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CIOReview Recognizes CONTROLTEK in 2021's Most Promising Retail Solution Providers

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - CONTROLTEK a leader in EAS and RFID security solutions for retailers, has been recognized by the technology magazine CIOReview as one of the top 20 retail solution providers in 2021 due to the organization's extensive RFID technology offerings that have empowered their clients in retail and many other industries to make data-driven decisions to optimize their businesses.

CONTROLTEK's team uses a human-centric approach based on design thinking to work side by side with their clients, develop customized RFID solutions and even identify potential problems in their clients' businesses to prepare them for the future.  Read more here

Vector Security® Networks Announces 2021 Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) Scholarship Recipients

More than $305,000 awarded to loss prevention professionals & hopefuls to date.

PITTSBURGH, May 13, 2021 - Vector Security Networks, a division of Vector Security, Inc., and the single-source integrator of physical security solutions and managed services for North American retailers and multi-site businesses, announces the recipients of its 2021 Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) scholarships, which provide financial support to loss prevention professionals and hopefuls seeking to obtain Loss Prevention Qualified (LPQ) and Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) certifications.

The company began awarding the scholarships in 2009 in support of career development and continuing education in this rapidly-growing industry. Each year, loss prevention professionals, or those interested in a career in loss prevention, are invited to apply.

See all the scholarship recipients in the Vendor Spotlight column below

Free ASIS Workplace Violence Preparedness Checklist

When violence enters the workplace, employers must be prepared by identifying early the existence of the threat, responding appropriately by involving law enforcement and other professionals, and ensuring that all employees are knowledgeable about effective strategies to reduce the likelihood of injury.

The free ASIS Workplace Violence Preparedness Checklist is a valuable guide that highlights responding to and preventing workplace violence through identification, mitigation, and response to pre-incident indicators.

This checklist is an excerpt from the new POA: Crisis Management volume. For over 40 years, Protection of Assets (POA) has reflected the leading edge of best practices for security professionals.


Violence & Protests

The Link Between Domestic Violence & Public Mass Shootings
The American gun crisis? It's largely a domestic violence crisis

'61% of mass shootings in the U.S. occur entirely within the home'

The mass shootings that so often capture media attention and dominate the American conversation about gun violence are the ones that happen in public - those incidents where a person with severe mental illness, or a fanatical rightwing agenda, opens fire in a crowded public space, like a church, a school or a grocery store.

But much of American gun violence, including multiple-fatality events, does not happen in those public places, and many of the perpetrators of mass shootings are not strangers to the people they kill. Instead, a disproportionate amount of America's mass shootings are domestic violence incidents, in which a man (and overwhelmingly the perpetrators are men) who has already been abusive towards his family, murders the wife, girlfriend, mother, in-laws or children who he was already hurting. Often the victims, like Alyssa Broderick, were people who had already disclosed that they were being abused, people who had already asked for protection.

According to Beverly Kingston, the executive director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, 61% of mass shootings in the United States occur entirely within the home. Even when gun violence spills out into the public arena, domestic abuse is still closely related.

The gun control advocacy group Everytown estimates that in 57% of the mass shootings that occurred between January 2009 and June 2014, the perpetrator killed an intimate partner or family member. A Boston University study establishes that the connection between public mass murder and domestic violence is even more longstanding: their findings indicated that of all the perpetrators of mass shootings in America between 1966 and 2020, nearly half had a documented history of violence against women before the massacres. theguardian.com

Letting Potential Criminals Run Free?
Pair of recent Chicago police killings puts spotlight on policies related to
officer foot pursuits

Other cities, from Baltimore to Philadelphia to Portland, have already implemented changes to officer foot pursuit policies

The killings of the two young people by officers in Chicago at the end of a foot chase has pushed the city's mayor to call on the police department to implement a new foot pursuit policy. But some experts say a policy might not have changed the outcome of the incidents since both individuals were seen holding guns and running from cops before they were shot.

High-stakes foot pursuits by police, which often involve officers chasing suspects without back-up officers, have become a controversial issue across the nation in recent years.

Civic leaders and criminal justice professionals argue that the adrenaline-induced pursuits often end in excessive, sometimes deadly uses of force by police, and clear policies can help lower the number of police shootings. But banning foot pursuits entirely is not realistic, according to policing leaders and experts, especially when the fleeing suspect is armed with a gun and poses a risk to public safety.

The heart of the question is whether anyone has the right to flee police when approached by an officer to be questioned, detained or arrested -- and whether police should stop attempting to detain or arrest people who run.

"To say that officers should never engage in a foot pursuit is too extreme," said Charles Ramsey, former DC police chief and a CNN law enforcement analyst. "There are going to be incidents where it's in the best interest of public safety that police try to take this person into custody. When you have a situation where a person has been involved in a shooting or some other type of crime, do you really want to tell officers to never chase?"

Cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and Portland, have implemented their own foot pursuit policies, with each one varying from agency to agency. The policies offer specific guidance as to when an officer should or should not pursue someone on foot and provide options to cops other than chasing and arresting a suspect. cnn.com

Across the Country Asian Hate Crimes Continue to Spike
Report shows breadth of anti-Asian racism with attacks from Alhambra to Michigan, in schools, restaurants
At a store in Alhambra, a worker refused to ring up Asian American customers, hurling a racial insult at one.

The attacks took place in schools, restaurants, stores, subways, sidewalks, fitness classes and Zoom meetings. Some involved allegations about the coronavirus, while other perpetrators used age-old racial slurs like "ching chong."

Some victims were elderly, others children. Some were coughed on or spat on, some slapped or hit, some refused service at businesses, still others stung by racist words or by people declining to interact with them.

The incidents were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a group formed in March 2020 in response to attacks related to the perception that Asians were responsible for the coronavirus because of its origins in Wuhan, China. The new study builds on a previous one released two months ago.

