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Citizen of Kazakhstan known as fxmsp charged with computer fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy for hacking hundreds of corporate networks in more than 40 countries worldwide

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Seattle An indictment was unsealed today in the Western District of Washington charging a citizen of Kazakhstan, ANDREY TURCHIN, a/k/a fxmsp, 37, with various federal crimes related to a prolific, financially motivated cybercrime group that hacked the computer networks of a broad array of corporate entities, educational institutions, and governments throughout the world, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. The fxmsp group established persistent access, or backdoors, to victim networks, which they then advertised and sold to other cybercriminals subjecting victims to a variety of cyberattacks and fraud.

Cybercrime knows no international borders, and stopping these crimes requires cooperation between an array of international partners. I commend Kazakhstan for its assistance in this investigation, said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. I am hopeful these critical international partnerships between cybercrime investigators will lead to holding Andrey Turchin accountable in a court of law.

Sophisticated cybercrimes can be extremely difficult to investigate. However, by working closely with our international law enforcement partners at the UK’s National Crime Agency, along with victims, private sector security researchers and great cooperation from our international law enforcement partners in Kazakhstan, the FBI was able to disrupt Mr. Turchin and his alleged co-conspirator’s criminal intrusions, said Raymond Duda, Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle Field Office. This case demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to uncover and counter cyber criminals, domestic or abroad.

According to the five-count indictment and records on file, from at least October 2017 through the date charges were returned by a Grand Jury, in December 2018, TURCHIN and his accomplices perpetrated an ambitious hacking enterprise broadly targeting hundreds of victims across six continents, including more than 30 in the United States. Widely known in hacking circles by the moniker fxmsp, TURCHIN employed a collection of hacking techniques and malicious software (malware) to gain and maintain access to victim networks. For instance, he often used specially designed code to scan the Internet for open Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) ports and conduct brute-force attacks to initially compromise victim networks. Once inside the victims system, he moved laterally throughout the network and deployed additional malicious code to locate and steal administrative credentials and establish persistent access. The conspirators often modified antivirus software settings to allow malware to continue to run undetected.

TURCHIN and his co-conspirators then marketed and sold the network access on various underground forums commonly frequented by hackers and cybercriminals, such as Exploit.in, fuckav.ru, Club2Card, Altenen, Blackhacker, Omerta, Sniff3r, and L33t, among others. Prices typically ranged from a couple thousand dollars to, in some cases, over a hundred thousand dollars, depending on the victim and the degree of system access and controls. Many transactions occurred through use of a broker and escrow, which allowed interested buyers to sample the network access for a limited period to test the quality and reliability of the illicit access. As has been publicly reported, the fxmsp group has been linked to numerous high-profile data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber intrusions.

TURCHIN is charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking, two counts of computer fraud and abuse (hacking), conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and access device fraud. Conspiracy to commit computer fraud is punishable by up to five years in prison. The two counts of computer fraud and abuse (hacking) are punishable by up to ten and five years in prison, respectively. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Access device fraud is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Seattle Office, Cyber Crime Task Force, with the cooperation of the United Kingdoms National Crime Agency (NCA), and with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justices Criminal Divisions Office of International Affairs, the FBI Legal Attach Offices in London and Nur-sultan, and the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KNB).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Masada.

turchin_indictment.pdf

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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