This is default featured slide 1 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 2 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 3 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Glock Vendor Headed to Trial for Role in Munich Shootings

In late 2016, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt charged a darknet weapons vendor with negligent homicide and negligent bodily harm. The vendor—known as Philipp K., a 32-year-old from Marburg—admitted providing Ali David Sonboly, the Munich gunman, with a Glock 17. The Prosecutor’s Office had, at the time, charged the vendor with only weapon crimes. Roughly one year after the shooting, officials announced that K. will face the new charges in August 2017.

The Federal Criminal Police Office arrested the vendor shortly after the Munich shooting occurred. He confessed, helped police catch other vendors, and revealed a hidden weapon cache. In helping investigators, K. incriminated himself to an even greater degree. Authorities found encrypted messages between K. and Sonboly where K. “could have known [Sonboly] was planning to kill people with the gun.”

According to Georg Ungefuk, from the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office of Frankfurt:

“The arrest warrant was initially issued only because of the violation of the arms laws. The further investigation of the secured communication from the supposed arms dealer on the Darknet – the secret area of the Internet – however, showed indications of negligence. There was [initially] no evidence that the 31-year-old Marburger knew what the amok gunman had in mind.”

Police recently seized “Deutschland im DeepWeb,” the forum where Sonboly found K. Conversations between K and Sonboly, before switching to private communications, were publicly visible. Sonboly requested a firearm seller who could get ammunition and a Glock 17. “Hi, I’m looking for a Glock 17 with a total of 250 rounds of ammunition,” he wrote in one post. Later on, the same user wrote that he did not want to wait a year to buy a Glock as one forum veteran suggested could happen.

“From May to December, there were a total of four arms traders who were able to ‘sell’ Glocks to Glocks, but it turned out that this was all a scam – I really do not want to wait for years to find a ‘true’ weapon merchant who will offer a good Glock 17,” he wrote. Forum members previously disputed whether or not the user who had posted the above messages was Ali David Sonboly. Others, though, believed that the user had been Sonboly and knew the seller was K.

Philipp K. used several usernames for his online firearm sales. He needed many as he started the trade in 2014, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. Some evidence indicates that he vended on former darknet marketplaces that permitted weapon sales. Police also busted the DiDW forum owner for facilitating the trade of firearms and other illegal items. He is currently at the Detention Center at the District Court of Karlsruhe and remains under investigation.

K. faces nine counts of negligent homicide and five counts of causing negligent bodily harm, alongside the weapons charges.


A Dortmunder Suspected To Buy Guns from Darknet

When Darknet is being talked about in Germany, one listing of an item that usually comes to mind is “weapons”. Most of the gun violence in Germany has been attributed to the Darknet, as the platform is known to encourage illegal smuggling of weapons.

Last year, the Germany’s prolific Darknet weapon dealer was arrested and jailed five and half years.

The Munich shooting was also linked to the Darknet after an investigation revealed that the gun was purchased from the Darknet.

Within the week, a 54-year-old man has been busted for buying 10 firearms and 1,500 rounds of ammunition from a Darknet marketplace. The man, whose identity was not disclosed by the police, was caught in the net of a raid in some targeted cities.

The number of Germans who deal in Darknet weapon smuggling is rising on daily basis, and those that deal in other illegal substances on the Darknet are no different.

Upon an awareness of the authorities, some have been handed over to law enforcement.

In Germany, earlier this year, three suspects were arrested for purchasing firearms from the Darknet. Weapon smuggling has become a big time business on the Darknet across Europe. The weapons are sold at cheaper prices, and individuals hide behind the internet to place their order and then wait for its arrival at the comfort of their homes.

According to a press release, an investigation was conducted between May and June of this year. With a search warrant, authorities searched the home of the suspect, including two other houses. Enough evidence was gathered, and a good legal ground was established for the arrest of the Dortmunder.

As said earlier, Dortmund and Germany as a whole has had an effect of the Darknet weapon smuggling which is rampant across Europe. The investigation commission of the Main Registry Office in the Federal Republic of Germany targeted Dortmund during the spring. They planned to raid the City for any trade of firearms. It is reported that authorities came into contact with the suspect on the Darknet, under a username which was not disclosed.

The Dortmunder was identified to be a trader of firearms which is not in line with country laws. Of course, some German Darknet users’ trade drugs on the Darknet, and they have together placed Germany among the top Darknet drug traders in Europe. Some people believe that weapon smuggling should be treated more harshly by authorities compared to that of drug trafficking, but German law enforcers are seeking to haunt any Darknet illicit trader who appears on their radar.

Some substances were seized after the search in his apartment. Ten firearms, 1,562 bullets, and 2,711 pyrotechnic items were found in his possession. The Dortmunder was arrested for violating the law of weapons, and he faces up to three years imprisonment.

The raid in the various houses resulted in the seizure of a total of 17 firearms, 2,312 short ammunitions, 2 knives, 8 beats and 2,711 forbidden pyrotechnic. The items have a total value of 25,000 Euros. The raid was conducted across Dortmund, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Lower Saxony.
Weapon Smuggle From Darknet Is A Headache in Europe

Weapons are found in the various Darknet marketplaces at cheaper prices. An AK47 is sold at prices ranging from $2,800 to $3,600 in some of the markets. A Darknet weapon shop owner in 2014 wrote on Reddit that “[O]ur online orders are not small, usually it’s a single handgun followed by a dozen or more arms.” Weapons are found in all sizes and are delivered through postal offices in components after orders are placed.

Some years back, Sascha W. was arrested in Germany after 16 weapons were seized during a search in his house. An important revelation came after his arrest, and it may be a reason for high weapon trade in the country. Authorities said that Sascha “was allegedly converting non-lethal weapons to firearms and then selling them online.” This reveals that some dealers manufacture the weapons themselves and have them sold on the Darknet. This may be a reason for the ever increasing weapon distribution in Germany and across Europe. Sascha was distributing weapons for a terrorist on the Darknet marketplace.

Johnson Thomas, an expert in arms trafficking said that vendors take advantage of countries with weak gun laws in the European Union to smuggle weapons, which affect the efforts of enforcements. “The problem generally is that as the E.U.’s frontiers have moved eastward, certain countries with weaker gun laws have moved inside the free-movement zone. That doesn’t always help with law enforcement,” he said.

Trainer Is Banned For Giving Darknet Course to Inmates

The protection against the use of Darknet has called for governments all over the world to rise and use all possible arsenals to halt its activities. Belgium authorities have been very vigilant in Darknet related cases. Some dealers have already been arrested and have been prosecuted according to the Law.

Recently, the Belgium authorities banned a trainer from the Mons Prison. This was done to ensure that the trainer does not provide any Darknet tutorials to the inmates, classified as part of the summer course.

The trainer emphasized on topics such as; Travels, Anonymous internet, and the Darknet. The prison administration confirmed the information released by the CGSP.

According to the report, he was a worker at the Continuing Education Workshop for Prisoners, but due to the inappropriacy of the course, the authorities forbade him from accessing the Mons prison.

