3.7.17 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

3.7.17 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

US Fentanyl Vendor Gets Busted On Handwriting

Federal agencies brought down a pair of fentanyl vendors from Ohio with oddly unnecessary tactics. Federal agents bought fentanyl from darknet vendors. They then profiled the packs and and found the couple’s most frequented Post Office. Through “surveys,” they connected one of the defendants, James Halpin, to the case. Agents then intercepted an inbound package that contained fentanyl and carfentanil. The address belonged to the second vendor, Grace Bosworth. Investigators pulled Grace Bosworth and Brian Bosworth’s dissolution of marriage (divorce) filing and matched her signatures to the handwriting on the outgoing packages. Busted. DeepDotWeb

Russian Law Enforcement Handled Back-to-Back Busts This Week

Law enforcement in Russia picked up their online drug and gun market game during the past two to three weeks. Not that it was rare before, but these arrests now occur daily.

  • The first arrest was that of a 68-year-old who bought two automatic SMGs from a darknet vendor. He found himself the target of an investigation and his house the focus of a Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) raid. A few days prior, another buyer of recommissioned firearms landed in jail for the same crime. He bought the same gun and the recommissioning job for both guns matched. DeepDotWeb
  • Law enforcement in Penza made the second move—they arrested two online drug dealers. The information came from a drug mule who claimed the dealers failed to pay him. Last month, the police arrested eight in connection with drug smuggling and trafficking; the unpaid mule was one of the the eight. The authorities then raided an apartment owned by a 23-year-old and a 24-year-old. In the apartment, police found more than one kilogram of amphetamine, various cathinones, and cannabinoids. Scales and shipping materials were found also. DeepDotWeb
  • A third play against darknet or simply online drug trafficking in general came from law enforcement in Udmurtia. Officers of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Drug Control Service arrested a drug trafficker who received 130 grams of a substituted cathinone and a substantial weight of amphetamine. He owned two apartments—one for local sales and one for repackaging and reselling the drugs on the darknet. DeepDotWeb

The list goes on, actually. Russian authorities took down numerous drug syndicates with online connections throughout the month. And a large portion of that activity occurred last week.

KSN Report: Ransomware in 2016-2017

Kaspersky Lab experts generated a report on the ransomware threat landscape and changes over the course of a year. Data was gathered from the Kaspersky Security Network depersonalized data collection. “The metrics are based on the number of distinct users of Kaspersky Lab products with the KSN feature enabled, and who encountered ransomware at least once in a given period,” Securelist outlined.

  • Ransomware-as-a-service is trending. This is likely no shock to anyone. Cybercrime-as-a-service dominated the media until larger, more publicly recognizable attacks appeared. Both WanaCrypt and NotPetya came out of left field wreaked havoc. The public seems to be stuck on the same channel.
  • Targeted attacks grew immensely, according to the KSN study results. Instead of private individuals, threat actors shifted attacks towards towards large financial institutions. Kaspersky Lab’s researchers found instances where the orchestrator demanded more than $500,000 from a victim. Securelist researchers believe that these actors have been hunting for more lucrative opportunities. And that they will become a greater threat due to the competitive nature of financially motivated attacks of that scale.

“The total number of users who encountered ransomware between April 2016 and March 2017 rose by 11.4% compared to the previous 12 months (April 2015 to March 2016),” the report explained. Securelist

Nevada becomes fifth US state to allow cannabis sales for recreational purposes

Although still banned by the federal government, Nevada joined Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska as the next state with recreational marijuana. Adults with photo identification can now legally possess an ounce of dry cannabis or an eighth of concentrated forms of marijuana, including edibles. Unfortunately, for some, the law prohibits public use of marijuana. For the first violation, the court will charge smokers $600. The smoking of Marijuana is also explicitly limited to private homes.

The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said that states with recreational marijuana should expect a federal law enforcement interference. He alluded to marijuana’s potential connection to the opioid crisis. “When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” he said. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and drugs of that nature.” The Independent and Reddit Post for discussion.

Interpol Claims Illegal Wildlife Trade is Occurring on the Darknet

In a recent study, Interpol reported that they had found evidence of illegal animal trade on the darknet. The trade, based on both the graphic issued by Interpol and sound reasoning, likely existed far from the major marketplaces. Interpol focused on rhinoceros, elephants, and tigers and reported the discovery of 21 advertisements that offered parts from these animals.

“The good news is that researchers found very limited amounts of products available for sale on the darknet. The bad news is that Interpol researchers found adverts selling parts of some of the most critically endangered species on earth on one of the most difficult to regulate Internet platforms,” Tania McCrea-Steele, the IFAW Cybercrime Project Lead said.

One spokesperson for a third party firm reported seeing Ivory listed on a “major market.” The claim was unsubstantiated. However, a researcher from the Oxford Internet Institute told Motherboard about one forum where a man offered tiger cubs for sale. The researcher added that users on another forum felt disgusted. DeepDotWeb

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