Archive for February, 2012

Alleged iPad-Swiping TSA Agent at DFW Airport Arrested

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

This case is part of a series of recent theft allegations against TSA employees.

TSA Agent Clayton Keith Dovel was arrested last week on suspicion of stealing numerous iPads from passenger’s luggage at DFW’s airport.

Apparently, Dovel was lifting the iPads from his position where he screened passenger’s checked luggage by hand.

Dovel was caught because one of the theft victims had downloaded the “Find My iPhone” app onto her iPad. She was able to track her stolen iPad directly to Dovel’s house. Police found at least seven iPads at Dovel’s residence.

TSA placed Dovel on leave until officials can sort out the situation.

I would think installing video surveillance in the area where luggage is checked would be enough to discourage pilfering by TSA employees, who I am sure are usually honest hard working individuals.

Video surveillance is used in the screening area at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the video recently helped catch a TSA agent who stole $5,000 from a passenger’s jacket. Surveillance video showed TSA agent Alexandra Schmid taking the money from a jacket pocket, wrapping the cash in a plastic glove and taking it to a bathroom.

The money hasn’t been recovered. Police are investigating whether Schmid gave it to another person in the bathroom.

The 31-year-old Schmid was arrested on a charge of grand larceny and suspended pending an investigation. Her attorney’s name wasn’t immediately known.

It is best to never check items of value in your luggage and to check for your valuables after they have gone through the passenger screening area. If you must check your computers, there are software programs for Macs and PCs that will track your computer should it be lost or stolen.

Anonymous Hackers Intercept FBI, Scotland Yard Call

Monday, February 6th, 2012

 

Anonymous hackers posted a YouTube video of an embarrassing and sensitive conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard in which investigators talk about their hacking suspects.

Ironically, this sensitive conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard was recorded by the very people they are trying to catch – the hacking group known as Anonymous.

Anonymous released an almost 17-minute-long recording of what appears to be a Jan. 17 conference call dedicated to tracking and prosecuting members of the hacking group (video link included in story link below).

The FBI stated that the information “was intended for law enforcement officers only and was illegally obtained.” Yet, the FBI states that none of its systems were breached. Really? Clearly systems were breached; otherwise, the group would not have been able to eavesdrop on the conference call. The FBI says it’s not entirely clear how the hackers got their hands on the recording.

Anonymous published an email they say was sent by an FBI agent which gave details and a password for accessing the call. Since Anonymous is pretty good at hacking into emails, I would say this is clearly how they got their “hands on the recording.”

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press that authorities were looking at the possibility that the message was intercepted after a private email account of one of the invited participants was compromised.

London police did confirm that one of its e-crimes specialist was on the intercepted conference call, but were quick to add that “at this stage no operational risks” to the police service had been identified.

I think the investigators should start using handles instead of their real names. The first set of callers used their first names and identified which cities were handling specific cases. (more…)

Scam – Woman Accused of Selling Fake Facebook Stock

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

 

While most of us learned of Facebook’s planned initial public offering on Wednesday. Marianne A. Oleson of Oshkosh, Wis., has been allegedly selling shares in the popular social networking site since 2011. Now the police have arrested her for fraud and theft.

Prosecutors said Marianne Oleson told acquaintances she obtained $1 million in stock because her daughter was an acquaintance of Facebook’s founder and persuaded several people to buy fictitious Facebook stock.

While some of us would be skeptical, or at least watch The Social Network to fact check the assertion, Oleson reportedly found at least four people willing to believe her.

The complaint against Oleson said one of the people to whom she was accused of selling fake stock was a contractor who did work at her house in September. Oleson paid the contractor for the work with $13,980 worth of fake Facebook stock.

The same contractor also paid $10,000 in cash to the woman for additional stock. He says he grew suspicious when he found she lied about her name and various irregularities on documents that referred to the transaction. (more…)

Atlanta Teens Break into CNN Newsroom to Check Facebook Pages

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

 

Two Atlanta teens apparently couldn’t find an available computer or an open Internet Cafe at 3:30 a.m. They desperately wanted to check their Facebook Pages. Well, the obvious solution came to mind – break into the CNN Headquarters. Surely they will have computers. Yea, that’s a good idea.

Last week, two teenagers were arrested on the fifth floor of the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. They had allegedly broken into the building and were in the process of checking their Facebook pages when they were caught.

Aldayne Fearon, 18, and Francis Mutemwa, 17 scaled a wall and gained access to CNN’s fifth floor newsroom. This occurred after they drove to the Omni Hotel in Mutemwa’s mother’s red Mercedes.

I am sure their parents won’t “like” this situation.

