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Protests & Violence

93 Security Officers Killed in Shootings Last Two Years
Security Officers Involved in Armed Incident Every 3.044 Hours
Gun violence in the U.S. is on the rise. Sadly, assaults against police officers and the loss of law enforcement lives almost always come with that increased level of violence, murders, and lawlessness. In 2020, 46 police officers were murdered in the line of duty.

But another group of people who also wear uniforms and badges and are on the frontline of protecting people and assets, have also suffered dearly in recent years. In 2019, security officers were met with or had to use, lethal force, every 3.044 hours. More than 2,879 armed incidents were reported along with 11,000 assaults or other acts of violence. 49 security officers died from homicides in 2019.

And although the economy slowed down during the pandemic in 2020, crime and violence, did not and in fact, in many areas, according to the FBI, violent crimes, injury assaults and murders spiked to record highs. Security officers, once again, were the target of many assaults, physical attacks, and murders.

In 2020, security officers were involved in or forced to use, lethal force every 4.54 hours during 1,927 known incidents. 44 security officers died of homicides last year. Of those 44 security officers who were killed, police say three were directly targeted and murdered because they were in a police-style uniform. privateofficer.com

Proud Boys leader was ‘prolific’ informer for law enforcement
Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, has a past as an informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly working undercover for investigators after he was arrested in 2012, according to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters.

In the Miami hearing, a federal prosecutor, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Tarrio’s own lawyer described his undercover work and said he had
helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people in various cases involving drugs, gambling and human smuggling.

Tarrio, in an interview with Reuters Tuesday, denied working undercover or cooperating in cases against others. “I don’t know any of this,” he said, when asked about the transcript. “I don’t recall any of this.”

Law-enforcement officials and the court transcript contradict Tarrio’s denial. In a statement to Reuters, the former federal prosecutor in Tarrio’s case, Vanessa Singh Johannes, confirmed that “he cooperated with local and federal law enforcement, to aid in the prosecution of those running other, separate criminal enterprises, ranging from running marijuana grow houses in Miami to operating pharmaceutical fraud schemes.”

Tarrio, 36, is a high-profile figure who organizes and leads the right-wing Proud Boys in their confrontations with those they believe to be Antifa, short for “anti-fascism,” an amorphous and often violent leftist movement. The Proud Boys were involved in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol January 6. reuters.com

Two Men Plead Guilty To Arson Of Target Corporation Headquarters
SHADOR TOMMIE CORTEZ JACKSON, 24, and LEROY LEMONTE PERRY WILLIAMS, 34, pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit arson of the Target Corporation’s corporate headquarters building located at 1000 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota. JACKSON and WILLIAMS are scheduled to be sentenced on May 4 and May 18, 2021, respectively.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, Minneapolis experienced arson, rioting, and looting following the suicide of a suspect in a homicide, and in response to false rumors surrounding the man’s death. JACKSON, WILLIAMS, and their co-defendant, VICTOR DEVON EDWARDS, 31, went to the Target Corporation’s corporate headquarters building where dozens of other people had gathered. JACKSON used a construction sign to break through one of the glass doors into the Target Corporation building. JACKSON, WILLIAMS, and EDWARDS, along with others, breached the doors and entered the Target Corporation building. Once inside, JACKSON, aided and abetted by EDWARDS, intentionally set a fire on a counter inside the mailroom. justice.gov

Why can your boss fire you for taking part in a peaceful, legal protest?
Protests around the country over the past several months have resulted in hundreds of arrests and job losses for many. Among the many pictures of chaos and horror during the January 6th attack on the Capitol, Twitter users found the image of a man inside the Capitol wearing his work ID. When his bosses found out, he was promptly fired. You don’t have to go this far to lose your job. It’s possible to take part in a peaceful, legal protest and still find yourself without a paycheck.

“Your employer has very wide latitude to fire you for virtually any reason,” says Joseph Watson, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism.

It depends on what you do and what state you’re in, but there are reasons why in most cases your boss can terminate you for taking part in a protest even when you stay within the law. Most Americans are at-will employees, meaning they can leave their job whenever they want. As long as it has nothing to do with issues like race or religion, your boss can walk away from you just as easily. 11alive.com

Florida legislative panel backs protest bill after fierce debate
An effort to enhance penalties associated with violent protests, create new crimes when mobs attack property or police and make it difficult for cities to trim law-enforcement spending had a rocky legislative debut Wednesday, drawing heated criticism from opponents.

The measure (HB 1) is backed by the state’s three most-powerful Republican leaders but was decried as unnecessary and divisive by Democrats and other critics — many of them young or Black — who unsuccessfully urged the House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee to reject the proposal. tallahassee.com

Washington State lawmakers consider open-carry gun ban during protests, at Capitol

Rochester, NY: Police leaders outline 'rules of engagement' for protests

COVID Update

US: Over 26.1M Cases - 440K Dead - 15.9M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 101M Cases - 2.1M Dead - 73M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 271   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 222
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Cumulative Covid-19 Death Across the United States

States lift restrictions gradually amid fears of new variant
States are loosening their coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and other businesses because of improved infection and hospitalization numbers but are moving gradually and cautiously, in part because of the more contagious variant taking hold in the U.S. While the easing could cause case rates to rise, health experts say it can work if done in a measured way and if the public remains vigilant about masks and social distancing.