Michel Strady, a CGSP worker said to reporters that “This course clearly demonstrated how to navigate the Internet while remaining untraceable.” The side effect of Darknet accessibility has made authorities wish that citizens had no knowledge about its existence. It has created more harm than good.

The GCSP has confirmed to reporters that: “It was a prison officer who realized the content of the training. The summer workshop was immediately stopped and the paper documents were taken away from the prisoners, and we find this problem more incredible that this course was given to presumed terrorists. ”

Authorities believe that the course can create a room for terrorism. Belgium is a victim of a terror attack, and it has been reported that the weapons that were used in the terrorist attack in countries such as Germany are on sale on Darknet.

Authorities believe that allowing the teaching of any course that can potentially lead to another attack is inappropriate. Prevention they say is better than cure.

Belarius was unlike Belgium, as they recently hosted a multi-Agency Darknet Training for their law enforcement. This was supposed to give law enforcers some knowledge about the operation of the Darknet, to aid in raiding the website to arrest criminals.

It is probable that the Belgium authorities would have allowed such courses for the law agencies, instead of prison inmates. They will use it to trade illicit substances instead of using it in a way that will be at peace with the Law.

Kathleen Van De Vijver, the spokesperson for the prison administration said that the suspended trainer is a freelancer who works with the Adeppi Permanent Educational Organization. She narrated to reporters, the circumstances that led to the ban: “Adeppi is organizing four-day summer workshops in prisons.” She continued: “The theme of July 3 in Mons was the trip, but on July 4, the prison administration was informed by an officer that the theme which was actually discussed the day before the course was about traveling, but the theme which was taught had nothing to do with the traveling but with the darknet. It is clear that the trainer did not work in the ethics. Contact was taken with Adeppi and the French Community and measures were immediately put In effect. “

One’s Darknet is allowed to be practiced; it will become an incurable disease which will in the long run fight against the course of the authorities.


A Canadian Who Purchased Drugs and Arms from Darknet Commit Suicide in Prison

A Canadian who was arrested for drug trafficking on the Darknet has committed suicide in his prison cell. Alexandre Cazes, 26, was arrested in Thailand and detained on July 5th. He committed suicide in the Narcotics Bureau in Bangkok, in his cell. The suspect was on the wanted list of the FBI, but he fled to Bangkok to escape the drug trafficking charges.

A report has said that Cazes lived a luxurious life as he owned a Lamborghini. The Lamborghini was seized. After his arrest on July 5th at No. 514 Private House Phutthamonthon 3 Road, Thawi Watthana, Bangkok, authorities made sure that extradition papers were prepared. The cost of the car in Thailand is said to be four times more expensive than in the west due to import taxes.

Cazes was a suspect for arms and drug trafficking on the Darknet, and he has lived in the Thailand for eight years as a computer programmer. A source has revealed that Cazes married in Thailand, and his way of living made him the center of attention. He was the owner of three different houses and several cars.

A search was conducted in his houses in Trois-Rivières and a mini-warehouse in the Cap-de-la-Madeleine area which focused on his computer equipment. Another search was also conducted in Montreal.

The Department of world affairs in Canada said: “Our thoughts are with family members and friends of Alexandre Cazes. Consular officers in Ottawa and Bangkok are in communication with family members. ”

The RCMP in Canada in collaboration with interested parties has raided the Darknet to arrest several Darknet operators and vendors. It is said that Cazes was exposed for arrest through the operation of the RCMP. They have busted several narcotic distributors. Their success is linked to the fact that they organize joint investigation with multi agencies in and outside the country.

“In Canada, the collaboration between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Post, and the Canada Border Services Agency led to the identification and targeting of an international distributor of narcotics based in Quebec that was operating on the Darknet.” RCMP said. “This resulted in numerous seizures and the detention of an individual involved in the international distribution of the narcotics.” The force behind their operation has resulted in success, and Cazes is a victim of their operation.

The arrest of Cazes was as results of a fresh worldwide investigation, where the FBI searched computer equipment. More arrests should be expected in the coming weeks. Some people also suspect that there is a link between Cazes and the Alphabay market. A Reddit user known by the name Saturne136 believes that the whole incident surrounding the suicide of the suspect and the timing for the disappearance of Alphabay is suspicious; “It seems there is a link between Alexandre Cazes and AlphaBay market,” he said. “If it is the case, in my opinion, 1) He should wait 10 years, 15 years before purchasing houses and cars cuz it was suspicious 2) Ban weapons from AB.”

He is even suspected to be an Alphabay administrator. If it happens that he was the Alphabay administrator, then all hope for those whose money is locked up there is lost. Also, if the information turns out to be true, then it means Darknet market admins are slowly being taken care of by the police, ranging from the arrest of Ross Ulbricht and his co-administrator to other operators. Credible information concerning this rumor would have been provided had he not taken his life.

More arrests are expected to follow, and the RCMP had a hand in the arrest of the many Darknet users from Canada. A lot of packages have also been intercepted by authorities. A privacy expert, David Fraser, concerning the operation of the authorities on the Darknet that leads to the arrest of Darknet users and administrators who hide behind the mask, said; “the complicated thing is what they do when they get there and what they do with what they find. If police are monitoring and tracking individual suspects online and using it to build a criminal case, they may be required to obtain a warrant. Police may also find themselves in trouble if they surveil entire subsections of the internet in the hopes of catching a handful of individuals.”


Geographical Analysis of Drug Trafficking On a Popular Darknet Marketplace

Cryptomarkets are novel forms of online marketplaces, hosted on darknets, that simplify the trading of a myriad of illegal and illicit merchandize, namely drugs. Even though most relevant academic research studies focus on illegal drugs, a wide variety of other products and goods that are related to identity, or financial fraud, counterfeit goods or replicas, in addition to doping products are also sold on crypto markets.

Via the analysis of data obtained from a popular cryptomarket during the period between 2014 and 2015; Evolution, a recently published study presented a thorough analysis of the patterns of drug trafficking in terms of types of sold drugs, number and countries of origin of vendors and shipping destination countries. The study also aimed at presenting the geographical pattern associated with trafficking of products sold on crypto markets e.g. trafficking flows, vendors’ specialization, as well as assessment of their specific roles along the distribution chain. The detailed examination of the flow of goods across various countries highlights the role of specific countries along the routes of domestic and international drug trafficking, potentially reporting to law enforcement agencies LEAs suspicious domestic mails and overseas packages originating from specific countries.

The study also detected the huge number of licit, as well as illicit drug listings and their vendors on Evolution’s platform. Fraud products’ listings are the second most common listings on Evolution, coming second only to drugs listings and they included counterfeited credit cards, driving licenses, passports etc.; stolen payment processor accounts e.g. Paypal; and malware. This was followed by products’ listings that involve sharing of knowledge e.g. tutorials and finally products’ listings that involves currencies, precious metals and other forms of luxury goods.

