ICI Concludes Assignment on Behalf of the Japanese Government

PRESS RELEASE

International Consultants and Investigations (ICI) announces the successful conclusion of an assignment on behalf of the Japanese Railway System.

ICI provided information and arranged meetings for visiting representatives from Japan with Amtrak and the Metropolitan Railway System of New York City.  ICI’s mandate was to establish meetings with key personnel of the New York Rail transportation system and obtain information relating to biological, radiological and counter-terrorism technology to assist in the preparation of the 2008 G8 Conference held in Japan.

For 2009 ICI has secured an assignment to facilitate interviews and provide material on biological, radiological and counter-terrorism for the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan.  The meetings and research will assist in the creation of training manuals, development of exercise scenarios, model plans and protocols for civilian population protection in the event of B/R terrorism.

This includes referencing the necessity for the Japanese government to collect and analyze information from around the globe to create and implement practical and effective countermeasures against B/R terrorism.  ICI will organize meetings on behalf of Japan’s FDMA with the United States Department of Homeland Security, Washington DC Fire Department Homeland Security Division, MTA and the Amtrak Rail System.  With ICI’s assistance and direction, the Ministry (FDMA) will be able to avail itself of the expertise of these recognized agencies during their trip to Washington, DC.

International Consultants and Investigations, Inc. are headquartered in New York City, NY,  USA.  ICI is a member of the Council of International Investigators.  The company can be reached at 212.582.3115 or via email: info@icicompanies.com.

ATM Users – Beware!

ATM Users – Beware!

ATM users be advised, this counterfeit $20.00 bill, seen below, is one of 100 inserted into an ATM machine in one stack; this is what placed it out of order.  The perpetrators planned to recover an advance fee from the bank of $200.00 utilizing a bank account opened with a stolen identity. This is just one scam involving the ATM machines of major financial institutions as well as the smaller regional banks.

CONCERNS:

First main concern:  bad guys will intentionally place a machine out of order utilizing a jamming device to set up an armed robbery while a technician is repairing the system.  The bank customer may also be forced at gunpoint to withdraw money by an armed robber who will remove the “jam”.  This, unfortunately is more common than most expect, especially at night in remote locations.  Remember,   each ATM machine contains substantial amounts money and is, therefor, a popular target for thieves.

Second main concern: there are mutable capabilities provided bad guys via high tech to obtain your personal data including your account information even as you use the machine.  Avoid using machines not owned by financial institutions such as those found in bodegas, convenience stores, etc.

In the past, a criminal could steal the whole ATM machine.   Mega structures containing these machines have made it very difficult if not impossible to succeed at that.  More reason, therefor, for you to be concerned that you are the “soft” target.

You must be always alert, avoid late night visits to ATM’s in areas of large shopping malls; especially stand alone island machines.  Make sure you observe the surrounding area looking for individuals standing around, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  At drive-up machines, as you approach the kiosk, be aware of occupied cars in an overlook position within the area of the ATM.

While utilizing an ATM system: 1) maintain due diligence, make sure you’re not being watched and/or someones has not sidled up to you, 2) If you drove up to a system, once again keep your eyes open for approaching individuals during or persons loitering in a automobile or being a column, 3) avoid machines not operated by financial institutions and 4) If possible avoid late night visits to utilize the ATM system.

Emerging Cyber Security Threats and Trends, 2021 and Beyond – Part 1

There is no denying that the world of cybercrime has changed the way businesses think about security. Not only do we need to consider physical security but also digital security. Everything in business is at risk if the business has an internet connection. Intellectual property, trade secrets, personal data and financial data are just a few of the things that hackers will try to steal from your business.

So let’s talk about cybercrime and the top cybercrime trends we have seen in 2020 – Part 1

Cybercrime – as-a-service – Cybercrime has gone mainstream and, like software, cloud, and infrastructure technologies, it is now being offered as a service. With the rise in computing power and the decrease in cost, cyber criminals have seized the chance to make money by offering their cybercrime skills to others who have the money to pay for their services with no technical experience required. Denial of service attacks can be launched for less than US $10 and email accounts on popular sites like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail cost around $130.

State sponsored cyber-attacks – Hacking is no longer performed by the stereotypical teenage hacker in a basement accessing your systems. State sponsored hacking is now performed by sophisticated organized groups using every tool available to steal valuable intellectual property & critical data as well as to damage or shut down core infrastructure.

Think of the Sony Pictures or Office of Personnel Management data breaches in the US for examples of how state sponsored hackers have stolen valuable or damaging information from companies. These hackers are targeting companies and information that can provide economic or political advantages.

Recently publicized cases in the US show that state-sponsored hackers from Iran accessed critical infrastructure systems at a dam in upper New York state. In late December, alleged Russian hackers took down the power grid in Western Ukraine. Hackers have turned the fantasies of Die Hard into reality by accessing the core infrastructure of nations with direct penetration attempts. The state sponsored hackers are trying to get control of everything from oil fields, power stations, water stations, and nuclear facilities.

Hackivism – One of the emerging cybercrime threats to the world is what is termed “hactivism” or politically motivated hacking to destroy reputation, steal data, or affect critical infrastructure. Hackers such as Anonymous use their skills to forward their own political agenda. This trend began to gain traction during the US elections where people from around the world enlisted hacking as a form of speech. Businesses must have protections in place that can address the threat of hacktivism. From defacing your website to bringing down your network with a denial of service, hacktivism must be defended against.

Next: Ransomware