Michigan's coronavirus rate dropped to the nation's fifth-lowest over the last two weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said bars and restaurants can welcome indoor customers next week for the first time in 2 1/2 months. But they will be under a 10 p.m. curfew and will be limited to 25% of capacity, or half of what was allowed the last time she loosened their restrictions, in June.

Chicago and surrounding suburbs allowed indoor dining over the weekend for the first time since October. Major cultural attractions including the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium reopened with crowd limits.

Washington, D.C., also recently ended its monthlong ban on indoor dining, but one in New York City remains in effect for now, although Gov. Andrew Cuomo will soon be announcing a reopening plan for restaurants.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week lifted stay-at-home orders he imposed last month when hospitals were so overwhelmed with virus patients that they were on the verge of rationing lifesaving care. Restaurants and places of worship will be able to operate outdoors, and many stores will be able to have more shoppers inside.

Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown announced that some indoor operations such as gyms and movie theaters can reopen Friday with limited capacity. Indoor dining is still banned in the hardest-hit counties.

Not all places are taking as cautious an approach. After
North Dakota dropped to the nation's second-lowest case rate, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum this month not only relaxed limits on the number of people who can gather at restaurants and bars but also allowed a statewide mask mandate to expire last week. abcnews.com

Best News in Weeks - But Now We've Got the Super Bowl Party Spreaders
L.A. County is 'decisively on its way out of its third surge of the pandemic,
its deadliest yet.'
L.A. County’s hospitals are still under great strain, with nearly three times as many COVID-19 patients as it did during the peak of the summer wave. The state has opened up two surge hospitals — in Sun Valley and Hawaiian Gardens — that have been used to relieve the strain on other facilities.

And conditions could still worsen, given the rise of mutant variants of the coronavirus circulating in California, one of which is believed to be more contagious and deadlier than the conventional variety.

There were no hospitals in a declared state of internal disaster, a change from weeks ago. No hospitals have been forced to formally declare to county officials they were providing “crisis standards of care,” which includes being so overwhelmed that doctors would be forced to decide which patients would receive the most aggressive lifesaving treatment and which patients would receive only palliative care as they died.

“The case numbers are down. The hospitalizations are down,” Ghaly said Tuesday. To be sure, it will take time for the number of people in hospitals to decline. “But [the numbers] are absolutely heading in the right direction.” latimes.com

Shopkick survey of 20,000 consumers

Consumers expect health and safety to remain top-of-mind for retailers

Despite Vaccinations, Americans Still Expect Safety Precautions When
Shopping In-store
With many Americans (44 percent) planning not to receive the vaccine, consumers say vaccinations will hardly change their current shopping behaviors. In fact, nearly all consumers (96 percent) say they will continue to take personal safety precautions while shopping, and of those who have already received the vaccine, less than half (48 percent) report feeling more comfortable shopping in-store now.

44% consumers do not plan to get the vaccine.
Millennials are the least confident in the vaccine
Vaccinations do not mean consumers will flood back indoors
Personal health and safety habits are here to stay
Consumers expect health and safety to remain top-of-mind for retailers.

Even if a large majority of Americans are vaccinated, 79 percent of consumers expect retailers to continue enforcing health and safety restrictions, such as requiring protective face coverings for shoppers and employees (89 percent), offering disinfectants for shoppers (86 percent), enforcing 6-feet-social distancing (80 percent), keeping plexiglass barriers at checkout (74 percent), and limiting the number of shoppers allowed inside (62 percent). According to 62 percent of respondents, enforcing these guidelines will influence where they choose to shop. shopkick.com

New versions of the novel coronavirus are spreading across the globe

Researchers fear the new lineages may spread more easily —and one may be more deadly.

A fast-spreading variant, known as B.1.1.7, was identified in December in the U.K., leading to travel restrictions and a widespread lockdown there. Since then, the U.K. variant has been detected in China and other countries, as well as in Colorado, California and Florida.

Now there’s preliminary evidence suggesting that the variant could lead to more deaths. Britain’s top scientific adviser said preliminary studies show that the U.K. variant might be 30% to 40% deadlier than previous variants.

The variant that was first identified in London and the South East—may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday.

They found the new variant to be more transmissible than previous variants.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines works against the mutations identified in the variants in the U.K. and South Africa. wsj.com

10,000 stores are expected to close in 2021, as pandemic continues
to pummel retailers
10,000 closures would represent a 14% uptick from 2020 levels, Coresight Research said in a report released Thursday. Coresight also forecasts that retailers will announce 4,000 store openings in 2021, driven by growth from grocery discounters and dollar store chains.

