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He discovered amounts of $800 & $10,000 of his money had been transferred to another bank account via his phone

 $10,000 transfer theft via borrowed phone

A TEENAGER has been refused bail and committed to stand trial in Gladstone’s District Court Qld Australia over the alleged assault of a taxi driver and the attempted theft of more than $10,000 from his bank account.

The 18-year-old appeared in Gladstone Magistrates Court via video link from Capricornia Correctional Centre yesterday.

He wore an olive-green prisoner’s jumper and at times held his head in his hands as Sergeant Barry Stevens read out the allegations made against him

The court was told that shortly after 3am on January 20, the man and two co-accused – an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old – called a taxi driver to a house at Barney Point.

Police allege that the man, who knew the taxi driver, asked to borrow his phone as they waited to leave the house.

One of the co-accused then left saying he was going to the bathroom, according to police, and the phone was not returned to the driver until the teenager came back.

When the driver checked his phone, Sgt Stevens said he discovered amounts of $800 and $10,000 had been transferred deceptively to an unfamiliar bank account.

He challenged the teenagers over the money transfers before he was “set upon by all three”, Sgt Stevens told the court.

The teenagers allegedly repeatedly punched the man in the face and torso and bashed him with a brick, before stealing his mobile phone and a gold chain.

When the driver managed to escape the house and get to his car, police said the teens continued to attack the car, damaging it. The taxi driver suffered a fractured jaw.

The three teenagers were later found by the police dog squad at a nearby house.

Acting magistrate Neil Lavaring noted the man had already spent 125 days in custody and it could be months until he faced trial.

But he refused to allow bail on the basis the man posed an unacceptable risk of re-offending.

He did not enter a plea before the committal.

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Henry Sapiecha

Foreign students are arrested after they are caught forging signatures and taking out money from Australian banks in multi-million dollar RIPOFF

Strike Force police have caught out international students scamming millions from banks as part of an overseas criminal syndicate group.

Those involved have been using forged signatures and documents to convince bank staff they are the the legitimate bank account holders, and then withdrawing the cash.

Twenty-four people have been arrested so far with more to follow, and 288 charges have been laid by police over $2.5 million stolen from banks, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Mostof the perpetrators were in Australia on student visas.

In some cases, the syndicate has been bypassing the banks verification systems by taking over mobile phone numbers of victims, the publication declared.

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© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Twenty-four people have been arrested, and 288 charges have been laid by police over $2.5 million stolen from banks Many of those who have been caught have been already sentenced to jail since Strike Force Wilmot was established in 2013.  

One man was sentenced to a minimum of 20 months prison in January, while another was jailed in February.

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NSW Police cyber crime chief Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis told the Daily Telegraph Strike Force Wilmot did an awesome job catching those persons involved.

‘We have worked very closely with the financial institutions in order to identify those responsible,’ Det Katsogiannis said.

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Henry Sapiecha

ACCC: Australians were duped over AU$2.1m to Cryptocurrency-related scams in 2017

A detailed report from Australia’s consumer watchdog found many locals got caught up in ‘pyramid’ cryptocurrency schemes last year, hoping to capitalise on the ‘success’ of bitcoin.

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“As the value of actual cryptocurrencies increased, so too did the scam losses in what people thought were real investments,” the report continued. “By the end of the year, reports of losses related to cryptocurrencies exceeded AU$2.1 million but as with other scams, this is likely the very tip of the iceberg.”

According to the ACCC, examples of cryptocurrency scams in 2017 included fake initial coin offerings (ICOs), which purport to be the launch of a new cryptocurrency.

Other scams, the ACCC said, capitalised on the general confusion about how cryptocurrency works and instead of people discovering how to directly buy cryptocurrencies, many found themselves caught up in what were essentially pyramid schemes.

“A number of reports showed that victims entered into cryptocurrency-based scams through friends and family who convinced them they were onto a good thing, a classic element of pyramid schemes,” the watchdog wrote.

“Not all cryptocurrency-related scams involved victims attempting to invest in stocks or initial coin offerings. Many scammers also ask for payment through cryptocurrencies for a variety of scams because it is easier to remain anonymous while receiving payment.”

An example is paying ransomware through bitcoin.

In total, the ACCC reported Australians lost AU$340 million to scammers in 2017, the highest loss since stats were put on record.

More than 200,000 scam reports were submitted to the ACCC, the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), and other federal and state-based government agencies in 2017.

Investment scams topped the losses at AU$64 million; while dating and romance scams caused the second greatest losses at AU$42 million.

“Some scams are becoming very sophisticated and hard to spot. Scammers use modern technology like social media to contact and deceive their victims. In the past few years, reports indicate scammers are using aggressive techniques both over the phone and online,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

According to the ACCC, Scamwatch received almost 33,000 reports of threat-based impersonation scams in 2017. It said over AU$4.7 million was reported lost and more than 2,800 people gave their personal information to these scammers.

“The ATO will never threaten you with immediate arrest; Telstra will never need to access your computer to ‘fix’ a problem; and Centrelink will never require a fee to pay money it owes you,” Rickard continued. “Finally, none of these organisations will ask you to pay using iTunes gift cards.”

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NZ Man in court over alleged $1.2m scammed from pensioners

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A 48-YEAR-OLD Kiwi has been extradited back from New Zealand to face 21 boiler room fraud charges that police claim stripped retirees of their superannuation and others to the tune of $1.2 million.

The man, who is due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court this afternoon, was the alleged ringleader of the Gold Coast-based scam, police claim.

Victims were lured into the scam with cold calls or by visiting websites set up by the group, Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards alleged.

They were drip fed a small amount of cash to get them to pour more in.

He said the “callous” alleged fraudster had blown most of the $1.2 million on a luxury Gold Coast lifestyle and police did not yet have any assets to strip from the man.

