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Axis Discusses Ways to Stop Store Violence

How body-worn cameras help deter violence in retail

Surveillance company Axis Communications' Graham Swallow discusses the use of body-worn cameras as part of a holistic approach to deter escalating retail violence

Violence, abuse and anti-social behaviour are still on the increase. Every day over 400 retail staff are attacked, threatened, or abused at work. Over 150,000 instances were reported in 2019 and this number has increased, representing a growing concern.

Surveillance company Axis Communications retail segment Northern Europe lead Graham Swallow discusses the use of body-worn cameras as part of a holistic approach to deter escalating violence and intimidation in retail.

A changed law would not be enough

Retail associations are joining forces to lobby government to change the law and make violence against shopworkers a more serious crime with better police powers to address it, which will make a huge difference.

However, this won't be enough on its own as there will always be situations where evidence is disputed. For this reason, increasing numbers of retailers are looking for a solution that will help them address criminal behaviour at the point at which it occurs, empowering staff and making them feel more secure.

Body-worn cameras are one component in an overarching security solution, providing situational awareness after the fact. This is the type of evidence that can help the police identify the perpetrators of crime more quickly; having rapid access to recorded video is essential while still applying the rigorous requirements of the GDPR and encryption that makes such evidence safe for use in court proceedings.

Deterring 'flashpoints' and improving retail security

Within a retail store environment, security and operations teams regularly deal with any number of security-related issues, ranging from theft to violence and aggression against staff or other customers.

Body-worn cameras can help teams capture vital evidence that can aid in the management of 'flashpoint' situations; those that are more likely to turn volatile, such as managing complaints, prolonged queuing, and customer service areas.

Health and safety benefits - De-escalation techniques and training: retail-insight-network.com

Violence, Crime & Protests

Op-Ed: San Francisco's ORC Hub is Forcing Stores to Flee City
Stores Shut Down Amid Rising Crime & 'Anemic' Law Enforcement

San Francisco is now a haven for shoplifters, thieves and drug addicts
When it comes to defunding the police, you need only look at San Francisco to see how it ends up. Pharmacy chains and other stores are shutting up shop, all because the law enforcement there is so anemic and the criminals so brazen.

San Francisco has become a hub of organized retail crime, costing companies thousands upon thousands of dollars and causing store closures. The California penal code treats the shoplifting of goods worth less than $950 as a misdemeanor. Often people charged with these crimes are simply let go.

The resulting spike in shoplifting has seen the pharmacy chain Walgreens alone forced to shutter 17 of its stores in the city. Theft in their shops in the city is four times the average elsewhere in the country, and the chain spends 35 times more on security guards in the city than elsewhere. At CVS, another pharmacy chain, 42% of losses in the Bay Area came from 12 stores in San Francisco, which make up only 8% of the market share.

So, with little police presence, plus little to no penalty, criminals who don't care about other people or businesses are more than happy to intrude upon them and steal from them. The resulting blight, as shops close and move out of the city and workers end up losing their jobs, is huge. It will affect the job market for the entire region, because no one wants to sell their goods in a place where they're just going to get stolen by somebody looking to resell them somewhere else.

Compare the California penal code to that of another state, Illinois, which actually enforces these laws properly. Shoplifting goods worth under $300 can land you in jail for over a year. Texas isn't as harsh, but its statutes for shoplifting under $1,000 of merchandise are still steep, with fines of around $4,000 and up to a year in jail.

Whether people want to admit it or not, steep penalties and strong law enforcement are deterrents to crime. If you're looking at having to pay four times or more the cost of stealing something, or might spend up to a year of your life in jail, suddenly you're more willing to just get out your debit card and pay for it, because the risk-reward factor is by no means slanted in your favor.