As of Jan. 22, retailers in the U.S. have already announced 1,678 closures. cnbc.com


Has the Pandemic Transformed the Office Forever?
Companies are figuring out how to balance what appears to be a lasting shift toward remote work with the value of the physical workplace.

Twenty-seven per cent of the American workforce will be remote in 2021. About twenty million workers have moved—many of them out of major cities—or are planning to. Office vacancies continue to rise: CBRE, recently estimated a San Francisco vacancy rate of more than sixteen per cent, the highest on record.

The surveys turned up a number of “pain points,” including a lack of spontaneous interactions with colleagues, difficulty integrating new hires into company culture remotely, Zoom fatigue, and ergonomically incorrect seating. But the sorest was felt by R/GA staff who had young children. For a stressed-out parent, W.F.H. can quickly turn into W.T.F.! newyorker.com

Nearly a year into the pandemic, employers brace for coronavirus lawsuits, attorneys say

"There's no vaccine for the new wave of litigation," according to a Dorsey &
Whitney LLP attorney.

"There's no vaccine for the new wave of litigation," Lang said; "It's growing by leaps and bounds for negligence lawsuits brought on behalf of people who claim they contracted the disease in the course of their employment, or as patrons in all kinds of businesses." The panel discussed the basis of these claims and what businesses can do to guard against liability.

It looked like there could have been a federal liability shield on the table with the most recently passed coronavirus relief bill, but ultimately, it was not included, Shevon D.B. Rockett, partner at Dorsey said. "Many states haven't adapted their own liability shields either through executive orders or through statutes and laws," Rockett said; therefore, state liability shields vary tremendously.

Insurance coverage: hrdive.com

Fauci Says Double Masks
Why You Should Double-Mask To Prevent COVID-19 (And How To Do It)
As more contagious coronavirus variants emerge, health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, say it’s probably a good idea to start doubling up on your face masks. huffpost.com

Biden Tells OSHA - Keep Workers Safe
What Will A Federal OSHA COVID Emergency Temporary Standard Likely Require?
As predicted following Joe Biden’s election as President of the United States, the new administration announced last week that it has directed the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to consider whether emergency temporary standards concerning the COVID-19 pandemic are necessary. The White House asked OSHA to issue any such standards by March 15. If OSHA finds that the workers “are in grave danger due to exposure to toxic substances or agents…and that an emergency standard is needed to protect them, ” the agency can adopt a temporary standard that will be effective immediately and won’t require many of the procedural requirements needed for a permanent standard. Any adopted temporary standard will be in place for at least six months and may eventually become permanent. Given the administration’s focus on keeping workers safe during the remainder of the pandemic (and beyond) and the streamlined procedural process for emergency temporary OSHA standards, you should begin to prepare now for the mandates that OSHA will include in a temporary COVID-19 standard. jdsupra.com

NY AG says state undercounted nursing home COVID-19 deaths by up to 50%

NYC Vaccine Hubs Reopen After Supply-Forced Closure; Indoor Dining Update Looms

Bill Gates calls for ‘mega testing’ and global disease alert system to prevent the next pandemic

Cough, fatigue, sore throat 'more common' with new UK variant

Third Annual Money Mule Initiative - Apprehensions Up 283%

U.S. Law Enforcement Takes Action Against Approximately 2,300 Money Mules In Global Crackdown On Money Laundering
The U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and six other federal law enforcement agencies announced the completion of the third annual Money Mule Initiative, a coordinated operation to disrupt the networks through which transnational fraudsters move the proceeds of their crimes. Money mules are individuals who assist fraudsters by receiving money from victims of fraud and forwarding it to the fraud organizers, many of whom are located abroad. Some money mules know they are assisting fraudsters, but others are unaware that their actions enable fraudsters’ efforts to swindle money from consumers, businesses, and government unemployment funds. Europol announced a simultaneous effort, the European Money Mule Action (EMMA) today.

Over the last two months, U.S. law enforcement agencies took action against over 2,300 money mules, far surpassing last year’s effort, which acted against over 600 money mules. An increase of 283% in apprehensions and a sign of how the effort has developed and matured.

The Department of Justice is committed to disrupting money mule networks, taking actions against more money mules this year than ever before, in an effort to cut off the flow of funds from American consumers and businesses to transnational criminal organizations. justice.gov

Kroger's 1st All Self-Checkout Store & Added Security Measures

Kroger is testing an all self-checkout store in Dallas

Added lanes with wider conveyor belts - Making it easier

It converts to all self-checkout on Feb. 17 and will be the only location among the grocery chain’s 2,700 U.S. stores trying out the idea.

At the same time, Kroger is installing new self-checkouts that should please customers who struggle with too many items for the smaller versions that have been around for many years at grocery and big box stores.