Offered Products:

During the studied duration, 92,890 unique product listings were identified. A total of distinct 4,171 vendors were detected. 63% of the product listings involved licit and/or illicit drugs. This category of product listings included prescription drugs (e.g. benzodiazepines, synthetic opioids…etc), performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) and paraphernalia & laboratory supplies. Product listings that included fraud related issues represented 30% of all listings and around 50% of all vendors offer products that fit this category e.g. counterfeited licenses, bank statements, university degrees. Product listings classified under the “Goods, currencies and precious metals category” presented around 7% of all listings and included luxury goods such as watches; clothes and accessories such as glasses, shirts, bags, etc.

Trafficking Flow:

Spatial analysis proved that English speaking countries, mainly the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, and Western European countries, namely the Netherlands and Germany, dominated the market, which is in accordance with the results of previous studies that examined cryptomarkets. Analysis of trafficking flows showed the national, or domestic, (e.g. Australia) as well as the international (e.g. Germany, China and the Netherlands) nature of trading in some countries, Moreover, spatial analysis revealed the specialization of some vendors along with the countries which represent the forefront of distribution of certain types of drugs and other products. For example, vendors from China and the Netherlands specialize in selling illicit and prescription drugs, while vendors residing in India specialize in prescription drugs and vendors from China usually specialize in selling NPS and luxury goods. On the other hand, vendors located in the United States distribute products that belong to a wide range of categories. Combining the results of this study along with information from other sources reveals that the geographical trends of trafficking of certain types of illicit drugs represent a reflection of the structure of the conventional drug market (e.g. data regarding prevalence and role in the manufacturing of novel synthetic drugs). This proves that vendors utilize cryptomarkets as novel distribution channels to sell all, or just a portion, of their products.

The below table shows the country of origin and shipping destination of various product listings on Evolution. During the period of analysis of data, 93 countries were found to be the origin of various products listed on Evolution including countries from all corners of the world. On the other hand, shipping destinations included 164 countries.

Due to the fact that analyzing cryptomarkets can aid in the determination of country specific trends, it could be considered as a novel data source that would enlighten us about the features and structure of the illicit market from the domestic perspective of some countries. The info obtained via this study could be utilized at a tactical as well as an operational level (e.g. to promote certain operation s) or at a strategic level (e.g. to formulate a detailed understanding of various criminal activities).


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Australia Gets Gun Amnesty, Better Mail Screening in July

Between July 1 and September 30, the Australian Federal Government will run a mass illegal firearm amnesty. For three months, anyone with an illegal, unregistered, or unwanted guns can dispose of it at police stations throughout Australia. This will be the first national illegal weapon amnesty in 20+ years.

The Federal Government recreated the program from 20 years ago, save for at least one element. In 1996, the program was a buyback program where the government paid people to turn in weapons. This time, gun owners will not receive any monetary compensation for turning in a firearm.

Authorities hope to eliminate some of the suspected 260,000 illegal firearms out of circulation. Those skeptical of the amnesty believe that it will do nothing to stop terror or criminals. Vice-president of Gun Control Australia, Roland Browne, told The World Today that “amnesties are good in the sense that they take guns out of the hands of the community who don’t need them and that’s especially helpful in the case of suicide.” But, he continued, “if you are dealing with people who are hellbent on causing terror, they are not going to hand in their guns.”

Sydney University gun policy analyst Philip Alpers said that the amnesty would only collect weapons that already lacked usefulness. He added that the guns would already be considered worthless by both legal owners and criminals.

The weapons most sought after were often of the automatic or semi-automatic variety. This 2017 amnesty follows the recent murder of Senior Constable Brett Forte. A career criminal, Rick Maddison, turned an illegal, semi-automatic weapon on Forte in the active line of duty. Those are the weapons the government wants to remove from the hands of criminals. Asking them to turn in their expensive guns for free, with no repercussions pertaining to the weapon itself, is hoped to do just that.

According to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), these criminals purchase the guns from overseas. The US lack of oversight on private gun sales makes it easy for weapons to slip under the radar. Smugglers then ship them to places like Australia with “relative anonymity, especially where transactions are made using emerging technologies and business practices, such as the ­Darknet and freight-forwarding service.”

“We must protect our communities and our police on the beat who should not have to face the risk of being shot, particularly by illegal firearms that have no place on our streets in the first place,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said. “Australia is world-renowned for the strength of our firearm laws, but illegal firearms do remain a deadly weapon of choice for organized criminals,” Keenan said during the announcement.

The ACIC report explained that many of the guns were smuggled into Australia by the same criminal groups that trafficked drugs. Also, “Middle Eastern crime gangs” and “outlaw motorcycle clubs.” Australia has a large black market for illegal guns, Keenan explained. In an effort to further stop these weapons from being used by criminals, the government is going to impose tighter border controls and screen international mail even more closely.


Dealer Gave Away 10K in Drugs, Baffles Police

In Linz, a city in Upper Austria, a 28-year-old drug dealer gave away between 9,000 and 11,000 euros worth of heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and amphetamine. Police reported a confusion amongst investigators regarding the motive for giving away free drugs. The investigation started because of something, at the time, unrelated.

The dealer raised suspicion after he imported drugs that he purchased from the darknet marketplaces. In 2016, he purchased at least 50 grams of heroin online. Authorities are still looking into the origin of the other drugs—amphetamine and methamphetamine in particular. Linz officials said that they knew the man had a drug addiction but did not know the full extent of his crimes at the time.

After several months of investigation, the Crime Service Group from Traun, a city that borders Linz, gathered enough evidence to make an arrest. They proved that he made purchases from a darknet marketplace. Although the specifics are still unavailable to the public, officials announced that he made darknet purchases in 2016. According to what little information revealed to the press, he only ordered 50 or more grams of heroin. That investigation is ongoing as police do not believe he sold or freely distributed only 50 grams of heroin over the course of a year.

The Public Prosecutors Office in Linz arranged for the 28-year-old’s arrest following a request from members of the Crime Service Group in Traun. In April, they found the dealer at a tram station in Linz-Kleinmünchen. They arrested him on the spot.

Investigators searched his house and found drugs, bags, phones, and SIM cards. A preliminary forensic investigation revealed that he gave away thousands of euros worth of various substances. Police revealed that he sold the same substances he gave away. This led to the unofficial speculation that he gave the drugs away in order to “spread the addiction,” possibly so that he would later have newly created addicts returning for a fix.

The authorities have not announced a “theory” as to the suspect’s motivation. However, they do want to identify the motive as the investigation proceeds; one source mentioned that police were looking into a potentially malicious motivation such as an attempt to poison a percentage of the population. The suspect confessed to some of the charges but officials had difficulty believing that he gave drugs away out of generosity.

Somehow, a couple of heroin purchases in 2016 led to a completely unrelated investigation into free drugs. Only police spokespersons have responded to requests for information and Linz residents found the responses both confusing and contradictory.

The suspect is in custody for drug distribution and importation charges, but there does not appear to be a charge for drug giveaways. The court date is unknown.


CP Forum in Spain Taken Down by Reverse Image Searches

An analyst from the University of Portsmouth named Gareth Owen conducted a study into users of Tor. He specifically looked into pedophiles and viewers of child pornography. Owen wanted to discover the weaknesses in child pornography sharing networks, along with future problems law enforcement might face.

