed a range of cooled and uncooled, high performance thermal cameras, providing night, daylight and adverse weather visibility. Typical applications of these cameras are for military, homeland security uses. CONTROP’s FLIRs are used throughout the company’s product range and also by other manufacturers and are also provided as an OEM sensor. Back
The company offers Gyro Stabilized Gimbal Assemblies and Antenna Pedestals applicable for various optronic payloads and directional datalink antenna assemblies used on UAVs, aerial, naval and land-based systems. Back
CONTROP also offers high brightness, ruggedized flat panel monitors for use with air, land and naval platforms and applications, including fixed and rotary wing aircraft, sea vessels and ground vehicles. These Super VGA displays are available in 15″, 10.4″ or 8.4″ LCD active matrix (TFT) screen sizes and are compatible to operate at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet. Back
Defense Update posts about Controp:
In April 2010 the U.S. subsidiary of the Australian company Metal Storm has won a $1.48 development contract, awarded by the U.S. Marine Corps, for the development and demonstration of Mission Payload Module for the Non Lethal Weapon System (MPM-NLWS). The system is based on Metal Storm’s FireStorm weapon system.
This weapon addresses the corps’ requirement for an effective crowd control weapon, enabling a single HMMWV to cover a wide area. The system and payload should be effective at distances of 30-150 meters, disperse over 25 m2 or more within 4-8 seconds and incapacitate 75% of personnel within this target area for a minimum duration of 20 seconds or up to five minutes. The Marines intend to buy an initial batch of 312 MPM-NLWS in the first acquisition spiral. For this contract we lead a team including BAE Systems.
Originally, FireStorm was designed as a four barrel, 24 shot automatic grenade launcher, based on the EOS multi-purpose remotely controlled weapon station. The Marines will be able to tailor the system to their requirements, stacking 10, 15, or even 30 barrels on each platform, depending on specific requirements. For the demonstration testing the NLWS will be attached to the overhead gun shield also known as the Marine Corps Transparent Armored Gun Shield or MCTAGS. The FireStorm can fire both lethal and non-lethal munitions. For the non lethal munitions, different munitions could be used to deliver a wide range of effects, with frangible impact node, irritant, cargo rounds and advanced airburst flash-bang projectiles. The same system can also fire lethal grenades as well.
In April 2010 General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) has won a $3 million contract for a technology demonstration (TD) and evaluation of its competing MPM-NLWS candidate system known as ‘Medusa’, developed in cooperation with ATK Aerospace Systems.
The GD-OTS ATK team plans to modify the advanced 66mm grenade and launcher technology to provide improved counter-personnel and non-lethal capabilities that temporarily incapacitate targets through intense light, sound and pressure stimuli.
The Medusa uses an articulated launcher and fire control system, firing non-lethal grenade munitions with electronic, in-tube, range-programmable fuzing that provides precision placement of the non-lethal effect. In addition to the new MPM, the launcher will retain its capability to deploy the current inventory of 66mm non-lethal and obscuration-effect.
Australian based Metal Storm ltd. has recently won two contracts for non lethal variants of its stacked, electronically fired weapon system. These wins underline the company’s recent shift into the developing market of non-lethal weapon and munitions, expected to rapidly grow in the coming years. The first contract was an order worth $3.36 million received from Papua New Guinea, to equip the island’s corrective service with 500 MAUL weapons and 50,000 non-lethal ammunition rounds. The second was a $1.48 development contract awarded by the U.S. Marine Corps in April 2010. This contract funds the development and demonstration of Mission Payload Module for the Non Lethal Weapon System (MPM-NLWS) based on Metal Storm’s FireStorm weapon system.
According to Dr. Lee J. Finniear, CEO of Metal Storm the two contracts indicate the company’s focus on non lethal weapon systems, realizing that its core technologies – lightweight, high firepower and capability to deliver accurate scalable response are essential capabilities for moderate warfare, peacekeeping and law enforcement applications. The employment of several payloads in succession without reloading is a unique advantage of the electrical firing method employed by Metal Storm. “This requirement is growing rapidly and few, if any technologies can compete with the clear advantage of Metal Storm.” Said Finniear.