San Francisco has long-enjoyed a reputation as being a laid-back city where anything goes. Now anything does go: its businesses feel under siege, many of its residents feel like prisoners in their own homes, and thieves and drug addicts rule its streets. It all feels more regressive than progressive. rt.com

Larger Police Presence Called into San Fran's Mid-Market
San Francisco's Mid-Market area now has safety plan to address crime, drug use
One of the areas in San Francisco plagued by drugs and crime is getting some much needed help. Mayor London Breed announced that beginning tomorrow the Mid-Market area will have a larger police presence followed by more community ambassadors.

As COVID-19 spread throughout San Francisco, many large businesses and their employees left the Mid-Market area leaving behind those who had no other option but to live and deal on these empty streets.

"Selling drugs and buying products, using drugs publicly in broad daylight as families stroll by and walk by that area," expressed Mayor London Breed.

A number of crimes committed against Asian Americans has given people the perception that the area is not safe. But as businesses start to think about reopening, safety they insist, has to be a priority.

Steven Gibson is with the Mid-Market Business Association. "A lot of businesses are not yet open so they are just beginning to think about opening. The question is will customers come unless they feel safe and comfortable," said Gibson.

The mayor's plan called Mid-Market Vibrancy and Safety Plan starts Wednesday with more police patrolling the area on foot. Smaller businesses that are barely surviving welcomed the plan. abc7news.com

Pittsburgh PD Used Facial Recognition During 2020 Protests
Use of the technology broke policy & city law

Pittsburgh police officers accessed Clearview facial recognition after BLM protests
Pittsburgh police officers accessed the facial recognition technology Clearview AI over the course of a year, including during Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The use of the technology violated police policy and, in some later cases, broke city law.

Email records obtained via a public records request show 10 Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers signed up for Clearview trial accounts between December 2019 and December 2020. Seven officers had trial accounts in June, at the height of local and national Black Lives Matter protests.

Pittsburgh Public Safety spokesperson Cara Cruz said members of the bureau were working with other agencies that were already using Clearview following the Black Lives Matter protests on May 30 and June 1. "As a result, some Pittsburgh Police members did try the technology during that time period," Cruz wrote in an email to PublicSource, adding that it was done without the knowledge or permission of police command staff.

Councilman Corey O'Connor, who sponsored the bill regulating facial recognition, said it was intended to make sure the city and public safety department were transparent when considering such technologies. He said he was concerned that they could be used during protests or demonstrations, heightening the need to have regulations on the books.

"We will continue to monitor this situation to make sure that the City follows the new regulations, but it is important for Council and the public to know exactly how and why officers used facial recognition technologies after the regulations went into effect," he wrote in an email statement to PublicSource.

Clearview is a controversial startup that scrapes photos from the internet and compiles them into a database for law enforcement's use. While some law enforcement officials have praised the app as a useful tool for solving crimes, it has been criticized by lawmakers, privacy advocates and the social media companies it relies on for data. publicsource.org

Facial Recognition & Law Enforcement - Recent Hot Topic on '60 Minutes'
Police departments adopting facial rec tech amid allegations of wrongful arrests
In the past few years, facial recognition technology has become a critical tool for law enforcement: the FBI has used it to help identify suspects who stormed the Capitol on January 6 and state and local police say it's been instrumental in cases of robberies, assaults, and murders.

Facial recognition software uses complex mathematical algorithms or instructions to compare a picture of a suspect's face to potentially millions of others in a database.

But it's not just mugshots the software may be searching through. If you have a driver's license, there's a good chance your picture might have been searched, even if you've never committed a crime in your life.

Watch the full segment here

New Crowd & Riot Control Police Training
Denver police implement new training exercises after criticism over George Floyd protest response
Nearly one year after the George Floyd protests and riots rocked the City of Denver, the Problem Solvers have gained exclusive access inside a police department training exercise aimed at improving crowd control techniques during future protests.

"It is definitely a diminishing skill set, so with the chief's direction, we have developed a system where each officer in the Denver Police Department receives four hours, quarterly, of additional crowd control training."