In March, people around the country reported more than 2,800 anti-Asian hate incidents to Stop AAPI Hate. In the entire year before that, the group received about 3,800 reports of racial incidents.

The sudden spike could be due in part to greater awareness that Stop AAPI Hate, founded by a coalition of Asian American advocacy groups, is collecting reports about racist incidents. But law enforcement agencies around the country are also seeing a large increase in reported anti-Asian hate crimes.

New York saw the greatest increase, at 223%, followed by 140% in San Francisco and 80% in Los Angeles, in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino. latimes.com

Another Lawsuit Over LAPD Crowd Control Tactics
LA protester accuses uncle, an LAPD officer, of ordering projectiles fired on him

Asim Jamal Shakir Jr is suing the Los Angeles police department after he was injured during a George Floyd demonstration last May

A 23-year-old Los Angeles film-maker has sued the Los Angeles police department, alleging that his uncle, a Los Angeles police department officer, ordered him to be shot by projectiles during the George Floyd protests last summer.

On the evening of 29 May 2020, Asim Jamal Shakir Jr had joined the demonstrations in downtown LA and was live-streaming when police formed a skirmish line, and he spotted his uncle, Eric Anderson, among the officers, according to a complaint filed on Monday. Anderson allegedly told his nephew to go home and then later motioned for an officer to shoot a "less-than-lethal" rifle at Shakir.

The suit is one of numerous legal claims against the city of LA relating to its use of force and violent response to demonstrators. The complaint was filed the same day that a federal judge ruled against LAPD's use of certain projectiles at protests, in a case brought by Black Lives Matter LA after protesters were badly injured by police.

Numerous reports and audits have substantiated claims of excessive force, physical violence and policy violations by LAPD, and the LA Times has repeatedly documented cases where activists were hospitalized with serious injuries. theguardian.com

Demonstrators Blame Police for Portland Unrest
Surprised about Portland protests? 'You don't know Portland'

Portland has a long-running history of protests both peaceful and violent

After George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis in May of 2020, Portlanders took to the streets every day for weeks that stretched into months, capturing the nation's attention even during a pandemic.

But the 100 days of "direct action" demonstrations and protests following George Floyd's death set a new standard for longevity, the thousands of people who took to the streets and the diversity of those who came together, including the so-called Wall of Moms.

The unrest took over a small part of Portland night after night. Clashes between law enforcement and protesters caught the attention of much of the nation, including the White House.

"If people are showing up and saying 'stop killing us,' you don't attack them with tear gas and rubber bullets and chemical agents. You don't ride around in minivans and rented cars and vehicles and throw them in the back of it. People are already traumatized or they wouldn't show up," said Teressa Raiford, the executive director of Don't Shoot Portland.

"I don't think that any riot that happened in Portland happened because protesters said 'let's go riot,'" said Raiford. "I think the riot ensued because of the response from the city and the federal agencies - and again, that's why we take it to the courts." koin.com

Man who drove through Pasadena protest pleads guilty to 11 weapons felonies

COVID Update

264.7M Vaccinations Given

US: 33.5M Cases - 597.7K Dead - 26.6M Recovered
Worldwide: 161.1M Cases - 3.3M Dead - 138.9M Recovered

Former Senior Loss Prevention Executive
Know of any fallen LP exec? Let's remember & recognize.

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 298
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Fourteen Months Later - All's Clear If You Want To Go Outside With No Mask
Fauci Finally Says Vaccinated Americans Don't Need Masks Outside Anymore
Dr. Anthony Fauci finally encouraged vaccinated Americans to ditch their masks outside - more than two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light that it was safe.

"If you are vaccinated, you don't have to wear a mask outside. We've got to make that transition," the White House chief medical adviser told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday.

"It would be a very unusual situation, if you were going into a completely crowded situation where people are essentially falling all over each other, then you wear a mask. But any other time, if you're vaccinated and you're outside, put aside your mask. You don't have to wear it."

There are variants that are circulating and although they're unusual, we are seeing breakthrough infections," Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union." nypost.com

OSHA Inspectors Vigorously Pursuing Retailers
Restaurants - Warehousing - Retailers Are New OSHA Targets
Employers also contest COVID citations in record numbers

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wane, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has expanded its aggressive enforcement program to include restaurants.

Earlier this year, OSHA unleashed a National Emphasis Prog (ramNEP) for stepped-up enforcement efforts nationwide, focusing especially on COVID-19 workplace practices. The agency is vigorously pursuing employers it believes have strayed from the agency's illness guidance, particularly the 6,000-word guidance it issued Jan. 29 under an order issued by President Biden the day after his inauguration.

OSHA is now going after the restaurant industry as well, including both full-service and limited-service establishments.

Other industries targeted by the NEP sure to see future visits from OSHA inspectors are general warehousing and storage, temporary help and staffing agencies, discount department stores, supermarkets and grocery stores (excluding convenience stores), and poultry and meat slaughtering and processing plants (some of which already have been inspected and drew citations).

OSHA reports that 408 workplaces have been cited (with around 1,150 citations issued) for COVID-19-related alleged violations between July 1, 2020, and April 12, 2021. Although there has been a wide range of cited violations, most are for respiratory protection violations (with N95 respirator use being at the top of the list) and recordkeeping violations.

But employers are fighting back. "Typically, only 8% of cited employers contest citations. Not so for COVID-19," say Jackson Lewis attorneys. Employers who were cited for COVID-19 concerns have contested the citations at more than quintuple the ordinary contest rate, to a whopping 42%. ehstoday.com

53% of Employers Providing Mental Health Programs Because of Pandemic
Companies Are Increasing Mental Health Benefits
Walmart, an employer of 1.5 million in the U.S., is offering 10 counseling sessions to employees and their families.