The wide-belted self-checkouts can accommodate large volume purchases and look a lot like regular cashier-staffed checkout lanes, with bagging stations at the end of each. Kroger said it will have staff there to help customers performing their own checkout.

The union will be watching whether larger self-checkouts end up replacing workers with automation, Foley-Howard said in an emailed response.

Another issue is theft. Kroger will likely use technology running in the background to help prevent it, said Bill Bishop, co-founder of Chicago-based consulting firm Brick Meets Click.

The company declined to provide details, but Martin said, “Kroger has implemented security measures to optimize the safety of the store and decrease possible criminal activity such as theft or fraud.” dallasnews.com

Biggest Week in Over a Year for Senior Jobs & Regional AP Rollout

Executive Director, Asset Protection job posted for Panda Restaurant Group
in Rosemead, CA
The Executive Director, AP is responsible for the company’s AP function, protecting the company’s integrity, people, processes, and assets from harm and loss. This position serves as the subject matter expert on a broad range of security standards and disciplines and drives all AP, loss control, and audit initiatives. The Executive Director, AP develops preventive strategies consistent with the business and internal controls. pandarg.referrals.selectminds.com

Dir., Enterprise Safety & Security (International) job posted for Adtalem Global Education in Miami, FL
The Director, Enterprise Safety & Security - International is responsible for management and oversight of the company’s crisis management, business continuity, travel risk management, security, safety, investigations and related programs for Adtalem Global Education (ATGE) locations within an assigned region including: Caribbean based campuses, APAC and EMEA offices. linkedin.com

Senior Director, Loss Prevention job posted for Harbor Freight Tools
in Calabasas, CA
The Senior Director of Loss Prevention is responsible for setting and championing the Loss Prevention strategy for the enterprise, including retail stores, distribution centers, corporate offices and quality assurance labs. This role leads a diverse team of remote field and office based staff in the development and implementation of strategies to reduce shrink and controllable losses, ensure the safety and physical security of stores, distribution centers and corporate offices. sjobs.brassring.com

Director Asset Protection Solutions job posted for Walgreens in Deerfield, IL
Responsible for developing and implementing department strategies and integrating efforts with division and company strategies, emphasizing product availability, inventory productivity, and cost productivity. Participates with other directors to establish strategic plans and objectives. Ensures budgets and schedules meet corporate requirements. Creates and fosters a high performance culture, directing the development of innovative processes and solutions to complex, organization-wide challenges. jobs.walgreens.com

Senior Manager Asset Protection posted for The Home Depot in Atlanta, GA
The Sr Manager Asset Protection is responsible for ensuring that Asset Protection programs are fully implemented and are being executed per expectations within assigned distribution centers. Key responsibilities include analyzing and managing safety programs, shrink performance, partnering with general managers and field Senior Directors of Operations, monitoring shrink indicators and theft and fraud investigations, conducting DC walks, reviewing exception reports, and managing and developing the APMs within their assigned distribution centers. careers.homedepot.com

BJ's Wholesale Regional AP Rollout - 8 New Positions

Biggest Regional Asset Protection Rollout in Recent Memory.

The Regional Asset Protection Manager (RAPM) oversees Asset Protection, security, theft, fraud, investigations, and related procedures within the field. The RAPM supports and continuously interacts with club management to analyze shrink, identify profitability gaps and address issues related to protecting company assets.

See the job postings below:

Regional Asset Protection Manager-Metro NY Job
Regional Asset Protection Manager-Orlando FL Job
Regional Asset Protection Manager-Hudson Valley Job
Regional Asset Protection Manager MD-DE Job
Regional Asset Protection Manager-OH-MI Job
Regional Asset Protection Manager-MI-OH Job
Regional Asset Protection Manager-Long Island NY Job
Regional Asset Protection Manager-Greater Boston Job

Valentine’s Day Spending to Total $21.8 Billion

DOJ brings first criminal no-poach charge after warning HR pros of prison time

Loves Travel Stops Plans 50 New Travel Stops, 3,000 Truck Parking Spots & 3,000 Jobs in 2021

Quarterly Results
Boot Barn Q3 comp's up 4.6%, sales up 6.5%

McDonald's Q4 Global comp's down 1.3%, U.S. up 5.5%, International Operated down 7.4%, Inter. Licensed down 3.6%, consolidated revenue down 2%
McDonald's FY Global comp's down 7.7%, U.S. up 0.4%, International Operated down 15%, Inter. Licensed down 10.5%, consolidated revenue down 10%

Starbucks Q1 Global comp's down 5%, Americas comp's down 6%, International comp's down 3%, consolidated net revenues down 5%

Publishing Note: LP Newswire will not be published today & will resume next Thursday

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New Webinar:

Combatting Instacart Fraud, Theft and More


E-commerce platforms like Instacart have seen their overall footprint within the grocery and retail industries skyrocket during the pandemic. While more consumers move to buying products this way, brands are being left to decipher how to best optimize this new relationship with Instacart.