Our FOX31 Problem Solvers investigation found some officers were not following department policies during the protests, by failing to track the use of and properly deploy less-lethal munitions. In late 2020, an Office of the Independent Monitor report also criticized "extremely troubling" tactics some officers used when deploying weapons and dispersing large groups of people.

The OIM made 16 recommendations for improvement, including "periodic joint trainings" with mutual aid partners, that DPD "ensure that only officers who have been trained and certified on the use of pepper ball and 40mm launchers be permitted to use them," and that DPD supervisors "routinely issue multiple dispersal orders before using force to disperse crowds, when time and circumstances permit."

Officers clad in face-shielded helmets and bulletproof vests chanted "move back," as they marched, in formation, toward an imaginary crowd. The group also rehearsed a crowd separation technique designed to safely disperse two opposing crowds. The officers also practiced putting on and removing their gas masks on command. kdvr.com

19 Arrested as Protesters Clash in NYC
Pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protesters clash in Times Square
Pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters clashed and fireworks sent people running near Times Square Thursday as tensions in the region spilled into the streets of Manhattan, videos showed.

A firework was thrown from a pickup truck in the Diamond District on 47th Street, sending worried bystanders running for safety. The pickup truck was part of a convoy of vehicles waving Palestinian flags, sources said. A 55-year-old woman sustained burn injuries to her lower back.

Footage, posted to Twitter by freelance reporter Oliya Scootercaster, showed a pro-Israel demonstrator getting socked in the stomach after attempting to chase down a man who snatched an Israeli flag from his hands. More punches were thrown in tussles between the two sides as NYPD officers stepped in to separate them, according to the clip.

The video later showed a pro-Palestine protester being put in handcuffs after he tried to run after a man who grabbed his Palestinian flag. Multiple arrests were made. Law enforcement sources said that at least 19 people were taken into custody. nypost.com

New Charge Coming in the George Floyd Case?
George Floyd death: Prosecutors want new charge against 3 ex-officers in case
Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are scheduled to face trial next March on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Prosecutors want to add an additional count of aiding and abetting third-degree murder - a charge that defense attorneys say is legally impossible.

The three-judge panel has 90 days to rule. Based on an appeals court decision in February and a related ruling in the case of former officer Derek Chauvin, which found the February ruling was binding, prosecutors are asking the appellate court to send the case back to the lower court to add the charge. nbcnews.com

Colorado Lawmakers Consider Bill To Convene Study Of Police Protest Response

Sen. Ron Johnson calls Capitol insurrection a 'peaceful protest'

COVID Update

279.3M Vaccinations Given

US: 33.8M Cases - 602.6K Dead - 27.3M Recovered
Worldwide: 165.9M Cases - 3.4M Dead - 146.6M 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: 299
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Checking Vaccination Status at the Door
Oregon tells businesses to check vaccination status of maskless customers

Retail business owners & workers express immediate concern about the danger of enforcing customer vaccination status

Oregon has lifted its mask mandate for people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, but is requiring businesses, workplaces and houses of worship to verify the vaccination status of individuals before they enter buildings without a mask.

This statewide mandate, one of the first of its kind in the country, raised concerns that the procedure of verifying vaccinations could be too cumbersome for workers.

Many states have lifted mask requirements without requiring confirmation that individuals have been vaccinated after new federal guidance last week said vaccinated people could choose to go maskless in most cases. New York adopted that guidance on Wednesday, though businesses will be allowed to enforce stricter rules.

Some Republican governors, like Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, have instead not only lifted mask rules but banned local governments from enforcing their own. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, also a Republican, issued an executive order last month prohibiting businesses from requiring vaccine documentation.

The notion of relying on the honor system, which some states and businesses have adopted, has raised its own questions. And business groups in Oregon expressed concerns that a mandate to check vaccination status could become - like mask enforcement - a difficult and potentially dangerous proposition for workers.