As one of the largest U.S. employers at 1.5 million, the company often sets the stage for policies, both in terms of business processes and workforce strategies. In the area of mental well-being, Walmart announced May 5 that it has expanded its mental health benefits by more than tripling (from three sessions per year to 10 sessions) the number of no-cost counseling sessions that will be available to U.S. associates and their families.

The "emotional well-being" benefit, as the company calls it, includes help dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, grief, personal and professional relationships, family conflict, substance abuse, coping with change, parenting and more.

Citing a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 40% of U.S. adults had reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse over a period of 30 days in a September 2020 survey, Lisa Woods, vice president of physical and emotional well-being, explained why Walmart was taking this action. "The unprecedented global events of the past year impacted our lives in ways many of us couldn't have imagined. These events put an emphasis on how critical it truly is to care for our emotional well-being."

Walmart is not alone in increasing mental health services to employees as a result of COVID-19. A survey by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions reported that 53% of the companies they spoke to were providing special emotional and mental health programs for their workforce because of the pandemic.

Starbucks, which employs 191,000 in the U.S., stands out as a frontrunner in this category as it announced April 6 that it will now offer 20 free counseling sessions a year to employees and their families.

Target and Salesforce employees, for example, will receive free access to apps that help manage stress and sleep, according to Business Insider. ehstoday.com

Vaccinating Customers & Employees
Retailers help advance President Biden's vaccination goal

Target, Krispy Kreme, The Vitamin Shoppe and more are offering incentives to vaccinated people

Retailers and other major businesses are working hard to ensure not only their employees are vaccinated, but that their consumers and the general public receive their vaccinations as well. To help reach President Biden's goal of 160 million adults vaccinated by July 4, large and small retailers are offering special discounts and promotions to incentivize individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Grocery and pharmacy
The White House is partnering with a variety of businesses including Albertsons, Safeway, Target and CVS to offer discounts on store items when consumers get vaccinated at their locations.

Bars and restaurants
At Krispy Kreme, consumers get a sweet deal with a free glazed doughnut when they present their vaccine card. Junior's Restaurant in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., is also offering a sweet deal for those who might be hesitant to get the vaccine with a free mini version of its Original New York Cheesecake.

And, diners can choose from four complimentary "Birthday Cake-on-a-Stick" treats at White Castle through the end of the month when they share proof of receiving the vaccine.

Retail and more
La Jolla, Calif.-based ocean adventure store Everyday California is giving its customers free paddleboard, snorkel and surf board rentals through June 14 to those who use the code "vaccine" on their website and present their vaccination card upon arrival.

Now through July 25, Office Depot and OfficeMax stores nationwide will laminate and copy COVID-19 vaccine cards for free. nrf.com

Businesses Consider Vaccine Mandates
Twin Cities companies weigh vaccine mandates, incentives as they form
return-to-work plans

Mandates are too sensitive for governments, but businesses have latitude to impose them.

With Gov. Tim Walz continuing to relax COVID-19 restrictions, businesses now are preparing for the return to work, and vaccinations are a key factor. While many such as Broders' are offering incentives and making it easy for people to get COVID shots, some businesses are mandating immunizations.

While Walz's latest executive order made the timeline for reopening more clear, the way forward may not be. Business leaders must manage workers' rights and workplace safety at a time when large swaths of the public aren't sure whether they want the vaccine.

Federal law allows employers to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations so long as they also allow accommodations for employees with disabilities and bona fide religious objections, said Susan Ellingstad, a partner at Lockridge Grindal Nauen who specializes in workplace legal issues. Employers must be careful enforcing any mandate, however, so they don't inadvertently ask employees to disclose medical information, Ellingstad said.

The first step is to survey employees about the idea of a mandate, she said, and simply offer incentives if a requirement would be widely unpopular. startribune.com

Why many Covid experts think Americans can ditch their masks soon

CDC OKs Pfizer's vaccine for kids, clearing way for shots to begin Thursday

Staffing Levels Will Continue to Plague Retailers
Do we see a wage war come Q3 & Q4?

Non-Essential Brands to Show Incredible Results for Q1
After being shut dow for the majority of last years first quarter the majority of the non-essential brands will show strong double digit increases for the next couple quarters. The issue for this group will be staffing, inventory levels/issues, and in-store traffic. Biggest concern being people-people people. Do they feel safe enough to work and shop in public and are there enough people willing to work in retail.

Thus inflaming what may be the start of a wage war. As the healthy retailers are almost across the board raising hourly rates to the $15 an hour, along with additional perks. Like university tuition plans, health care, bonuses and flexible scheduling in those areas that aren't already mandating it by local ordinance.

Staffing issues is the one area that will continue to grow as a concern throughout retail. -Gus Downing

'Low Pay & Abusive Customers' Causing Retail Worker Shortage
Dissatisfied retail workers are leaving the industry because of abusive customers and low pay
Some workers are leaving retail and restaurant jobs to get away from low pay and difficult customers, and a growing number of openings in the labor market is making it easier to transition to new careers.

Restaurants and stores are looking to staff up and return to normal as COVID-19 restrictions lift and the country slowly reopens. Hiring has been difficult for many companies, which have reported a lack of candidates for open positions. But retail and restaurants are are also struggling to retain workers who want to leave for new opportunities. That's making the sector's labor crunch even worse.

The labor shortage in many sectors of the economy is a boon to some dissatisfied retail workers who are suddenly able to shop around for new jobs. Now, the Starbucks manager says she is about to start a job in healthcare sales making double her current wage. She will also get better benefits.

Another Starbucks employee said after a dangerous and difficult year because of the pandemic, fatigue and treatment are top concerns. "Employees have been fired or people are quitting because we're so overworked and stressed and abused," an employee at a Midwest Starbucks told Insider.