Join us for a new webinar that covers the latest trends, tips and tricks on how to best leverage your Instacart data.

This webinar will cover:

  • Analyzing the impact of Instacart on the retail and grocery industries

  • Tracking the specific fraud and theft cases rising across the Instacart Shopper landscape

  • Digging into the correlation between your In-Store vs. Instacart sales

  • Leveraging your Instacart data for Category and Pricing Analysis

  • And more...






Retail & Hospitality ISAC Highlights Exceptional Growth
and Sharing in 2020 Year in Review

RH-ISAC reports 89% of members actively sharing in 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2021 – The Retail & Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RH-ISAC) today announced the publication of its 2020 Year in Review, highlighting exceptional growth and sharing.

In a year of unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic – one that particularly impacted the retail and hospitality sectors, the RH-ISAC not only experienced a 20% growth in membership but also the continued commitment of its members to support one another through the sharing of threat intelligence and in practices and policies that strengthened their environments in everything from work-from-home policies to how to protect against digital skimming threats to eCommerce initiatives.

“2020 was a challenging year for our industry, but this report shows just how resilient our community is,” commented Suzie Squier, president at RH-ISAC. “As resources became even more constrained, the RHISAC was a force multiplier to each and every member, with more than 900 analysts and security operations managers responding in real-time to questions and requests.” Squier continued, “At the strategic level, CISOs and executives submitted more than 111 requests for information and received close to 700 responses from their peers.”

In 2020, 89% of RH-ISAC's Core Members contributed actionable threat intelligence across the ISAC sharing channels. The top five threats to retail and hospitality sectors identified by members include:

1. Credential Harvesting
2. Malicious Documents (maldocs)
3. Business Email Compromise (BEC)
4. ATO
5. Malware

Read more here

Michael's 2011 POS Hacker
Long-Time Fugitive Extradited to U.S.
Stole 94,000 Debit & Credit Cards from 80 Michaels’ Stores in 19 States

A California man who had fled to Mexico has been arrested for his role in a conspiracy to steal credit and debit cards from customers at approximately 80 Michaels’ Stores in 19 states and to then use that information to make fraudulent withdrawals from the bank accounts of those customers.

Jose Salazar, 44, aka “Tito,” 44, of Riverside, California, was indicted in 2015 and has been a fugitive. He was apprehended in Mexico City in September 2020 and returned last week via Philadelphia International Airport to face an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The conspirators installed devices that acquired customers’ bank account and personal identification number (PIN) information on point of sale (POS) terminals at stores operated by Michaels. The stolen account information was used to produce counterfeit bank cards, which were used with the stolen PINs to withdraw funds from the compromised bank accounts.

The conspirators allegedly replaced POS terminals in 80 different stores operated by Michaels across 19 states, including New Jersey, with counterfeit POS devices. Each counterfeit device was equipped with wireless technology, which the conspirators used to retrieve the stolen information. From February 2011 to April 2011, conspirators stole approximately 94,000 debit and credit card account numbers.

Facing a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory penalty of two years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other sentence. justice.gov

$27M International Ransomware-as-a-Service Model Taken Down
DOJ Launches Global Action Against NetWalker Ransomware

NetWalker Defendant Charged, Dark Web Resource Disabled,
Nearly $500,000 Seized & Over $27M in Losses

The Department of Justice today announced a coordinated international law enforcement action to disrupt a sophisticated form of ransomware known as NetWalker.
The NetWalker action includes charges against a Canadian national in relation to NetWalker ransomware attacks in which tens of millions of dollars were allegedly obtained, the seizure of approximately $454,530.19 in cryptocurrency from ransom payments, and the disablement of a dark web hidden resource used to communicate with NetWalker ransomware victims.

NetWalker operates as a so-called ransomware-as-a-service model, featuring “developers” and “affiliates.” Developers are responsible for creating and updating the ransomware and making it available to affiliates. Affiliates are responsible for identifying and attacking high-value victims with the ransomware, according to the affidavit. After a victim pays, developers and affiliates split the ransom.

According to an indictment unsealed today, Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins of Gatineau, a Canadian national, was charged in the Middle District of Florida. Vachon-Desjardins is alleged to have obtained at least over $27.6 million as a result of the offenses charged in the indictment.

Authorities in Bulgaria also seized a dark web hidden resource used by NetWalker ransomware affiliates to provide payment instructions and communicate with victims. justice.gov

Ransomware: Should Governments Hack Cybercrime Cartels?

Banning Ransom Payments and Unleashing Offensive Hacking Teams Being Mooted

Crime doesn't pay - except perhaps when it comes to ransomware, which continues to fuel a massive surge in illicit proceeds. With such profits appearing to be at an all-time high, clearly something needs to be done to blunt ransomware-wielding extortionists' force - but what?

Ransomware victims range from environmental regulators and construction firms to manufacturers and healthcare facilities - including those helping respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond disrupting businesses, such attacks also pose a public health risk; they potentially can compromise patient safety as hospitals continue to get hit.