“It was to do with safe racing and betting,” Sen Sgt Edwards said.

“Some of the allegations are that some of the complainants received some of the funding back so they appeared they were getting returns however that was just a phoenix set up. Once an investor put money in they would drip feed some of the other investors money to give the false impression they were getting money,” he alleged.

Snr Sgt Edwards alleged one West Australian victim invested $300,000 into the scam while another Sunshine Coast man in his 70s put in more than $70,000.

A second man has been charged on the Gold Coast.

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Henry Sapiecha

Hackers Are Emptying ATMs With a Single Drilled Hole and $15 Worth of Gear

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Not so long ago, enterprising thieves who wanted to steal the entire contents of an ATM had to blow it up. Today, a more discreet sort of cash-machine burglar can walk away with an ATM’s stash and leave behind only a tell-tale three-inch hole in its front panel.

Researchers from the Russian security firm Kaspersky on Monday detailed a new ATM-emptying attack, one that mixes digital savvy with a very precise form of physical penetration. Kaspersky’s team has even reverse engineered and demonstrated the attack, using only a portable power drill and a $15 homemade gadget that injects malicious commands to trigger the machine’s cash dispenser. And though they won’t name the ATM manufacturer or the banks affected, they warn that thieves have already used the drill attack across Russia and Europe, and that the technique could still leave ATMs around the world vulnerable to having their cash safes disemboweled in a matter of minutes.

“We wanted to know: To what extent can you control the internals of the ATM with one drilled hole and one connected wire? It turns out we can do anything with it,” says Kaspersky researcher Igor Soumenkov, who presented the research at the company’s annual Kaspersky Analyst Summit. “The dispenser will obey and dispense money, and it can all be done with a very simple microcomputer.”

Drill, Baby, Drill

For Kaspersky, the mystery of the drilled ATMs began last fall, when a bank client showed them an emptied cash machine whose only evidence of tampering was a golf-ball sized hole next to its PIN pad. To hide their tidy surgery, the thieves had even covered the entry point with a sticker. Eventually, the researchers learned of close to a dozen similar ATM heists. And when police arrested a suspect in one of the cases, they found a laptop, along with a cable he’d apparently snaked into the PIN pad hole. “Just a laptop, some wiring, and a hole in the ATM, that’s it,” says Soumenkov.

Kaspersky’s researchers already had the same model of ATM in their test lab, one that’s been in wide use since the 1990s. They removed its front panel to find a serial port that would have been accessible from the thieves’ hole. It connected to a wire that ran through the ATM’s entire internal bus of components, from the computer that controlled its user interface to the cash dispenser. Then the researchers spent five solid weeks with an oscilloscope and logic analyzer, decoding the protocol of the ATM’s internal communications from raw electric signals. They found that the machine’s only encryption was a weak XOR cipher they were able to easily break, and that there was no real authentication between the machine’s modules.

In practical terms, that means any part of the ATM could essentially send commands to any other part, allowing an attacker to spoof commands to the dispenser, giving them the appearance of coming from the ATM’s own trusted computer.

Eventually, the researchers were able to build their own device capable of sending cash-ejecting commands through just that exposed port. Their compact gadget, far smaller than even the arrested suspect’s laptop, consisted of only a breadboard, an Atmega microcontroller of the kind commonly found in Arduino microcomputers, some capacitors, an adapter, and a 9 volt battery. All told, it took less than $15 worth of equipment.

In their tests, the researchers found their finished tool could trigger the cash dispenser within seconds of connecting, and then spew as many bills as they wanted. The only limit to the attack’s speed came when the ATM’s computer “noticed” the dispenser acting independently and rebooted. But the researchers say that they could extract thousands of dollars before the reboot kicked in, and afterward they could simply repeat their attack, pulling more cash out of the machine until it was empty.

Easy Marks

Kaspersky says it’s alerted the vulnerable ATM manufacturer to the technique, but there’s no easy patch for the problem: The units’ software can’t be updated remotely. A fix, Kaspersky researchers say, will require replacing hardware in the ATMs to add more authentication measures—or failing that, adding physical security measures, like access controls and surveillance cameras, that might prevent thieves from daring an in-person raid on the machines. WIRED reached out to the ATM Industry Association for comment, but the trade group didn’t respond by the time of publication.

ATMs are a frequent hacker target. Lately, attacks from Thailand and Taiwan to Russia have infected banks’ own networks with malware that’s been used to trigger ATM cashouts. In tightly coordinated operations, money-mules retrieve the stacks of bills in person from the victim bank’s cash machines. In their conference talk Monday, Kaspersky researchers also revealed a new form of ATM malware they’ve found, which they say had been planted through stealthy fileless infections of banks in Russia and Kazakhstan. And other physical access attacks have planted malware on machines by opening their cases—either picking or breaking the panels’ locks—or used that physical access to a machine’s internals to connect a hacking tool directly to the cash dispenser.

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But the Kaspersky researchers say the drill technique represents a simpler and stealthier path to an ATM’s innards. Breaching a bank’s back-end network requires far more sophisticated network intrusion skills, while opening the machine’s panel to plant malware or to connect a tool directly to the cash dispenser triggers an alarm. Drilling a gaping hole in the front of the machine, in this case, doesn’t set off that same warning.

Physical attacks on ATMs are, in some sense, an unsolvable problem. Computer security experts have long warned that no computer should be considered secure if an attacker takes physical control of it. But weak encryption and a lack of authentication between components leaves ATMs particularly vulnerable to physical attacks—access to any part of the insecure machine Kaspersky describes means access to its most sensitive core. And for computers that are left standing unprotected on a dark street in the middle of the night, stuffed full of money, a little more thought to digital security might be a worthwhile investment.

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Henry Sapiecha