"We have serious concerns about the practicality of requiring business owners and workers to be the enforcer," said Nathaniel Brown, a spokesman for Oregon Business and Industry, which represents companies like Nike, as well as small businesses. "We are hearing from retailers and small businesses who are concerned about putting their frontline workers in a potentially untenable position when dealing with customers." nytimes.com

In Case You Missed It: NRF Calls for Clarity on Mask Guidelines
Retailers to State & Local Leaders: Clarity Needed on Mask Orders

Mask enforcement for unvaccinated individuals should not fall to retail employees

Retailers are asking state governors and mayors to thoughtfully consider the practicality of state and local orders that track The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance announced last Thursday giving fully vaccinated individuals approval to resume indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask.

In a letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Chairman of the National Governors Association and Mayor Greg Fischer, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and the National Retail Federation (NRF) stressed that while the new CDC guidance is encouraging news in the fight against COVID-19, state and local orders are substantially complicating the situation for retailers, their employees, and customers.

The letter reads:

"Retail employees should not be asked to serve as de facto law enforcement related to masks for vaccinated versus non-vaccinated customers. As state and local officials consider the evolving federal guidance on masks, we urge thoughtful consideration related to the practicality of state and local orders. Our recommendation is to permit state and local orders to track CDC guidance closely, allowing retailers to make national policy decisions that reflect the most current scientific advice. If localities choose to keep mask requirements in place for unvaccinated Americans, administration of these requirements must not be placed on retail employees." nrf.com

More Retailers Updating Mask Requirements for Shoppers & Employees
Which stores won't require masks for fully vaccinated customers? See full list
Which stores won't require masks for fully vaccinated customers? Many businesses have updated their policies on face coverings since the CDC and New York state changed their guidance.

Here is a list of major retailers, grocery stores and pharmacies that are no longer requiring masks for fully vaccinated customers:

Workplace Conflicts Over Masks & Vaccines
California's back-to-work COVID-19 rules spark passionate debate, but no consensus
Factions of employers and employees squared off over their vision for California's post-COVID-19 workplace Thursday, leaving state regulators caught in the middle of competing pandemic guidance and an impassioned debate over masks, social distancing and vaccinations.

But the path forward was no clearer by the end of the day, with a state workplace safety board postponing decisions on key questions, including who needs to wear a mask at work and whether employers will be required to treat vaccinated and unvaccinated workers differently. For now, Bay Area businesses are left with a perplexing mix of state, federal and county rules - and little guidance.

Californians were looking to the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, to clarify how employers should handle reopening. The agency had proposed new rules that would let vaccinated workers stop wearing masks and practicing social distancing while requiring unvaccinated workers to maintain those protections. But on Thursday, the agency decided it needed more time to review the latest federal guidelines before issuing its new rules. mercurynews.com

Two States on Opposite Sides of the Mask Spectrum
California will mandate masks for another month. Texas will ban mask mandates in schools. Are both states going too far?
In California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom deliberated over the weekend, then dispatched his health and human services secretary, Mark Ghaly, on Monday to tell the public he would not be lifting the state's existing mask mandate until June 15, the date when California businesses have long been scheduled to fully reopen.

In Texas, meanwhile, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott decided Tuesday to sign an executive order prohibiting public schools and government facilities from requiring masks - even though the vast majority of Texas kids have not yet been vaccinated, and even though the CDC's latest guidance explicitly says that students should continue to cover their faces in class.

Neither California's "caution" nor Texas's "haste" will likely change the current trajectory of the outbreaks in either state. California is currently averaging the fewest daily COVID-19 cases per capita in the country: just three for every 100,000 residents. Texas is logging more than twice as many (seven for 100,000 residents, on average), but daily case counts there have fallen by a third over the last two weeks to the lowest level in nearly a year. yahoo.com

Getting More People Vaccinated Against Covid-19 Means Wasting Doses

Amazon Nooses Prompt Shutdown & Hate Crime Investigation
Amazon shut down construction at a Connecticut facility after several hangman's nooses were discovered

Multiple nooses found at an Amazon construction site has prompted an investigation and $100,000 reward for leads

Amazon halted construction at its facility in Windsor, Connecticut, and offered a $100,000 reward for information after several nooses were found onsite, reports say.