Given the difficulty of disrupting ransomware operators who work from countries such as Russia, however, "making ransomware attacks less lucrative for cybercriminals is the objective," says Hannigan, who from 2014 to 2017 served as director of Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency.

"There is also pressure from the insurance industry to encourage government action," he says. "Insurers feel uncomfortable about paying huge sums to cybercriminals, which, while not illegal, is an ethical gray area. Insurers are adjusting coverage and increasing premiums to reflect ransomware attacks."

Proposal: Ban All Ransom Payments
Expert: Insurers 'Subtly Endorsing' Payoffs
Time to Unleash Government Hackers?

Editor's Note: The Debate & The Consequences - Banning payments simply forces them underreporting and underground. While unleashing Government hackers formalizes the action and eliminates any type of public opinion pressure or international law and standards. And who's to say most of this isn't already being done.

Data Privacy Day Pits Apple Vs. Facebook
Apple’s Tim Cook Defends Privacy Measures Despite Facebook Objections

Chief executive criticizes app-tracking tools that turn consumers into an advertising product, calls for comprehensive privacy laws

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook sharply criticized the impact of algorithms on society and app-tracking tools that turn consumers into an advertising product, defending new privacy tools the company plans to roll out in the next several months.

While Mr. Cook didn’t name Facebook Inc. in remarks to the Consumer Privacy and Data Protection Conference Thursday, he defended Apple’s plans that have ratcheted up tensions between the company and the social media giant.

A day after
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told investors Apple poses a growing threat to its business, the iPhone maker reiterated its intent to give users the option to limit how apps track their digital footprints. wsj.com




Track and secure your cannabis product in-transit with mobile video surveillance

Tracking product in-transit increases your business insights, reducing security
and safety risks

Traveling with product can be a high-risk activity, and it’s the reason that some cannabis operators use armored vehicles for added protection. For an additional layer of security, some operators install security cameras inside their vehicles, also known as mobile video surveillance, so they can visually track product wherever it goes and resolve any incidents of missing inventory.

Help Business Operations
With some mobile surveillance systems, you can go one step further to manage your inventory with radio frequency identification (RFID) data integrated with video. With this type of solution, the video system captures RFID-tagged plants as they move from point A to point B. All of the RFID data is searchable in the surveillance system, so you can literally track product from seed to sale.

Integrate Fixed and Mobile Video Feeds
Depending upon the system you choose, it’s possible to have the same video management software for both your fixed facilities and transport vehicles. This ensures that you see the full picture and can adequately monitor your supply chain, from cultivation to transportation, and onto sales to customers. securityinfowatch.com

Illinois Pot Taxes Being Used to Fight Crime, Violence
Pot taxes to fund violence prevention, prisoner re-entry programs
In the first year of legal recreational marijuana, Illinois pot shops sold more than a billion dollars in product. Now, the state is distributing a portion of the sales taxes to communities hit the hardest by the punishing laws of prohibition.

The Pritzker administration handed out $31.5 million in grant funding on Friday to 80 nonprofit groups and cities across the state that applied to participate in the fledgling ‘Restore, Reinvest, and Renew Program.’

The East Springfield Community Center Commission won $808,992 in two grants designed to prevent violence and recidivism. Dameon Johnson, the president of the nonprofit, plans to use the funds to recruit up to 30 inmates to enter a job training program upon their exit from prison.

The grant funds were designated for communities that suffered with high rates of gun violence, child poverty, joblessness, and felony crimes, categories that Johnson said envelop “roughly half of our city.” wcia.com

'Cannabis Stores are Thriving'
Why a hands-on approach is essential in the cannabis retail industry
To (mis)quote Mark Twain, the “Death of Retail” has been greatly exaggerated. Consider the explosion of cannabis retail stores throughout southwestern Ontario. Even with some businesses suffering and in dire circumstances due to COVID, cannabis stores are thriving. In some neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto, there are multiple new stores on every block, and at the time of writing, they are allowed to stay open during the pandemic as essential services. All this despite the fact that cannabis is available through the mail.

As the cannabis retail space continues to mature, it’s no longer enough to simply hang a dispensary sign and hope for the best. If you want your venture to truly thrive, you’re going to have to make your store stand out. The best way to do that? Provide engaging, unforgettable experiences at every touchpoint, pre-, in-store, and post-visit. To do this effectively, you must consider your customer’s entire journey. How can you create the best possible cannabis retail experience for your customers and keep them coming back for more? cannabisbusinessexecutive.com

Cannabis company CEO expects U.S. to legalize pot within two years

New York’s Two Marijuana Legalization Paths: Will Lawmakers Get It Right?

Legalize marijuana in Delaware? Doing so could bring plenty of green, report finds




The Cost of Selling on Amazon
One Tale From an Amazon Seller

A toy company finds that selling goods on Amazon is both key to its success
and super fraught.