The two were discovered at approximately 3:30 a.m. Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said that officers from the Zone 5 precinct — which is also located in the CNN Center — were contacted by CNN security who reported there was ‘someone in their secure area newsroom.’

Jones, who said that the teens initially refused to give their names, but later identified themselves, confirmed that Mutemwa and Fearon were, indeed, engaged on the popular social media site. They were working on two computers which were not password protected. At the time of their arrest, they were checking their Facebook pages on those computers.

Each was charged with criminal trespassing.

I would have to assume that Facebook will close their accounts and the two will have to get by without getting their Facebook fixes.

Spying on Your Partner in the Name of Love

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

 

When, if ever, is it acceptable to invade a romantic partner’s privacy? Those who have perpetrated or suffered betrayal (or both) say it’s often the only way to confirm suspicions of infidelity when all else fails. I am not sure what “all else” includes – asking and hoping for an honest answer? Hiding behind closed doors and eavesdropping on phone conversations? Following your partner? Hiring a private detective to perform surveillance on your partner? Place a GPS tracker on their car?

Have you ever been suspicious that your partner is cheating and been tempted to play sleuth? It used to take some real effort to catch your partner. These days it has become much easier due to technology.

According to a survey last year by the gadget shopping site Retrevo.com, which queried more than 1,000 people online, thirty-three percent of dating couples and 37 percent of spouses (slightly more women than men) say they have secretly checked their partner’s email or call history. Among those under 25, almost half reported snooping. Overall, just 9 percent discovered evidence of cheating.

Jennifer Jacobson, a spokeswoman for Retrevo.com, said she doesn’t think young couples are less trusting. “It’s just that technology has made everyone’s communications highly accessible and people probably don’t see it as a violation of trust, because of how easy it is to do.”

Patricia Masterson’s recalls when her boyfriend broke into her email account in search of evidence that she had been cheating. She was highly offended by the violation of her privacy. Although she had indeed been cheating, she believed this violation was not a good excuse.

She viewed things differently 10 years later. She was married and pregnant. She innocently saw a text message on her husband’s cellphone from a woman regarding a baby. Her husband said it must have been sent to him by mistake. Masterson, sensitive to privacy, left it alone until a few months later when the woman contacted her through Facebook to reveal she’d recently given birth to her husband’s child.

Masterson said, “I became a snooper.” She poured through cellphone records and installed software to recover deleted emails. She gathered all the details she could. “It was so not me; up until that point I had believed in absolute privacy.”

I wish I could tell you the outcome, but I don’t know how the story ended.

So, it is ever OK to snoop and invade your partner’s privacy? According to a study, it depends on from which generation you belong that determines your probability (and justification) of using today’s technology to spy on your partner. (more…)

Student Gets a Bag of Cocaine with Amazon Used Book Order

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

 

Any university student who has ever purchased a used textbook knows that there are sometimes strange surprises hiding between those pages. Usually they come in the form of messy scribbles or perhaps even a forgotten piece of gum. In one case, a student got a big surprise! Her book came with a free bag of cocaine.

Sophia Stockton is a junior at Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. She ordered a textbook from an independent retailer through the Amazon online storefront. The book was titled, “Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives and Issues.” It was for a spring course she was taking on terrorism.

When Stockton opened the book, a bag of white powder fell out. Well you can imagine Sophia’s concern. The powder in itself would have provoked concern, but the fact that it fell out of a book about terrorism made it all the more scary.

Stockton feared that the bag contained anthrax and took it to the local police department the next day. (more…)

Man Gets 26-year Sentence for 17 years of Stalking

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

 

This is the type of story you see in a bad Lifetime movie – a suspense/drama thriller that goes beyond the norm of what “normal” people will do. I can’t imagine how this poor woman has lived out such a real nightmare for so many years.

After nearly two decades, Tracy Lundeen can stop hiding. The man who has stalked her since 1994, since the two were middle schoolers in Renton, Seattle, has been sentenced to more than 26-years in prison. Prosecutors are calling this the longest sentence for stalking in memory.

Shawn Moul, 31, received the exceptionally long felony stalking sentence last week after a jury found he “demonstrated an egregious lack of remorse” for his actions. At one point, Moul had reportedly threatened to cut out the heart of a deputy prosecutor unless he turned over Lundeen’s address and phone number.

Moul began stalking classmate Tracy Lundeen in 1994. Lundeen saw him at the school library struggling with his homework and offered to help him. Afterwards, Lundeen said Moul began following her and wrote her more than 100 letters. The letters alternated between threatening her and vowing to kill himself. He also contacted Lundeen’s family members and demanded that she contact him. (more…)