The researcher explained that, if someone operated in the correct fashion and took the right precautions, anonymity was not difficult to achieve. He said that Tor was created to provide anonymity to journalists and confidential sources. But, he explained, criminals found the anonymity just as useful and the majority of the activity on Tor could be attributed to illegal behavior. And even though the majority of the traffic came from drug markets and forums, he also saw a significant amount of traffic generated by child pornography sites.

A pedophile, he said, is able to mask his “personal data such as the IP address that indicates the location from which he is connected and creates a complete puzzle [out of his network activity].” He said that catching child pornography sharers was much different than catching gun or drug buyers for multiple reasons. One was the fact that there was no delivery of physical goods in the exchange of child porn. The other was that Spain’s laws regarding child porn left some legal ambiguity that could be used in court.

One way to catch them, he said, was “to send a photograph or a video with a virus that “reveals” the IP when a message is received.” He clarified that this method was “exactly what the FBI did to discover those who were behind a forum, linked to child pornography, called PlayPen.”

The other method—one which Own called the “final” method—required reverse image searches:

“Just as there are websites such as TinEye that allow you to see which website a certain image comes from [on the clearnet], there are programs that track these images in TOR, looking for the first ones that were uploaded. This was how Óscar de la Cruz’s team, commander of the Guardia Civil’s Telematic Crime Group, succeeded in disrupting a network of hundreds of computers involved in this type of crime.”

That operation mirrored a recent one where, once it was established that the suspects used Tor, police needed to use different tactics. “These behaviors [hiding network activity] forced the investigators to deploy a complex police device that finally revealed their location,” the press release explained. Once investigators identified the man’s house, they searched it and seized his electronic devices.

After obtaining the suspect’s password, the investigators verified that the man had access to a private forum of more than one thousand members from across the world. Many members were from Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, and the Czech Republic. Investigators are still looking into the suspects from identified countries.

However, “in Spain it is illegal to spy on communications, including watching the material being exchanged by TOR users,” Owen explained. “Doing so may invalidate future legal proceedings.” He said that the laws needed changing in order to be effective in combating online child exploitation.


Ireland to Intensively Scan Packages for Illegal Weapons

Ireland’s Gardaí announced an increased level of surveillance on the country’s ports and airports in an effort to cut down on inbound weapon smuggling. The Gardaí learned that a number of extremists may have recently used the darknet to facilitate illegal weapon importation. According to the Met Police, attackers in London may be attempting to do the same.

The Met Police told the Gardaí that they were investigating a potential lead that stemmed from the London terror attacks. One of the attackers, Rachid Redouane, may have attempted to obtain weapons online, authorities explained. And investigators at the Met have been pursuing a theory that Redouane and possibly others tried to use Ireland as a location for firearm shipments. And specifically shipments from a supplier on the darknet.

Recently police in the US arrested four men in a darknet weapons smuggling case. Two of the men, both from Atlanta, held information on the group that revealed, to law enforcement, that the group shipped to more than 50 countries. One of which was Ireland. People in Ireland continually get arrested for ordering weapons online.

And ever since the attack in Munich where a weapon from a darknet vendor was used in the killing of nine homicides, police showed a greater degree of attention to darknet threats. Met Police obtained an enormous amount of digital intel on Rachid Redouane and his associates. Some of the data, they explained, helped trace his associates. They will use this intel to determine whether or not Redouane and his English partner imported guns when they lived in south Dublin last year.

Port authorities introduced a new scanner for scanning shipments for hidden items. It was designed “to target and confront shadow economy activity, including fiscal fraud, fuel fraud, cash and tobacco smuggling, and drug trafficking, while at the same time facilitating the free flow of legitimate trade,” officials explained.

Ireland currently has a moderate terrorism threat level; a terrorist attack is possible but not likely. However, authorities want to be prepared in the event that one should occur. The parts of Ireland with the most IS sympathizers are the primary targets. However, the police explained that attacks would most likely be “lone wolf” attacks—a notoriously “difficult to prevent” type of attack.

At least 20 extremists are under surveillance for being potential threats to the country. So far, Limerick, Wexford, Galway and Mayo are considered places that contain an increased number of terrorist sympathizers. However, even surveillance has recently been proven unreliable unreliable as a preventative measure. And especially so for “lone wolf” attacks.

Thus, they explained, protecting the borders and preventing illegal weapon importation is the most effective route for preventing illegal items from entering the country.


EU Parliament Committee Proposes Requiring End-to-End Encryption for All Communications

A proposal to require the use of end-to-end encryption on all electronic communication was called for in a new draft report by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs. End-to-end encryption protects messages so that only the users sending and receiving the communications can access the content of the communications, leaving service providers and others unable to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the communications. The proposed regulation is intended to protect privacy rights and the confidentiality of communications. However, it is not just privacy rights that the committee aims to protect with the proposed regulation, the draft report states that the proposed regulation would also protect other fundamental human rights and freedoms, such as freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and freedom of expression. These rights are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and the proposal seeks to amend Article 7 to specifically include digital privacy. Electronic communications service providers would be required to ensure against unauthorized access or alteration of communications.

The proposed rule would prohibit the interception of communications data while it is being transmitted. It would prohibit the use of IMSI catchers, also known as Stingrays, which intercept cellular phone and internet data. EU member states would be prohibited from using backdoors. “Member States shall not impose any obligations on electronic communications service providers that would result in the weakening of the security and encryption of their networks and services,” the committee’s proposal states. The committee also proposed that metadata such as phone numbers and URLs, in addition to actual content, also be protected. The updated Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications would specifically protect current and future forms of communications, including e-mail, instant messages, VOIP calls, and private messages on social media sites.

Last year the European Union adopted a data protection rule to help protect people’s privacy. The committee’s proposal would expand protections of personal data, building on the protections contained in the General Data Protection Regulation. The United Kingdom, which last year voted to begin the process of leaving the European Union with the “Brexit” referendum, is pushing for exactly the opposite of what the European Parliament’s Committee proposed. The British Investigatory Powers Act, also known as the Snoopers Charter, allows the government to require tech companies to disable end-to-end encryption. Meanwhile the UK Conservative Party’s new election manifesto is calling for even more government control of the internet.

“This latest move to ban backdoors in encryption appears to be a calculated slap in the face for Theresa May and her plans for an Orwellian future,” cybersecurity expert Douglas Crawford told CNET. It is not known if the proposed changes would have an effect on the United Kingdom’s new policies to restrict encryption and allow the use of backdoors, as the Brexit process may be completed by then, and the EU law may no longer apply in the UK. The EU is taking a different approach than the UK and the United States to responding to terrorism, and is opting to continue to defend privacy rights, instead of surrendering them in the belief that doing so would be able to provide greater security. The UK and the US have decided to erode privacy protections and embrace mass surveillance of communications.

End-to-end encryption is already implemented by many internet services, such as Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram, which use end-to-end encryption for all messages. Facebook and Google have also implemented end-to-end encryption for certain communications. The current Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications (ePrivacy) was enacted in 2002. The proposal to amend the ePrivacy Directive began late last year. Before the committee’s proposal to amend ePrivacy can be enacted, it must first pass out of the committee and then pass by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. The committee’s proposal could become law in the European Union by May of 2018.