Molson Hart, who runs an educational toy company in Texas, wouldn’t be as successful as he is without Amazon bringing the world’s shoppers to his doorstep. But he’s also frustrated that the company takes so much in return and that he’s so dependent on Amazon with its complex, ever-changing decisions.

One business isn’t representative of the millions of product sellers on Amazon, but Hart echoed frustrations that other merchants have expressed. I found our conversation a useful look at how a business organizes itself around Amazon and obsesses over it.

A complicated relationship

“It’s enormously frustrating to be tied to a company that makes decisions sometimes on a whim that may be unfair or we have no control over,” Hart told me. “But I can’t complain. I mean, I do complain, but it is what it is.”

According to Hart’s figures, for every $100 worth of products that Viahart sold last year on Amazon, his company on average kept $48.25. He says that it’s far more expensive to sell on Amazon than on Walmart’s website or eBay. The cut that Viahart pays Amazon has generally increased each year, Hart says, although it declined in 2020.

Amazon’s commission on sales — about 15 percent — is roughly the same as that of other shopping sites, like Walmart. Hart says that the costs pile on for additional services like paying Amazon to store toys in its warehouses and shipping products from there. Merchants don’t have to use Amazon’s warehouses or shipping, but the company creates major advantages for doing so. nytimes.com

Stores Turning into Fulfillment Centers
Walmart bets bigger on online grocery as it ramps up automated
fulfillment at stores
Walmart said Wednesday it plans to expand its use of high-tech systems that quickly pick and pack online grocery orders as it anticipates shoppers’ demand for pickup and delivery will outlast the pandemic.

Dozens of Walmart’s stores will become fulfillment centers, with a portion of those stores turned into small, automated warehouses, the company said. To accomplish this, Walmart will use a store’s existing footprint or add to it.

Walmart began testing one system called Alphabot at its Salem, New Hampshire store in 2019, and it immediately saw results. The system allowed the retailer to pick orders within minutes and have them ready for a customer within an hour of placing the order. cnbc.com

Apple overtakes Amazon to become world’s most valuable brand

Walmart to build huge e-commerce project in Lancaster - more than 1,300 jobs







Cobb County, GA: Home Depot employee arrested for theft $156,000 through electronic gift card transactions
Electronic gift card thefts lands Home Depot employee behind bars. A Stockbridge man was released on bond after he was arrested for stealing electronic gift cards from his employer. Andrew Jean-Baptiste was arrested January 23, accused of stealing more than $156,000 in electronic gift cards from his employer Home Depot. Investigators accused Jean-Baptiste of using his position at the company to send E-Gift cards to email accounts he either set up himself or were provided to him via a third party. The thefts are believed to have happened between January and November 2018, according to the Cobb County warrant issued for Jean-Baptiste’s arrest. He was charged with theft by deception and booked into the Cobb County jail. His LinkedIn profile stated Jean-Baptiste worked as a Resolution Specialist and had worked with Home Depot for more than seven years.  cbs46.com

Carson City, NV: The Carson City Sheriff's Office is trying to identify suspects who 'box stuffed' power tools into a bathtub box at Home Depot
The Carson City Sheriff's Office is trying to identify burglary and eluding suspects. Officials said two suspects were actively "box stuffing" in the Carson City Home Depot on Market Street around 6 p.m. on Tuesday. They said the two suspect previously attempted to steal merchandise from the Spanish Springs Home Depot in Sparks earlier that day. Box stuffing is placing higher valued merchandise in the boxes of lower priced items and paying for the lower priced item. ktvn.com
Hoover, AL: Man cuts lock and get away with $3000 mower from outside Home Depot
A report from the Hoover Police Department said a man seen on security footage in the store cut the security lock on a Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 Zero Turn lawn mower (value $3,099) and loaded it onto a trailer. The man got into a vehicle driven by another suspect and left the scene toward Highway 280 without attempting to pay, according to police. patch.com

Palm Beach, FL: Shoplifting duo steal over $500 in handbags, inform security they 'don't have to pay'

Eastlake, OH: Police investigating hundreds of dollars in Red Bull stolen from 2 C-Stores

Ceres, CA: Rite Aid Shoplifter busted, on Probation and has 6 active warrants

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Shootings & Deaths

Houston, TX: East Side corner store owner found shot to death in his truck
The shop owner, 53-year-old Gregory Wiltz, left his store before he was killed, but they don't know what led up to the shooting. Investigators say there may have been multiple shooters. A nearby neighbor said they heard at least eight gunshots. The store owner's death is the latest in a concerning trend in Houston's crime rate, according to investigators, especially just 27 days into the new year. He was found around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on Fidelity near Delaware.  abc13.com

Update: Richland County, SC: Man wanted for double murder at Columbia C-store arrested in North Charleston
James Jamar Toatley was taken into custody Tuesday night after he was tracked down in North Charleston. Toatley, who turned 32 on Wednesday, is facing two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder for shooting into a vehicle with four people inside on Dec. 19 in the parking lot of the Motor City Market in Columbia. thestate.com