The Windsor Police Department told Insider in a statement that on April 27, a supervisor for the construction company working on the Amazon facility reported that "a hangman's noose was discovered hanging from a steel beam on the second floor of the building."

Two days later, the police found another five ropes "that could be interpreted as nooses" hanging on different floors of the building, the police said.

A seventh rope that could be interpreted as a noose was also found this Wednesday, the police said. The department said it has confiscated one of the ropes for testing and is treating the case as a potential hate crime.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a Thursday statement, according to NBC News: "We continue to be deeply disturbed by the incidents happening at the construction site in Windsor and have ordered its shut down until necessary security measures can be put in place."

There are no surveillance cameras on site, and "hundreds of employees" from multiple companies have access to the site, the police said. businessinsider.com

$10 Billion McD's Discrimination Lawsuit
McDonald's hit with another racial-discrimination lawsuit seeking $10 billion
over ad spending
On Thursday, two divisions of Allen Media Group sued McDonald's on allegations of discrimination. The company, owned by African-American entrepreneur and former stand-up comedian Byron Allen, is seeking $10 billion in damages.

According to the complaint, McDonald's has refused to advertise on Entertainment Studios networks or The Weather Channel due to racial stereotyping.

The lawsuit alleges that McDonald's relegated Entertainment Studios and The Weather Channel to a tier of media companies that target African Americans. According to the complaint, the company uses a different agency for this tier, allotting significantly less money than "the general market (i.e. white-owned media) budget."

On Thursday, the company announced plans to grow its spend with "diverse-owned media" from 4% to 10% over the next four years, with Black-owned media growing from 2% to 5%. A representative for McDonald's said the company "will review the complaint and respond accordingly."

McDonald's has faced a barrage of racial-discrimination lawsuits over the last two years. Lawsuits include:

Two Black executives alleged they faced discrimination on the job in a lawsuit filed in January 2020

Fifty-two former franchisees, seeking more than $1 billion in damages, alleged that they earned less than their white counterparts in late August

Current Black franchisees filed a class action suit against the company in October

Also in October, Black restaurant workers said they were called "ghetto" and unjustly fired businessinsider.com

The Rising Cost of Boarding Up Your Storefront
Boarding up: Plywood can absorb a blow, but don't wait to buy it

From social unrest to strong hurricanes, it costs more to keep your business safe

You just received news that a tropical storm is brewing at sea and could arrive, as a hurricane, in a few days. So you ponder what to use - quickly - to cover your windows.

If you decide on plywood, you might not want to wait, because hardware store managers cite shortages and rising prices. Regardless, make sure to cover those windows with something sturdy.

"Putting a tarp over your windows or putting tape on your windows are not going to protect your windows if they get hit by something," Connor said.

Some retailers suggest polycarbonate hurricane panels, which they market as stronger, less conspicuous and easier to handle and install than plywood. They'll also let in sunlight if you lose power.

Some emergency-management officials, including those in Pinellas County, point to options such as permanent metal mesh screens or flexible woven polypropylene netting. Yet public officials and hardware store managers emphasized plywood if you're in a storm-driven pinch.

Construction and home improvements have led to increased demand and higher prices for certain woods, including plywood, Spectrum News reported in early May. At the same time, worker shortages have caused a drop in production. mynews13.com

Speaking of Boarding Up... Is Your Store Ready?
Scientists Predict an 'Above Normal' Atlantic Hurricane Season
Federal scientists on Thursday forecast that 2021 could see in the range of 13 to 20 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to five major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher in the Atlantic. Ben Friedman, the acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, "an above-normal season is most likely."

This year's announcement comes after a record-shattering 2020 season of 30 named storms - so many that we ran through the alphabet for only the second time and resorted to using Greek letters.