Darknet Arms Deal Resulted In Prison Sentences For Four Belgians

On May 22, four defendants were standing trial at the Criminal Court of Tongeren, Belgium for attempted purchase of 10 Glock pistols. However, the deal was never conducted, before it could be made, law enforcement authorities arrested the suspects who sought to conduct the arms trade. On June 19, the Criminal Court of Tongeren sentenced all of the suspects to prison, in addition to a fine they were ordered to pay to the Belgian government.

An 18-year-old from Dilsen-Stokkem, Belgium, his father, and two accomplices had to stand before the Criminal Court of Tongeren for illegal arms trade. According to the court documents, the 18-year-old browsed darknet marketplaces to search for listings advertising the sale of weapons. Eventually, the activities of the suspects were exposed by undercover agents. Court documents stated that the young defendant used the dark web to purchase illegal products since he was 16-years-old. In December 2016, law enforcement authorities received information showing that the 18-year-old was actively seeking to purchase numerous handguns from sellers residing on the darknet. Under a pseudonym, he contacted multiple buyers and sellers on marketplaces. What he did not know though, that some of the arms traders he messaged with were undercover law enforcement agents. When the teenager contacted two of them seeking to purchase the weapons, they accepted the trade.

The court documents described that the 18-year-old contacted the two agents multiple times, negotiated the price up to 1,500 euros per weapon and wanted to get a deal done. In total, he would buy 10 weapons per transaction. The investigators claimed that the 18-year-old didn’t even try to hide his interest in AK assault rifles. Eventually, the trade was agreed on December 21, 2016, with the location at a parking lot of the fast-food chain McDonald’s in Bilzen. According to the court documents, the two accomplices “had to do the dirty work” bringing the transaction to a “successful conclusion.” The duo was caught during the deal, while the 18-year-old was also detained shortly after. His father, who was considered as the primary suspect in the case by the prosecution, managed to escape from the hands of law enforcement authorities. When the two accomplices were arrested by the police, they had quite strange excuses ready. During the questioning, one of them told the investigators that he was “called by a stranger on the street,” while the other said he “happened to fancy a burger.”

The prosecution did not agree with the 18-year-old’s lawyer, who stated that his client was innocent and the whole case happened by an accident. According to the prosecutor, the defendant was an active user of the dark web, where “you will find assassins and child pornography.” He also brought up fake credentials as an example of the illicit products traded on the dark side of the internet. The prosecutor emphasized that law enforcement authorities provided them with information stating that the 18-year-old had conducted 269 purchases on the dark web by himself.

“Arms trade was often neglected in the past. Now, it is a booming business. Especially after the attacks, arms deserves attention,” the federal prosecutor said attaching great importance to this matter. The prosecution recommended four years with one year suspended to the 18-year-old, while five years to his father. The two accomplices have to fear for two to four years in prison.

However, on the other hand, the lawyers asked for community service or suspended sentences for their clients.

“He was no more than the wrong person in the wrong place,” the 18-year-old’s lawyer said.

Despite the lawyer’s’ request, since the judge found all of the defendants guilty of the charges against them, he sentenced all the suspects to prison. The 18-year-old has to spend two years behind the bars along with a fine of 600 euros. The father and the two accomplices were sentenced by the judge to three years of prison along with fines. According to the court documents, in total, the four defendants were ordered to pay fines of 6,000 euros.


Vendor Has a ‘Small Number’ of Medicare Numbers

In July, a Guardian journalist, Paul Farrell, reported that he had recently bought his Medicare number from a darknet market vendor. Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, called the theft a “traditional” one not a cybersecurity breach. He then called upon the Australian Federal Police for assistance.

Farrell found a vendor on Alphabay who sold stolen Australian ISP email logins, Australian credit cards, and now stolen Medicare numbers. Starting October 2016, under the name “OzRort,” this vendor provided buyers with Medicare numbers for a person of their choosing. And for only 0.0089 bitcoin (around $22).

On July 4, Tudge sought to downplay the potential damage these numbers could cause. “The suggestions are the numbers are very small and we are talking about the acquisition of Medicare card numbers only,” Tudge said. He continued by explaining that “nobody’s health records can be obtained just with a Medicare card number.” And finally that no breach of the DHS systems had occurred. “It is more likely to have been a traditional criminal activity,” he said.

The darknet marketplace vendor claimed that he collected the numbers by “exploiting a vulnerability.” The listing outlines the process for buyers: “leave the first and last name, and DOB of any Australian citizen, and you will receive their Medicare patient details in full.”

The data required by the vendor is no different than the data required by Australia’s Healthcare Professional Online Services (HPOS). Enter a name and DOB into the Medicare verification system and receive Medicare card and individual reference number. Give the vendor a name and DOB and receive the same number.

Tudge adamantly defended the possibility that a breach occurred. He likened the situation to one where someone had broken into a doctor’s office. On Sky News, where Tudge made the doctor’s office analogy, the host asked, “are you saying, coincidentally, they broke into the same doctor’s office that the reporter goes to?

“I’m just not adding any further commentary on this,” Tudge said. “I just don’t want to jeopardise any investigation.” He said that he had suspicions but was going to let the Australian Federal Police do their job. “Claims made in the Guardian newspaper that Medicare card numbers are able to be purchased on the dark web, are being taken seriously by the government and are under investigation.”

“Thorough investigations are conducted whenever claims such as this are made,” Tudge said. “The Government has an ongoing commitment to prioritise cyber security and is constantly working to further improve our capability,” he added.


German Man Bought LSD From Chemical Love, Fined By Court

A German man from Südlandkreis, Germany was sentenced to pay a fine for ordering LSD from the busted vendor shop Chemical Love.

Law enforcement authorities came to the track of a 20-year-old man from Südlandkreis, Germany. According to the court documents, the defendant ordered 10 LSD blotters worth almost 70 euros from the Chemical Love vendor shop. The young man was sentenced to a fine on June 20 for the attempted acquisition of narcotics at the Wolfratshausen District Court.

German police infiltrated the headquarters of the vendors in April 2016, resulting in the arrest of five men, who were suspected of running the vendor shop on the darknet selling drugs to customers. During the raids, law enforcement authorities were able to find a list with information on 2,200 orders. In September 2016, authorities launched a nationwide operation against 63 alleged customers of the drug dealers. According to the Attorney General’s Office in Koblenz, about 300 investigators participated in the raid, performing house searches at 68 locations. In March, this year, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Koblenz announced they had started more than 1,000 investigations against past customers of Chemical Love.

On October 11, 2016, The Central Cybercrime Office (LZC) of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office announced they had charged six individuals in the Chemical Love case. Earlier this month, the Landau District court sentenced three of the defendants to prison. The 30-year-old main suspect, going by the pseudo name “z100”, was given a prison sentence of 14 years and 10 months. The co-defendants, aged 31 and 32 years, were sentenced to seven years and three months of imprisonment.