A Louisiana barista echoed the same complaints. The "handful [of customers] that you get each day who will berate or abuse you can take a drastic toll on your mental well being," he told Insider. businessinsider.com

$100M in Freight Fraud & Scams
Freight fraud: Burgeoning double-brokering scheme like 'whack-a-mole'

Double-brokering scams, fraudulent fuel advances, cost the industry over $100 million per year

Frustrated with brokers and carriers being looted by a sophisticated network of load-board scammers posing as legitimate companies, Joe Howard created a spreadsheet to track a list of suspect companies, largely based in Southern California, to warn others to do their due diligence or pay the price.

When he started the project two years ago, Howard, who works for a Midwestern logistics company that he asked not be named, said there were only a handful of companies on his list to avoid dealing with. Now it has grown to nearly 500.

These brokerages use an elaborate network of employees and fake carrier MC numbers to "pretend to have a truck so they could re-broker loads," Howard alleges.

Network based largely in Southern California

In Southern California, Howard said the cities of Glendale, Tujunga, North Hollywood and Burbank "could maybe hold between five to 10 legitimate trucking companies," yet he said over 400 MCs are registered there. He claims most of the entities and employees involved in the alleged double-brokering scheme are "affiliated with each other in one way or another" and can be traced back to his original list."

How it works

Howard says this elaborate network has created hundreds of fake MC numbers, pretending to have trucks to get the loads from other brokers. Another entity involved in the alleged scheme re-brokers the freight to legitimate carriers that often have no idea the freight has been illegally double brokered.

Once the legitimate carrier picks up the load, Howard said the alleged scammers often seek payment from the broker they booked the load with for transportation services or request fuel advances from the brokers before their unauthorized re-brokering scheme is discovered.  freightwaves.com

Target is pulling trading cards from stores to avert violence
Target is following Walmart in ending sales of trading cards in its store as of May 14. The retailer is pulling the cards from stores but will continue to sell them online. The decision is tied, in part, to a customer pulling a gun in a Target parking lot after a dispute with the store over purchase limits. The chain said it was taking the step "out of an abundance of caution."

"The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we've decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at Target.com." retailwire.com

U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to Another Pandemic Low

Ollie's opens milestone store; taps Christmas Tree Shops vet as COO

Ralph Lauren Unloads Club Monaco to Private Equity

Quarterly Results

Boot Barn Q4 comp's up 26.9%, e-commerce sales up 19.5%, net sales up 37.2%, FY 2020 comp's up 3.1%, e-commerce sales up 23.6%, net sales up 5.7%

Jack in the Box Q2 system comp's up 20.6%, total revenue up 19%

The Road to Recovery Spring 2021 Symposium

Join global executives, Wednesday, May 26th, and Thursday, May 27th, for The Road to Recovery Spring 2021 Symposium. This 2-day event will focus on the best practices and strategic recommendations to keep people safe, restore operations, and help organizations manage their reputations and communications to foster consumer safety and trust.

President Bill Clinton would be kicking off the symposium followed by executive C-level panels on May 26 and May 27. We'll be hosting roundtables specifically for security and IT professionals to discuss tackling the information security challenges and cyber threats of the pandemic.

Other Speakers Include:

This event is free of charge and one you will not want to miss! Space is limited, so register today to reserve your spot.  Click here to register

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Vector Security® Networks Announces 2021 Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) Scholarship Recipients

More than $305,000 awarded to loss prevention professionals & hopefuls to date.

PITTSBURGH, May 13, 2021 - Vector Security Networks, a division of Vector Security, Inc., and the single-source integrator of physical security solutions and managed services for North American retailers and multi-site businesses, announces the recipients of its 2021 Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) scholarships, which provide financial support to loss prevention professionals and hopefuls seeking to obtain Loss Prevention Qualified (LPQ) and Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) certifications.

The company began awarding the scholarships in 2009 in support of career development and continuing education in this rapidly-growing industry. Each year, loss prevention professionals, or those interested in a career in loss prevention, are invited to apply.

"Congratulations to this year's recipients," said Gary Fraser, Vice President of Sales for Vector Security Networks. "Each year, we receive a large number of applications from deserving individuals, and this year was no exception. While the awardees represent a variety of professional backgrounds, they each express the highest level of desire for the opportunity, and share a positive outlook as to how they will use this program to enhance the value they bring to their respective employers and to the profession. We are pleased to help them advance their career aspirations."

Including the latest recipients, Vector Security has awarded 307 scholarships totaling $305,130 since the program began in 2009.  Read more here






Inside the Ransomware as a Service World - RaaS

Russian Ransomware Gang Promises Moderation
& Audit 3rd Party Users - Who You Gonna Hack?

Colonial Pipeline Paid $5 Million in Cryptocurrency


RaaS Provider DarkSide Distances Itself From It's Users
& We'll Check Out Who They Plan on Hacking

Trying to Stay Out of U.S. Federal Prison? Little late for that.

'Putting the Spotlight on DarkSide'
On May 12, Colonial Pipeline confirmed to The Washington Post it would not be paying the ransom an RaaS provider DarkSide affiliate/user had demanded from them to release the the pipeline. Which provides 45% of the fuel for the East Coast of the U.S. Which temporarily sent gas prices up and caused a little bit of gas shortage panic.

Rather, Colonial Pipeline was working to restore data from backups where possible and rebuild systems for which backups are not available.

Additional updates include an advisory from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which warn of the DarkSide ransomware group, a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) provider, and provide guidance on strengthening security practices.

A ransomware attack on a utility company is not unusual for DarkSide or the industrial sector. But this attack seems to have more reach than the DarkSide operators expected, and shortly after the attack they released a statement to state that "our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society."

The group went further to say they planned to "introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt" to avoid potential social repercussions from future attacks.

"This appears to be a reaction to the spotlight that has now been put on them," says Peter Mackenzie, incident response manager at Sophos, which had been hired to respond to, or intervene in, earlier attacks from the ransomware group. "DarkSide [is] a sophisticated group of attackers responsible for some of the most devastating attacks we see at the moment."