San Antonio, TX: Man wounded in exchange of gunfire outside West Side sports bar

St. Petersburg, FL: Police investigating shooting outside C-Store, 1 man wounded


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

San Carlos, CA: Walgreens robbery suspect accused of crime spree
A Stockton man who was arrested last week in connection with a robbery at the Walgreens in San Carlos is being linked to similar robberies committed in San Mateo and the East Bay, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. At about 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, deputies responded to a robbery at the Walgreens on El Camino Real and did not locate the suspect, who the victim described to deputies and who reportedly fled in a four-door sedan. A subsequent investigation involving assistance from the Oakland Police Department led to the identification of the suspect as David Correra, 28, of Stockton. Correra was arrested in Oakland on the same day in which the San Carlos Walgreens robbery occurred, the sheriff’s office said. “This is an active investigation and detectives are working together with multiple agencies from the East Bay to piece together Correra’s crime spree,” deputies said. Correra was booked into San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of burglary, robbery and conspiracy. climaterwc.com

Sioux City, IA: Walgreens armed Robber sentenced to prison for 20 years
The Sioux City man arrested in connection with the armed robbery of two Sioux City Walgreens stores over the summer is heading to prison. Chastyn Tyndall, 29, accepted a plea deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to second-degree robbery. He had originally been charged with first-degree robbery. At his plea hearing Tuesday morning, Jan. 26th, he was also sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison. siouxlandnews.com

Vernon, CT: Chicopee man admits guilt in $25,000 Armed Robbery of Verizon;
facing 4 years in prison




C-Store – Waco, TX – Robbery
C-Store – Charlotte, NC – Robbery
CBD – Las Vegas, NV – Burglary
Gas Station – Belen, NM – Burglary
Gas Station – Arlington, TX - Armed Robbery
Home Depot – Carson City, NV – Burglary
Jewelry – Garland, TX – Robbery
Jewelry – Lutz, FL – Robbery
Pharmacy – Tuscaloosa, AL - Robbery
Pharmacy – Pell City, AL – Robbery
Pharmacy – Davis, CA – Robbery
Restaurant – Indianapolis, IN – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Belen, NM – Burglary
Restaurant – Brooklyn, NY – Burglary
Walgreens – Lake Orion, MI – Robbery
Walgreens – Lake Orion, MI – Robbery (2 of 2)
Walmart – Tyler, TX - Burglary


Daily Totals:
• 11 robberies
• 6 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



The Monitoring Association (TMA) Names Tara Compher
Programs & Administrative Coordinator
In her new role as TMA’s Programs and Administrative Coordinator, Ms. Compher will oversee TMA’s Five Diamond, IQ, and FirstNet programs, in addition to assisting with CRM data management and other projects and serving as the staff liaison to TMA’s NextGen group. Prior to accepting her new position within TMA, Ms. Compher worked for the U.S. Courts as a probation clerk and as a front office coordinator in a dental practice. Read more

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Featured Job Spotlights


Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Raleigh, NC - posted Dec. 14
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

Leader, Asset & Profit Protection
San Fran/Chicago/NY/West Palm Beach - posted Dec. 14
As the leader of the Data/Analytics & Investigations strategy, you should have strong analytical/investigation skills, the drive to innovate, and the ability to build strong partnerships to lead through the influence of others. They will be personable, open to learning, collaborating with others...

District Asset Protection Manager
Seattle, WA - posted Dec. 11
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture

Regional Manager LP, Audit & Firearms Compliance
IL, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, NE, OK, MO & KS - posted Dec. 9
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage at the stores in their Territory. Investigate and resolves all matters that jeopardize or cause a loss to the company's assets

Customer Success Specialists
Multiple Locations - posted Oct. 9
The role of the Customer Success Specialist is to engage, empower, and excite our community. As a Customer Success Specialist, your primary responsibility is to ensure both retailers and law enforcement, who make up our community, have great experiences and achieve real crime reduction outcomes from using our platform.
Apply Here

Sales Representatives
NuTech National - posted Oct. 13
NuTech National, an established and rapidly growing 40+ year electronic security company is expanding our National Sales Team. Seeking motivated, driven and successful sales reps to expand our national retail and governmental vertical markets. Top pay, benefits and signing bonus available. Please apply to melissa@nutechnational.com

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The references you use are a reflection of you, and those who you select should be well thought out and be able to truly give an accurate picture of your work performance and your accomplishments. The best references come from the Operators you've worked with, who are in actuality your customers. These Operators can add more value in your search process than you think. They too have a network of friends and colleagues in the business that stretch well beyond your normal circle of executives. Obviously the list of references you develop over time requires follow-up and contact. So keep in tuned to their movement as well and always be able to find them - for they may be the key to your future success in more ways than one.

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