When German authorities arrested the five suspects and raided the “narcotics depot” (where the defendants kept and stored the drugs, ready for delivery for their customers) in the Rhineland-Palatine, they found an astonishing amount of drugs. Law enforcement authorities seized approximately 45 kilograms of amphetamine imported from the Netherlands, more than 3.5 kilograms of amphetamine, 1.4 kilograms of cocaine, 230 grams of heroin, 4,158 LSD trips, 2 kilograms of hash, 250 grams of crystal meth, 4.7 kilograms of MDMA in crystalline form, and 5.1 kilograms of ecstasy pills. In addition, they are expected to receive approximately 75 kilograms of amphetamine, 3.6 kilograms of MDMA, 2,700 LSD trips, 12,800 ecstasy pills, 1.67 kilograms of cocaine, 300 grams of heroin, 2.93 kilograms of hash and 2,300 kilos of amphetamine 165 grams of crystal meth.

The 20-year-old from Südlandkreis was among the customers of Chemical Love. Law enforcement authorities were able to identify the young man from the list.

According to the lawyer of the defendant, the prosecution, during the trial at the Wolfratshauser District Court, did not provide any concrete evidence. He, therefore, demanded an acquittal.

“No one can be condemned because of conjectures,” he said. Apart from the order list with the name and address of the young man, there was nothing concrete. For an attempted acquisition of narcotics, the ordered package should also have been picked up at the post office. But there is no proof of this, the lawyer stated.

On the other hand, the prosecutor was convinced of the guilt of the defendant. She demanded a fine of 120 days. There was an order list with the name and the address of the defendant as it was only printed out after the goods were paid, according to the law enforcement authorities. A third party would have had no interest in ordering drugs on behalf of the defendant.

Judge Urs Wäckerlin agreed with the prosecution. According to the judge, the narcotics were ordered to the address of the defendant, therefore, it is hardly possible that someone else delivered illicit substances to his doorstep. There is no reason for someone else to order the drug and pay it, he said. Wäckerlin sentenced the accused, according to adult criminal law, to a fine of 40-day rates of 30 euros, totaling the amount to 1,200 euros.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Defense Forces Employee Caught Selling Explosives Online

A Finnish Defense Forces employee sold stolen explosives on the darknet, local authorities announced. An apparent connection was made after Finnish law enforcement posed as a potential customer. “Arrangements” were made between the employee and the undercover officer that ultimately led to the explosive seller’s arrest.

Since the investigation is still ongoing, officials released a limited set of details. As of June 13, the police have not yet revealed how the ordeal began. Regardless of how the investigation unfolded, the suspect’s house contained more than two kilograms of stolen explosives and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. All of which was stolen from the Defense Forces.

Note that news reports called the suspect a Defense Forces employee. His actual role is unknown.

There are several possibilities for how police knew to look into the suspect. The first: the Defense Forces noticed a significant quantity of missing explosives and ammunition. Then, via one of many methods, connected the stolen items to an employee. Finnish police would have taken over at this point and investigated the 39-year-old Defense Forces employee. The remainder of the investigation then played out like any other of this sort; officers watched the suspect and found that he listed the stolen goods on a darknet market or forum. Then connected with him, met him, and arrested him.

Alternatively, the Defense Forces could have reported the stolen goods and law enforcement found someone selling similar items on the darknet.

A second possibility is that Police were already monitoring the darknet for items of a higher priority and then identified the seller. Authorities pay special attention to darknet weapon sales and materials or information connected to terrorism or organized crime. Explosives likely rang alarm bells in both high-profile categories. Then investigators connected the online profile to a person in real-life. Following the trend of weapon vendors that meet their clients in real life, that connection was likely easily proven. The Defense Forces connection could have been discovered at any point in the investigation.

The Defense Forces, if they had discovered the missing explosives and ammunition, would likely have notified authorities immediately. Military-grade explosives are, again, a high priority for law enforcement. If the 39-year-old was one of many suspects, an in-depth darknet investigation would be required to connect the online entity to the real life suspect.

The suspect admitted everything to the police after his arrest, officials reported. He confessed the theft of the weaponry and the darknet sale(s). Police reported that they were unsure if he had any accomplices, even after hearing the testimony from the employee.

Finnish police reported that they worked with the Defense Forces during the initial investigation, although did not clarify the extent of the collaboration or if the Defense Forces are working on the possibility of unknown accomplices.

After the arrest, police found more than two kilograms of explosives, 700 rounds of ammunition, and unspecified explosives-making material. Furthermore, the employee confessed that he had already sold both ammunition and explosives to unidentified customers.

He currently faces charges for the theft of the equipment, violating explosive and weapons laws, and aggravated professional misconduct. Authorities announced that more charges may follow as the investigation proceeds.


Uncompensated Drug Mule Reported Dealers to Cops

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Penza, a city in Penza Oblast, Russia, police arrested two drug crime suspects who sold drugs online and operated a drug distribution operation. The men, a 23-year-old and a 24-year-old, sold amphetamine online until June 13. This follows an ongoing investigation into stimulant and cannabinoid smugglers in the region.

The men, authorities wrote in the press release, rented an apartment in the region and used the apartment to package various substances. Police found several types of drugs at the apartment, totalling more than one kilogram. The majority of the packages contained substituted cathinones or amphetamines, but related arrests revealed that the distributors also shipped cocaine on occasion.

In April, law enforcement in Penza arrested eight intermediary traffickers or so-called “mules.” All eight were between the ages of 20 and 25. They all performed minor roles in the organization—and some only knew their role in connection to the immediately relevant contact. Only one knew more than that. And police caught him in the act of picking up a significant amount of drugs from the supplier.

He then dropped off the drugs to other traffickers or mules who repeated the process. Other dealers received the packages. The bigger recipients redistributed the drugs online or to other distributors in nearby regions. The smaller recipients sold the drugs throughout the Penza region.

Many of the drug runners operated to or from other areas nearby. One of these traffickers explained, to the police, that he was promised payment after he delivered a certain number of packages. And after 80 packages, the distributors that he worked for still neglected to pay him and potentially other drug runners too. He went to the police.

Police obtained a search warrant and raided the apartment of the 23-year-old and the 24-year-old. Inside the apartment, authorities found well over one kilogram of drugs that had not been packaged for shipment and/or delivery and 30 packages of drugs were already prepared. Both suspects prepared the drugs for distribution at the apartment.

Upon discovery of the apartment and drugs, police officers arrested both men for the “Illegal purchase, storage, transportation, manufacturing, or processing for the purpose of selling of narcotics, psychotropic substances or their analogues in a significant amount.” They are now in custody and police continue the investigation, now with the suspect’s cell phones and other compromising material.


Socialist Youth Leader Arrested for Child Pornography

The general secretary of the Socialist Youth of Elche (Alicante) was arrested in early June for the possession of child pornography. The Directorate General of the National Police announced his arrest and incarceration shortly after it occurred. The general secretary was arrested by the National Police after a year-long investigation into child pornography on the darknet.

The (potentially former) general secretary of the Socialist Youth of Elche, Alejandro Diaz Chaves, shared child pornography on the darknet for at least one year. During his chats, he told forum members that he abused two different children: one girl around two years of age and another under the age of six.