The RaaS group emerged in August 2020. Its operators and partners have targeted organizations across more than 15 countries and several industries, including financial services, legal, manufacturing, professional services, retail, and tech. It doesn't target hospitals, schools, universities, nonprofits, or the public sector, according to a technical writeup from Mandiant, which was reportedly called to help respond to the Colonial Pipeline attack.

DarkSide's owners share profits with affiliates who conduct the attacks, provide access to target organizations, and deploy the ransomware. It's believed the operators are mainly responsible for maintaining the platform their partners use to customize ransomware files, deciding which leaked information goes on their leak site, and handling negotiations, Mackenzie explains. The group's affiliates likely have experience playing the same role for other ransomware syndicates. darkreading.com

Editor's Note: Ransomware Gang With Ethics: Shutting down 45% of the U.S. East Coast fuel supply brings a lot of attention and consequences that most organized gangs try to stay away from. And DarkSide's statements this week are a first of its kind that we've seen. Where a cyber gang almost apologizes and then commits to validating exactly who one of their users/renters is going to hack and install ransomware on their systems. Making sure that their software is not used to "create problems for society."

We'll be watching for DarkSide's DOJ press release over the next year or so. Because the Fed's are coming DarkSide. Just go on vacation somewhere outside Russia.

Colonial Bought Cyber Insurance Through AON - $15M Lloyd's of London Policy
Let's see if there's a loophole for Lloyd's

Colonial Pipeline Paid $5M in Cryptocurrency in Ransomware Attack
The payment was reportedly made soon after the attack began. It wasn't enough to stop the disruption.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that two people close to the matter said a blackmail demand was agreed to within hours of the cyberattack that has impacted the fuel giant's systems for close to a week.

The publication says that the payment was made to DarkSide malware operators in cryptocurrency in order to secure a decryption key and restore systems rendered inoperational by the ransomware.

DarkSide affiliates may also use double-extortion tactics, in which corporate files are also stolen during an attack. If a company refuses to pay up to decrypt their systems, they are then threatened with the public leak of stolen data.

FireEye researchers say that DarkSide's developers take a profit cut of 25% for ransom payments under $500,000, and this reduces to 10% for payments made over $5 million.

According to Reuters, Colonial Pipeline has cyber insurance coverage of at least $15 million. Colonial Pipeline has cyber insurance arranged by broker Aon, with Lloyd's of London insurers AXA XL and Beazley among the underwriters, three sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Cyber insurance typically covers ransom payments and insurers often provide staff to negotiate with the hackers, in addition to IT and public relations services. zdnet.com

You should be clear-eyed about what your data's really worth to you
Why You Should Be Prepared to Pay a Ransom
Companies that claim they'll never pay up in a ransomware attack are more likely to get caught flat-footed.

Mike Tyson used to say, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." It's much the same with ransomware attacks: No matter how much you insist that of course you'd never pay a ransom, your plans go out the window the first time you see all your organization's computers showing that "You've been hacked" screen.

The truth is that organizations are increasingly paying ransoms to recover their data. In fact, 70% of businesses hit by ransomware attacks wind up forking over thousands of dollars to their attackers. Even local governments have paid ransoms to regain access to vital services. No matter how much we tell one another that we'd do things differently, the reality is that when your data disappears and you start losing clients or missing deadlines, you'll pay virtually any price to put things right. darkreading.com

Corrupt Safe Havens Don't Mind a Little Bit of Crime

Cryptocurrency fuels ransomware payment
The rapid ascent of crypto, like other emerging technologies before it, has challenged the federal government's ability to regulate.

AdvertisementThrough monetary losses and stalled operations, members of Congress and their constituents have felt the effects of ransomware - and the anonymity of cryptocurrency is causing the ransomware problem to grow, they said.

"Two more recent factors have thrown fuel on the already smoldering heat [of ransomware]: the spread of cryptocurrencies that enable the transfer of funds largely outside the eyes of financial regulators, and corrupt safe havens that don't mind if a little crime happens on their turf," said Chris Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), during the hearing.

In Q1 2019, 98% of ransomware payments were in bitcoin, according to Emsisoft. "Bitcoin has become an inextricable part of the ransomware model," the firm said. In 2020, ransom payments reached $350 million in cryptocurrency, according to a report prepared by the Institute for Security and Technology (IST) for the Ransomware Task Force, which included representatives from the Global Cyber Alliance and Palo Alto Networks, among others. In Q4 2020, the average ransom was $154,108, the report said.

The cryptocurrency ecosystem may allow cybercriminals to hide in unregulated spaces. Despite gray, unregulated areas, major financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, are refreshing their tolerance of Bitcoin and crypto investments. paymentsdive.com

What the pipeline attack means for critical infrastructures




Racial Equality & Marijuana Policing
Minnesota legal marijuana advocates focus on racial equity

Bill getting a House vote Thursday aims to address the toll marijuana policing has taken on communities of color.

Minnesota legislators are debating legalizing marijuana for adults and creating a marketplace to sell it, framing it as a racial equity issue that will help address the economic disparities and the disproportionate toll drug offenses have taken on communities of color.

The centerpiece of the bill is expungement for many marijuana offenses, as well as grants and aid to help those hit hardest by criminalization enter the legal market as entrepreneurs.

For Shivers, who is Black, it could mean clearing his record and starting a new career. "This could help a person like me get my life back in order," he said. "I want to be able to work in the cannabis industry and not have it be something that hinders me."

The proposal cleared a dozen House committees this session and will get a full vote in the chamber on Thursday, the furthest it's ever gone in the Minnesota Legislature. DFL Gov. Tim Walz supports the bill and it's picked up some GOP support along the way. It still faces long odds in the Senate, where Republicans in control have said it's not a priority during this budget year.