Matthew Rosencrans of NOAA's climate prediction center said "we do not expect the 2021 hurricane season to be as active" as last year's, but added that "it only takes one dangerous storm to devastate communities and lives." The agency will issue another forecast later in the summer, before the height of hurricane season. nytimes.com

Google Goes Brick & Mortar
Google is opening its first permanent retail store in New York City this summer
Google is opening its first-ever retail store in New York City this summer.

Customers will be able to purchase "an extensive variety" of products, from "Pixel phones to Nest products, Fitbit devices, Pixelbooks and more," Google said in a press release. Customers will also have the option to schedule a pickup for online orders.

In addition to buying new products, Google says customers will be able to get broken phone screens fixed and learn about troubleshooting from the customer service team, similar to Apple's Genius Bars. The Chelsea store will also feature how-to workshop demonstrations for customers to participate in.

Google didn't specify an exact opening date. businessinsider.com

The fastest way to fix a labor shortage: Pay more

Pittsburgh ice cream shop flooded with applications after doubling its wage to $15

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Amazon 'Vishing' Attacks
Fraudsters employ Amazon 'vishing' attacks in fake order scams

Case studies highlight how scam artists are using voice messages to dupe their victims into handing over credentials or cash.

Phishing attempts involve fraudulent messages sent over email, social media networks, SMS, and other text-based platforms. They may appear to be from your bank, popular online services -- such as PayPal or Amazon -- or they may attempt to lure in victims with promises of tax rebates and competition prizes.

These messages often contain malicious attachments designed to deploy malware, or they may try to direct victims to fake websites.

So-called "vishing" is a subset of phishing techniques that combines 'voice' and 'phishing'. Victims may be cold-called or emails could contain phone numbers, voice notes, and messages -- but the overall goal is the same: to swipe your personal data.

Scam artists can employ "spray and pray" techniques in campaigns and blast out thousands of emails in one go, and now, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology has allowed fraudsters to do the same, all while spoofing their caller IDs and identities.

In separate case studies published by Armorblox on Thursday, the team highlighted two Amazon vishing attacks intent on stealing customer credit card details -- and how the use of voice messages can bypass existing spam filters.

The first example vishing attempt, tracked to roughly 9,000 email inboxes, was sent from a Gmail account and contained the subject line: "Invoice:ID," followed by an invoice number and content containing color markers used by Amazon.

In the second example, which reached roughly 4,000 inboxes and was also able to circumvent EOP and MSDO, fraudsters impersonated Amazon via a spoofed email address -- "no-reply@amzeinfo[.]com" -- and used the subject line, "A shipment with goods is being delivered." zdnet.com  helpnetsecurity.com

Cyber Threat Hunters
Lack of Skills, Maturity Hamper Threat Hunting at Many Organizations

When implemented correctly, threat hunting can help organizations stay head of threats, researcher says at RSA Conference.

Many organizations that have implemented a capability for cyber-threat hunting aren't deriving the full benefits from it, either because they lack the required skill set or because they have not fully made it a part of their cybersecurity program.

Tim Bandos, CISO and vice president of managed security services at Digital Guardian, says common mistakes that companies make include underestimating the time required for it and failing to get top-down support. Bandos hosted a session on best practices for threat hunting at the RSA Conference this week.

Interest in proactive threat hunting to stay ahead of new and emerging threats has grown in recent years. Security researchers have described it as giving organizations a way to try and uncover threats that may have slipped through or bypassed intrusion detection and prevention controls. The idea with threat hunting is to assume a breach has already happened and then track down all the different ways it could have happened using the same techniques an attacker likely would have used to pull it off. The focus is not so much on chasing down known threats alone but also uncovering new ones.

Gartner has previously described cyber threat hunting as useful, especially for organizations that already have maximized their alert triage, detection, and response processes and are looking for additional improvements in their security posture.