At the time of his arrest, law enforcement confirmed that he sexually abused at least one of the children. However, sources from the High Court of Justice of the Valencian Community announced that the court only charged him with possessing and sharing child pornography. And that there was no “evidence at this point in the investigation that the suspect has sexually abused any child.” They are holding him without bail until the investigation is complete.

The Central Brigade of Technological Research investigated pedophilia forums on the darknet for one year, according to the National Police’s press release. The Technological Research Unit of the National Police deals with essentially every major cyber crime including child pornography, child abuse with an online or telecommunications component, and fraud.

During the year-long operation into child pornography forums, investigators found the forum where Diaz shared content. The forum, according to the Technological Crime Group of the Alicante Police Station was known as a forum for the “new and unpublished.” The forum allowed only new content. In addition, investigators obtained his communications on other communication mediums, including Skype conversations. Investigators obtained some communication during the investigation and even more after the arrest.

Agents of the Judicial Police of Madrid seized his computer after arresting Diaz. They confirmed that his computer contained incriminating evidence. However, with the extra access to material, the authorities may have found that Diaz fictionalized the child abuse. When news of his arrest hit public channels, officials said the man abused at least one child and lied online about doing the same to many children. The additional evidence skewed the evidence obtained prior to his arrest.

His claims made to other pedophiles online are now being combed over by investigators for any confirmation of what he did or not. However, the images he shared were new images and they came from child abuse somewhere. Images he uploaded showed “extreme harshness,” authorities claimed.

The investigation is ongoing. Police have already arrested another man as a part of the larger child pornography operation and more arrests are expected to follow. Diaz is currently in police custody without bail.


Russian Darknet Buyer Arrested, Said He Resold Drugs

In Udmurtia, a federal subject of Russia located the Volga Federal District, drug seizures, especially seizures of substituted cathinones are far from uncommon. According to the most recent poll, 6,000 or more drug addicts reside in Udmurtia and that number only counts addicts, not drug users. With the growing popularity of the darknet, many started ordering drugs from the darknet and distributing them both locally and redistributing them online.

Local law enforcement recently caught another drug smuggler of the above variety: the type that buys drugs for redistribution. Officers of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Drug Control Service arrested the driver of a vehicle who, as police discovered after stopping his car, carried numerous packages of stimulants that he had purchased online.

They found 130 grams of a methcathinone derivative, along with a certain amount of amphetamine. Upon questioning the Renault driver, he explained his plans and intent. He also gave away two locations where he planned to distribute the drug to other distributors.

He purchased a significant quantity of methcathinone and other “synthetic” drugs from online drug stores, the authorities said. He purchased the drugs to repackage them and sell them through several different channels. When police stopped his vehicle, he was headed from Izhevsk, the capital city of the Udmurt Republic, to Sarapul, another city in the Udmurt Republic.

The 130 grams that officers found in his car was intended to be packaged and distributed to contacts in Sarapul. Authorities did not convey what the recipients in Sarapul planned to do with the packages, although the small quantity of methcathinone indicated that he sold only to drug users in Sarapul and used the location in Izhevsk for the shipping-related activities. In similar cases, the dealer often rented an apartment in a different city.

From the rented apartment, he or she sold “remotely” to buyers on the darknet. Usually on forums and personal vendor shops, but also on darknet marketplaces. Then, often in their hometown, the dealer returned and sold locally. As we are seeing in a fairly large series of busts, the dealers routinely operate with three or more accomplices. Some package the drugs and some run to and from drop points.

Drop points are frequent tactic in these situations, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the relevant location—in this case, the Republic of Udmurt. The dealer will have associates deliver the drugs to key locations and the buyer will pick the drugs up from a location defined by the seller. This activity also occurs with darknet sales.

Drug Control Service officers explained that, even in the suspect’s hometown, darknet orders are filled—the dealer simply does not ship packages and only works with locals using dead drops. His or her associates run the packages to the location before the buyer arrives finishes the seller’s end of the deal. The darknet buyers are unaware of the seller’s identity, the police described. However, some deals take place over SMS and these are usually the more traditional style of drug dealing.

After the arrest, law enforcement started investigating the 28-year-old’s operation in Sarapul. They temporarily detained the suspect until the investigation completes. He was charged with the illegal possession of narcotics for the purpose of further sale.


Police And Prosecution Investigating Neo-Nazi Connection In German Vendor Case

At the end of May, German law enforcement authorities detained six persons who were allegedly running a vendor shop selling narcotics on the dark web. On June 13, the prosecutor’s office and the police department in Aachen, Germany, announced they are also investigating the neo-Nazi connection in the case.

On May 31 evening, the SEK (Special Deployment Commando) was tasked to perform two raids in Aachen, Germany. The first assignment took place on the corner street at about 5:00 pm, however, shortly after 7 pm, there was another police operation in Buschstraße. According to the prosecutor’s office in Aachen, both missions were related to drug-criminality. In the law enforcement operation, the SEK units detained six people.

The men arrested were three German nationals at the age of 23, 29 and 34 years. The 23-year-old was arrested at his home in Buschstraße. According to the prosecutor’s office, they had a warrant for the arrest stating that the suspects violated the Narcotics Act. In addition, three other men were arrested who are being investigated by the police. In one of the arrests, investigators already released one suspect.

“Later it was reported that two arrest warrants were issued. There seems to be no suspicion against the third person, he was released several hours later,” the prosecutor’s office stated.

The 23, 29, and the 34-year-old suspects are accused of selling drugs on the dark web. According to the prosecution, all payments were conducted in bitcoins.

The investigation started when Europol provided details on the suspects, which the European agency acquired from seized darknet marketplaces in November 2014. The investigations were first conducted by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), however, later on, it was handed to the Aachen Public Prosecutor’s Office. It is assumed that since the autumn of 2015, the defendants alone sent at least 20 kilograms of amphetamine, with the total price of at least 160,000 euros, to their customers using the national postal service. However, where the criminals kept the profits of their drug operation, remains subject to the investigation.

Law enforcement authorities secured evidence from the suspects, including computers and amphetamine in the kilogram range. There is also a witness in the case, who will be questioned by the police later.

According to the German news publication Zeit Online, the suspects were allegedly members of a militant neo-Nazi group called “Kameradschaft Aachener Land” (KAL). The comradeship was banned in 2012 by Ralf Jäger, the interior minister of North-Rhine Westphalia, for “aggressively combative attitude … against elementary principles of the constitution”. Zeit Online claimed that the 34-year-old suspect is a “well-known” neo-Nazi. However, this information was not confirmed by the prosecutor’s office in Aachen.

The news outlet also claimed that the arrest exploded the social network, where some members of the German neo-Nazi movement stated that the police action was a conspiracy between the police and the judiciary, while others were “cursing their comrades for doing drugs”.

“It is quite clear that drugs have no place in our ranks”, neo-Nazi activist, Sven Skoda, wrote after the arrests. However, Zeit Online claimed that Skoda referred to some of the arrested suspects as “comrades, who have always stood with our courage and blood in their hearts, even in troubled times to our idea”.