But major disparities in marijuana-related stops, arrests and convictions have reinforced a push to pass the legislation in the DFL-led House, as Minnesota grapples with its own systemic racial disparities in the wake of George Floyd's killing in police custody. Nationwide, lawmakers are pushing to decriminalize marijuana and provide clemency to those who've been incarcerated for certain marijuana offenses.

Despite comparable usage rates, Black people are more than five times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession in Minnesota, according to a 2020 report from the American Civil Liberties Union. It found Minnesota ranked eighth among states for largest racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests. startribune.com

Technology is Helping the Cannabis Industry Boom
Self-service helps fuel cannabis dispensaries' nationwide expansion
Cannabis stores are one of the fastest growing industries, and self-order technology is playing an important role in this emerging sector, currently valued at more than $18 billion, according to Leafly, a cannabis industry information resource, supporting the equivalent of over 300,000 full-time jobs.

A total of 17 states currently have legal adult use, as shown on the accompanying chart. More states are expected to legalize adult use, given the fact that polls show strong public support for it.

The cannabis industry's job growth in 2020 doubled that of the prior year, according to the Leafly Jobs report. One reason was that during COVID-19, governors in most states declared cannabis an essential product.

While the pandemic boosted cannabis sales, the job growth would have been greater were it not for the social distancing, shelter-in-place orders and occupancy restrictions that limited the number of employees.

In this environment, many dispensaries have begun to investigate self-order kiosks, as described in parts one and two of this series, in addition to online ordering, curbside pick-up and delivery. kioskmarketplace.com

Red States Going Green
America's most conservative states are embracing medical pot

Despite struggles in Kentucky and Tennessee, the year looks up for medical marijuana supporters.

Many of the nation's medical marijuana holdouts are giving in as pot activists make inroads this year with conservative strongholds - and are poised to notch more wins in the coming weeks.

Medical marijuana bills are advancing in the Republican-controlled legislatures of North Carolina, Alabama and Kansas for the first time. Efforts to expand limited medical programs in bedrock conservative states like Texas and Louisiana also appear close to passage.

"Medical cannabis is where we see the most common ground between Democrats, Republicans and Independents," said Heather Fazio, a pro-marijuana advocate in Texas, where lawmakers are considering a major expansion of the state's strict medical pot program.

Cannabis is already available to more than 230 million Americans for medical use and, according to an April survey by Pew Research, 91 percent of residents believe marijuana should be legal for that purpose. Even in states without a medical program like North Carolina and South Carolina, recent polls have shown support topping 70 percent. politico.com

Senior Cannabis LP Job
Director of Loss Prevention job posted for Cookies Retail in Newport Beach, CA
The Director of Loss Prevention is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the company's Loss Prevention program across all stores nationwide. This person will work closely with cross functional leadership teams throughout the organization, such as Retail & Store Operations, Finance, Legal, Compliance, Supply Chain, Human Resources, to ensure company assets including people, cash, and inventory, and are safeguarded. indeed.com

As U.S. Cannabis Sales Boom, Curaleaf Sees Its Growth Accelerating




Getting Ready for Prime Day
Amazon Hiring 75,000 Workers, Offering Some $1,000 Signing Bonuses
The retail and tech giant said the new roles-representing nearly 8% of its U.S. workforce-are offering average pay of $17 an hour

The company in April said it was raising wages for more than 500,000 hourly employees by between 50 cents and $3 an hour, an investment of more than $1 billion. Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky has said that competition for employees will rise.

Amazon said Thursday the new jobs are for its warehousing network across the U.S. It said some areas with the most open positions include California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington and Michigan.

The retailer's hiring comes after a year in which it added more than 500,000 workers across the world. The company employs about 950,000 people in the U.S., most at its hundreds of warehouses throughout the country. Its total workforce recently decreased by about 2% after the holiday shopping season, a period in which it adds workers to meet an increase in demand.

The company's increase in staffing also comes as it prepares for its annual Prime Day shopping event, which it moved up from its typical July period to June. The event occurred in October last year after the pandemic caused delays in Amazon's supply chain.

Amazon has said it is focused on improving conditions for its workers after an Alabama unionization vote highlighted what some employees say are difficult conditions in warehouses. wsj.com

EU court overturns ruling ordering Amazon to pay $300 million in back taxes
In the latest setback to European Union efforts to tackle corporate tax avoidance, a court Wednesday annulled a ruling by the European Commission that a tax deal between Amazon and the Luxembourg government amounted to illegal state support.

The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, had ordered the online retail giant in 2017 to pay about $300 million in back taxes to Luxembourg. But judges at the EU's General Court said the commission didn't prove "to the requisite legal standard that there was an undue reduction of the tax burden of a European subsidiary of the Amazon group."

Amazon said it welcomed the court's decision, which is "in line with our long-standing position that we followed all applicable laws and that Amazon received no special treatment," the company said in a statement. "We're pleased that the Court has made this clear, and we can continue to focus on delivering for our customers across Europe." latimes.com

FedEx Ground announces 700 jobs in Nashville to meet e-commerce demand

Snapchat wants a piece of the social marketplace




Atlanta, GA: Four men sentenced to prison for purchasing millions of dollars worth of cigarettes using stolen credit cards
Mamadou Sow, Demarcus Myree, Boubacar Tivalo, and Jacob James, have been sentenced for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft related to purchases of massive quantities of cigarettes from Sam's Club retail locations in metro Atlanta. According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: Mamadou Sow, Demarcus Myree, and Boubacar Tivalo obtained Sam's Club memberships and membership cards in their names and aliases. From September 2018 through November 30, 2018, the defendants used dozens of stolen credit cards, issued by various financial institutions, to make unauthorized purchases of cigarettes at Sam's Club retail locations throughout metro Atlanta. In combination with some cash transactions, these three defendants purchased over $1.7 million worth of cigarettes during the scheme. Myree was also charged with possession of a stolen firearm. From September 2018 to December 2018, Jacob James, who was charged in a separate indictment, purchased over $635,000 worth of cigarettes from Sam's Club stores using stolen credit cards. justice.gov

Bronx, NY, Woman Admits Fraudulently Obtaining $200K+ Worth of iPhones
From December 2017 to January 2020, Blanco and her conspirators devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain replacement cellular phones from an insurance company - Company 1 - by assuming the identities of wireless customers and filing false claims under Company 1's handset insurance program. The handsets were predominantly Apple iPhones with a value of approximately $700 to $1,000 per handset.