Bandos says threat hunting is something that organizations need to do on an ongoing basis using resources like MITRE's ATT&CK framework as a starting point. The framework offers different techniques and subtechniques that threat actors typically employ as part of the attack chain. Security teams can learn a lot by searching through their environment for signs of any of these techniques being used to enable or obfuscate malicious activity. darkreading.com

Targeting Victims Around the World
This ransomware-spreading malware botnet just won't go away

This longstanding botnet persists - and thrives - and is shifting to target victims across the globe.
The Phorpiex malware botnet has lurked around the internet for years and is used to deliver ransomware, spam email and more, but now Microsoft's security team are taking a closer look at it.

The botnet has been known for using old-fashioned worms that spread via removable USB drives and instant messaging apps, began diversifying its infrastructure in recent years to become more resilient and to deliver more dangerous payloads, Microsoft said. The botnet's geographic targeting for bot distribution and installation expanded, too, it said: more recent activity shows a shift to a more global distribution.

Phorpiex itself came under attack in early 2020 after someone apparently hijacked its backend and started uninstalling the spamming functionality from infected hosts. The hijacker even developed a popup warning users to install antivirus and update their computers.

Security firm Check Point noted in November 2020 that Phorpiex had been distributing the Avaddon ransomware, a then-new ransomware service rented out for other cybercrime groups to infect targets.

One reason Microsoft is taking an interest in it is that the Phorpiex bot disables Microsoft Defender antivirus to maintain persistence on target machines.

Enterprise customers can prevent these attempts by enabling tamper protection in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft's cloud-based advanced security feature, which will automatically revert changes made by the bot.  zdnet.com

Mobile stalkerware is on the rise
Mobile stalkerware, which is software silently installed by stalkers onto victims' mobile devices without their knowledge, is on the rise, an ESET research finds.

In 2019, ESET telemetry recorded almost five times more Android stalkerware detections than in 2018, and in 2020, almost 1.5 times more were recorded than in 2019. In addition, serious vulnerabilities were discovred in Android stalkerware apps and their monitoring servers that could result in serious user impact if exploited.

For stalkerware vendors, to stay under the radar and avoid being flagged as stalkerware, their apps are in many cases promoted as providing protection to children, employees, or women, yet the word "spy" is used many times on their websites. "Searching for these tools online isn't difficult at all; you don't have to browse underground websites," explains Lukáš Štefanko, Malware Analyst at ESET.

Many serious security and privacy issues identified

Researchers manually analyzed 86 stalkerware apps for the Android platform, provided by 86 different vendors. This analysis identified many serious security and privacy issues that could result in a third party - an attacker - taking control of a victim's device, taking over a stalker's account, intercepting a victim's data, framing a victim by uploading fabricated evidence, or achieving remote code execution on a victim's smartphone.

Across 58 of these Android applications, there was a total of 158 security and privacy issues that can have a serious impact on a victim; indeed, even the stalker or the app's vendor may be at some risk. helpnetsecurity.com

C-level cybersecurity attitudes as enterprises embrace the everywhere workplace




Transforming the Online Shopping Experience
Google is using Lens and AI to supercharge online shopping

People are shopping across Google's products a billion times a day, the company says at Google I/O.

The search giant is working to make it happen through Google Lens and AI, Bill Ready, its president of commerce and payments, said during the Google I/O developer conference on Tuesday.

If you take a photo or screenshot of a product, Google Photos will suggest that you search for it using Lens -- essentially letting you identify and shop for it right from the photo app. It's about expanding its service from enabling you to search the world around you to letting you shop in it, wherever you might be.

People are using Google to shop more than a billion times each day, the company says, and Ready also revealed some details on the AI-enhanced Shopping Graph powering that experience. It uses search data to enhance your choice and link you with brands and retailers that reflect your values, in case you want to support Black-owned or small businesses, for instance.

Google is also expanding its partnership with Shopify, making it easier for the e-commerce platform's 1.7 million merchants to get their products into Google searches.