Another German news outlet,, confirmed what Zeit Online stated. In addition, according to BNR, law enforcement authorities are now considering the two suspects in the case as members of the neo-Nazi movement. Timm and Karl M., two brothers who were arrested in the case, were allegedly members of neo-Nazi parties “Die Rechte” (“The Right”) and the “Identitären Bewegung” (“Identity Movement”). In addition, the parents of the brothers were also active in the scene, the news outlet reported. The father was allegedly leading an “important neo-Nazi squad” in North Rhine-Westphalia for decades, while the mother was active in the neo-Nazi scene of East Germany. The publication added that the 34-year-old Timm M. had previously written songs for the neo-Nazi hip hop artist “Makss Damage”. In October 2016, a neo-Nazi concert took place in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen in front of 5,000 neo-Nazis, mainly from Germany, with Makss Damage on the stage, BNR reported. Timm M. was active both in the KAL but was also involved in building a legally secured successor organization called “Syndikat 52” (S52) from mid-2014.

BNR claimed that there are patterns in certain neo-Nazi groups’ organizational structures, saying that many of these gangs finance themselves from the sale of narcotics in the regions of Greater Aachen, Düren, and Heinsberg. However, the news publication included no sources that would support its argument (except for the current case).

BNR also reported that a part of the neo-Nazi community bashed the suspects in the case for


FBI Hacked Darknet Buyer Who Wanted To Purchase Mail Bomb

According to a plea agreement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation hacked a dark web user who tried to purchase a mail bomb from an undercover investigator in the United States.

The plea agreement, filed on April 28, 2017, states that Clinton Scott Bass of Georgia in the SE United States, was using two different pseudo names, contacted an undercover police officer on a darknet marketplace channel to purchase a car bomb. However, later on, the defendant changed his mind and decided to acquire a mail bomb. The undercover officer agreed to sell the explosive to the suspect, who paid $550 in digital currency (most probably in Bitcoin or Monero) to the vendor, who sent an inert device to Bass’ address. Law enforcement authorities followed the man, which police believed was his true residence. Investigators were able to determine that the suspect delivered the fake bomb to his target in Hahira, Georgia on the morning of April 27. The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the defendant later that day.

Before his arrest, Bass sent the undercover officer his email address at the temporary mail provider Guerilla Mail, so the defendant could receive instructions from the vendor on how to activate the bomb, a search warrant detailed. The FBI sent a phishing email to that specific address in an attempt to acquire information, such as the IP address, from the defendant, which the Bureau could use for the investigation. The agency sent Bass an attached document in the mail, which, once opened, would send data to the FBI’s server. According to a separate document, law enforcement authorities also an installed a pen-trap-tool to record all the data coming from the hack.

However, it is unclear whether the hacking attempt – known as Network Investigative Technique (NIT) – was successful. An executed warrant document showed that law enforcement authorities were able to retrieve 19 different IP addresses in the case, however, no document indicated that useful evidence was recovered by the hacking attempts. A reason for the high number of IP addresses could be that the defendant either shared his Guerilla Mail account or used a VPN service, in addition to Tor, to mask his true IP address.

“The way I see it is, the FBI has to do something to catch criminals, and at least in this case they didn’t resort to draconian methods such as mass surveillance without a warrant,” Flashmob, the administrator of Guerilla Mail, told the media.

“Instead, they used a simple procedure with a warrant that doesn’t need much technical ability,” he said.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) security researcher Cooper Quintin also said that there was no problem with the FBI’s phishing in the current case.

Last year, the government authorized Rule 41, which allows searches on users of anonymizing services, such as Tor. There are only a handful of cases where law enforcement authorities used warrants in such instances. In the current case, the FBI legally used the phishing technique to arrest Bass.

Many say there were no problems with phishing, however, there was some concern regarding “Stingray”, a cell site simulator”, which the FBI also used to catch Bass. The tool pretends to be a cell tower but forces mobile devices to connect to it. Once a target number connects, law enforcement authorities can determine the location and other technical information associated with the number. However, in such cases, there is a risk that investigators may intercept devices belonging to innocent citizens.

When the FBI tracked Bass, they were able to search for a number they believed the defendant used. Law enforcement authorities acquired the number in a previous arrest in February on charges of aggravated assault and home invasion. When the police questioned Bass’ girlfriend, she confirmed that the number was the defendant’s. The warrant allowed federal agents to use Stingray to acquire Bass’ location.

Thanks to the FBI’s hacking tools, Bass pleaded guilty in later April to charges of attempting to receive and transport explosive materials with the intent to kill, injure or intimidate. The prosecution is planning to recommend a sentence of 120 months in prison for the defendant. His trial will be held on July 12.

Leroy Terrelonge, a director of research for cyber intelligence company Flashpoint, said that, most probably, Bass used AlphaBay, currently the biggest marketplace on the dark web, to acquire the (fake) mail bomb from the undercover police officer. The researcher added that he believes that most of the vendors selling WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) are either scammers or undercover police officers running honeypot operations.


Three Austrian Men Arrested for Meth Trafficking

Three men from Linz are under investigation for “commercial” drug distribution, according to the National Police of in Liz. The National Police of Upper Austria explained, in a press release, that the men sold drugs between Summer 2015 and February 2017. However, only one of the three confessed to the crime.

The one suspect who admitted his guilt was a 21-year-old from Linz. The other two suspects, both from Upper Austria, were 25-years-old and 19-years-old. For a reason unknown or simply unannounced publicly, only the two eldest are still under investigation. Both the 19-year-old and 25-year-old partially denied the accusations. The 21-year-old, though, admitted his crimes during interrogations.

All three are still considered suspects, even if only two are under investigation. The Prosecutor’s Office of Linz charged the trio with drug trafficking on a large scale through February this year. The first charge is linked to the importation of 900 grams of speed or amphetamine. (The press release distinguished between the two but combined them for the 900 gram figure.) They ordered all 900 grams from the darknet, according to the investigators. They then used some portion of the amphetamine but sold the majority to “well-known customers” throughout the city of Linz.

They then trafficked “high-quality” crystal methamphetamine into Austria. Investigators wrote that the men brought the crystal meth into the country by car from the Czech Republic and from the Netherlands via the darknet. In total, they brought 250 grams of “high quality” crystal methamphetamine into Austria.

Most of the drugs found their way throughout Linz but the men used the drugs for themselves as well. According to the police, the men were drug addicts and financed their own addiction through the drug sales. Presumably, if they sold significantly more than they consumed, they collected a cash surplus. The police did not clarify if that money was also used for methamphetamine activities.

The details surrounding the arrest are vague. According to the official press release, the three were arrested following “judicially approved arrangements.” The multiple arrangements, were made at the behest of the Prosecutor’s Office of Linz. The investigation into the 21-year-old and 25-year-old is ongoing but the 19-year-old’s status is unclear as of June 14.

Notably, in late 2016, Austrian authorities arrested a 24-year-old amphetamine dealer. He ordered packages from a darknet vendor until Customs in Frankfurt intercepted a package. Austrian investigators announced that they had received a tip from an insider that led to the arrest of five more dealers. The additional five also bought from darknet markets and resold locally. The announcement revealed nothing further than that.