Blanco and her conspirators contacted Company 1, posed as legitimate customers, and submitted false claims to Company 1 for damage, theft, or loss on hundreds of handsets owned by the customers. Blanco and her conspirators provided Company 1 with false identification -They also provided Company 1 with new shipping contact names and addresses that were different from the actual customer names and addresses. The new shipping addresses included locations in the Bronx, Yonkers, White Plains, Manhattan, and various locations in New Jersey.

Mail fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 5, 2021. justice.gov

Leominster, MA: John F. Duplease Jr., owner of Adopt A Video, accused of paying people to steal from stores in Organized Retail Crime operation
The owner of a Leominster video store is accused of using his business as a front for a retail organized crime operation where he bought stolen goods from people and resold the items online, For more than a year, investigators conducted surveillance on 66-year-old John F. Duplease Jr. and his video store business Adopt A Video in Leominster after they received a tip he was running an organized retail theft crime ring involving paying people to steal items from stores to resell the goods online, records obtained by MassLive show.

The investigation came to a head on May 8 when Lancaster police arrested Duplease for Leominster police. Beginning in March 2020, Leominster detectives began their investigation. A law enforcement analyst from the Massachusetts State Police told authorities in the northern Worcester County city there may be an organized retail crime ring in their community, records on file in Leominster District Court said. Authorities accuse Duplease of using his home in Lancaster and his video store on Central Street in Leominster to store some of the purloined property.

Detectives from Lancaster and Leominster police said Duplease used "boosters" to steal items from stores. A case file against Duplease lists CVS, Target and Home Depot as targets. All the locations are in Leominster. Those boosters, people who steal and shoplift items with the intent to resell them, supplied Duplease with the goods, authorities claim. masslive.com

Warren, OH: Lowe's investigating string of thefts in Ohio, PA and NY
Police are investigating a theft of merchandise valued at more than $1,400 last weekend from a local home improvement store that may have been part of a string of such incidents from other chain stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Warren police were called Tuesday morning to take a theft report at Lowe's, 940 Niles Cortland Road SE. The store's security manager said someone stole a benchtop planer and a tankless water heater about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The police report states the male suspect was dropped off at the store by a Dodge Grand Caravan with Florida license plates. He loaded the Dewalt-brand planer, valued at $499, onto a skid and went to the exit, to show a receipt to a store employee. The security manager explained the receipt was for a planer, but it was from a different store. The man loaded the planer into the Grand Caravan that was parked in front, the report states, and the vehicle went to the nearby Sam's Club lot. The man then walked back into the Lowe's and loaded a A.O. Smith tankless water heater, valued at $949, onto a skid, and walked out without paying, the security manager told police. The water heater was loaded into the Dodge van that returned to the front, and the suspects drove off.

The security manager told police that the suspect is one of three wanted for other crimes in the Warren store, and that the three are also involved in stealing from other Lowe's stores in three states. tribtoday.com

Essex County Man Defrauds Banks of $250K+ Using Credit Cards
& Blank Stolen Checks
Qshaun Brown-Guinyard, 27, of Newark, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

From August 2018 through January 2020, Brown-Guinyard and his conspirators engaged in a scheme to use stolen credit cards and checks to fraudulently make purchases at various retailers and withdraw money from two banks. The credit cards were stolen from facilities used by the U.S. Postal Service in Pine Brook and Warren, New Jersey. After obtaining the stolen cards, Brown-Guinyard and his conspirators used them to make unauthorized purchases at various retail stores and withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs) in New Jersey and elsewhere.

The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 15, 2021. justice.gov

Sioux Falls, SD: $22,000 worth of alcohol stolen from liquor store
Officer Sam Clemens says around 4:20 a.m. today someone broke the glass doors of WilLiquors and stole $22,000 worth of liquor. In total, seven high-end bottles were stolen from the store. Clemens says police do have surveillance video from the robbery that they're reviewing. keloland.com

Eau Claire, WI: Woman fined for stealing accompanied by girls, Menards theft scheme

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Shootings & Deaths

Chattanooga, TN: Customer shot and killed at the pumps of Circle K
On Monday afternoon, May 10, Ralph Smith headed to a Highway 58 convenience store. It is a place he was a regular. Smith chatted with people, inside the store, as he was known to do. "And, after a time of doing that, spending some time in there," Eames added, "he walked back out to his vehicle where he was met by the suspect." It was a brief encounter at the pump. Investigators say the person shown in the surveillance pictures shot Smith and fled. Ralph Smith died at the hospital. wrcbtv.com

Update: Times Square shooting suspect arrested in Florida outside McDonald's
Police have arrested the man who allegedly opened fire in Times Square over the weekend, wounding two women and a 4-year-old girl. Farrakhan Muhammad was apprehended in Florida by U.S. Marshals and members of the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force while he was eating in a vehicle in a McDonald's parking lot in Starke, Florida, located just outside Jacksonville. He was taken into custody and is currently being held by the Bradford County Sheriff. abc7ny.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Virginia Beach Police looking for men who stole $21K from Walmart registers
Virginia Beach Police are looking for help identifying two men involved in several recent Walmart robberies throughout the area. The men were able to take money directly from the registers using keys that they found. However, authorities have not confirmed where the suspects found the keys. The two men were able to remove over $4,000 from the Towne Center Walmart on Virginia Beach Boulevard but also managed to remove more money from Walmart locations on Battlefield Boulevard, First Colonial Road and Phoenix Drive. Altogether, the men have stolen over $21,000. wavy.com

Louisville, KY: Awash in Guns: 8 more cases where stolen or auctioned guns were tied to new crimes
In its three-part series, "Awash in Guns," The Courier Journal explores how firearms are flooding Louisville and Kentucky, often falling into the wrong hands and fueling violence. The reporting reveals that nearly 10,000 guns were reported stolen in Louisville in six years, and more than 1,000 of those guns ended up being used in crimes. The Courier Journal series also examined how a longstanding Kentucky law forces police to send confiscated guns to an auction, where they are sold to federally licensed gun dealers. More than 25,000 guns have been sold at auction in 5½ years, records show. Two dozen were later tied to criminal cases, mostly in Louisville. courier-journal.com

Oklahoma City, OK: 2 Kansas Men Arrested After String Of Robberies, Thefts From Oklahoma Dispensaries
Sgt. Megan Morgan said the first incident occurred on April 20 on N. Pennsylvania Ave. A probable cause affidavit said Crosby and two others attempted to rob the medical marijuana dispensary. Police said the group disarmed the business' security guard and held him at gunpoint as they entered the store. A staff member fired towards the suspects, who then returned fire and left, police said. Oklahoma City police responded to several other incidents at dispensaries about two weeks later, between May 3 and 6.  newson6.com

Los Angeles, CA: Man Admits To Robbing Agoura Hills Trader Joe's; admitted to robbing more than a dozen Southland Trader Joe's stores
A father and son, who turned their trips to Trader Joe's into a crime spree, could both be sentenced to decades in prison for their role in a series of robberies targeting the store. A Hungtington Park father, who went on a four-month robbery spree targeting Trader Joe's stores, pleaded guilty to more than a dozen robberies Wednesday. His son already pleaded guilty to helping him with some of the robberies. Gregory Johnson, 43, faces seven years to life for holding up Trader Joe's stores across Los Angeles and Orange County at gunpoint last year. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Johnson admitted federal counts of interference of commerce by robbery and using a firearm in a crime of violence. patch.com

Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin Appellate Court rejects most of Shaming Sentence
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Wednesday threw out part of a woman's shoplifting sentence that required she tell the management of any store she entered that she was on supervision for the offense. Markea Brown, 28, of Milwaukee, pleaded guilty in 2018 to felony retail theft for helping steal $2,655 worth of merchandise from Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall. Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, who sentenced Brown to 15 months in prison and two years of extended supervision, said he feels that "embarrassment does have a valuable place in deterring criminality."

The appeals court said it doesn't believe that a broad public notification requirement promotes rehabilitation and it could make it hard or impossible for Brown to buy groceries or other necessities if she is asked to leave those stores. "We do not see where such a requirement would start and stop," the court said. The appellate court did uphold Schroeder's condition that Brown not go to the Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall during her supervision, the Journal Sentinel reported. "The condition is narrowly tailored to the physical location of Brown's crime," the court wrote. "Moreover, it is reasonably related to Brown's rehabilitation, as it will remove her from the temptation of reoffending there, which, in turn, protects the victim from further theft." apnews.com

Mifflinburg, PA: A former Weis Markets employee was charged with a felony of retail theft; $1,800 of merchandise during at least 32 transactions in a 4 month period

Kansas City, MO: Man accused of buying $58K SUV with stolen ID, posing for photo at dealership



Albuquerque, NM: Inside a Multimillion-dollar, counterfeit Native American Art Syndicate
Counterfeiting Native American art is a federal crime. After fake jewelry showed up in Albuquerque's Old Town and Santa Fe's Plaza, federal law enforcement agents launched a major undercover investigation dubbed Operation Al-Zuni. We're talking about Native American art, everything from Navajo turquoise and silver to Zuni inlay. It's a huge tourist draw and one of New Mexico's most important industries. But today, con artists are flooding the Indian jewelry marketplace with cleverly disguised counterfeits, cheating consumers out of millions of dollars. "You're talking about stealing people's livelihoods," says Santa Fe Gallery owner Mark Bahti. "You're talking about stealing their cultural heritage; you're talking about deceiving vast swaths of the American public," Bahti said. krqe.com



Boost - Grand Rapids, MI - Burglary
C-Store - Rural Retreat, VA - Burglary
Guns - Albany, NY - Burglary
Jewelry - Las Vegas, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - Henderson, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - Paramus, NJ - Robbery
Jewelry - Virginia Beach, VA - Robbery
Jewelry - Lady Lake, FL - Robbery
Jewelry - Trumbull, CT - Robbery
Jewelry - Bloomfield, CO - Robbery
Jewelry - Sugar Land, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Watauga, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Dothan, AL - Burglary
Hardware - Lincoln City, OR - Burglary
Liquor - Sioux Falls, SD - Burglary
Liquor - Watsonville, CA - Armed Robbery
Liquor - Galesburg, IL - Burglary
Marijuana - Oklahoma City, OK - Armed Robbery
Sally Beauty - Sylacauga, AL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Beverly Hills, CA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Bayonne, NJ - Burglary


Daily Totals:
• 13 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

Submit Your New Hires/Promotions or New Position








Featured Job Spotlights


Division Asset Protection - Herald Square & NYC
Brooklyn, NY - posted April 14
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Corporate Security Manager
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Owning your mistakes is a critical element of self development. For without ownership how can anyone truly grow and change. Having the courage to face it and admit it and discuss it leads to respect and a sense of trust from those around you. To deny or to ignore merely feeds a lack of confidence not just from the group around you but also in yourself as well. Because at 2 am there is no denial and once revealed it stays with you.

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