Speaking to CNET a few days before Google IO, Ready said he thinks the pandemic resulted in a fundamental shift in consumer behavior. It's unlikely shoppers are going to go back to their pre-pandemic shopping habits, so Google wants to make finding products online as easy as possible. cnet.com

'Live Shopping Fridays' on Facebook
Facebook Launches Live-Stream Shopping Events, the Next Stage in its Evolving eCommerce Push
Facebook is taking the next step in its evolving eCommerce push with the introduction of a new "Live Shopping Fridays" series, which will see the platform host live-streamed shopping experiences, in conjunction with selected retailers, that will invite viewers to ask questions about products, and make purchases, all in-stream.

As explained by Facebook:

"Starting this week and every Friday through July 16, enjoy shoppable live videos from beauty and fashion brands. For shoppers, this means you can discover the latest products from your favorite brands and ask questions about size, fit and tips in real time. And for brands, Live Shopping offers a chance to build relationships with customers, provide new entertaining content, answer questions and streamline the purchase process through convenient checkout with Shops."

Among the brands taking part will be Abercrombie & Fitch, Clinique and Sephora, each of which will offer up experts to provide real-time answers to viewer questions, as they showcase their latest offerings. socialmediatoday.com

Echoing Amazon: Walmart, Target try local package delivery




Phoenix, AZ: Police make big stolen property trafficking bust; 3 arrested
Officials say on May 19, they arrested three people in connection with the trafficking operation. The arrests took place near 75th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, where police found more than $21,000 in cash, and $15,000 to $20,000 in stolen merchandise. According to investigators, a group of people would steal various items from places like, Lowe's, Target and Home Depot, and then then selling them to the suspects. The suspects were identified as Blanca Herrera, Dagoberto Valenzuela, and Rigoberto Valenzuela. The three suspects will then put the items up for sale online, using OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace.

Since 2019, the group has reportedly listed more than 10,000 items for sale. Detectives uncovered the ring by selling merchandise themselves online, representing it as stolen, and then purchasing discounted stolen items from these three people. "High dollar items including ceiling fans, vacuums like Dyson vacuums, home improvement locks for doors," said Sgt. Ann Justus with the Phoenix Police Department. "The amount of documentation that we got back from some of these search warrants is going to take investigators months to actually determine the impact that this ring had on businesses in the Valley." The three suspects are in the Maricopa County Jail. Phoenix Police officials say this is only the very beginning of the investigation, adding that this will take months to determine how much the ring has impacted retailers all over the Valley. fox10phoenix.com

Odessa, TX: Grocery stores team up with OPD amid ongoing theft investigations
Odessa Police Department is asking the public for help in finding a number of shoplifters. We asked OPD about ongoing theft investigations at two major supermarket chains in Odessa between the months of March and May. The first is United Supermarkets. Thefts have been reported at three of its locations on N. County Rd. West, E. 8th Street, and E. 42nd Street. The second is HEB. Odessa Police has released information on thefts at HEB's West University location. No OPD press releases indicated ongoing theft investigations at HEB's 42nd Street location.

"Once our detectives investigate it, and they exhaust all resources, we reach out to the public to seek help identifying the suspects," said Cpl. Steve LeSueur of Odessa Police. "We work hand in hand with HEB and United Supermarkets, and they do a great job with their loss prevention." Odessa Police say they have had success identifying suspects through social media and with the help of Odessa Crime Stoppers. The department says United Supermarkets and HEB are working closely with officers to make sure their shoppers are safe and their stores stay crime free. United Supermarkets officials say there is increased staffing in its Asset Protections Department. They say it has allowed them to detect shoplifting with greater efficiency. yourbasin.com

Update: Possible 2nd Act: Cabal of Handbag Thieves Maybe Went From Union Square Saks to Palo Alto Neiman Marcus
A heist of high-end handbags estimated to be worth $150,000 at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto may have been a second act for a group of enterprising thieves. The SFPD is now investigating whether a similar operation at Saks Fifth Avenue in Union Square earlier this week was committed by the same crew. The first incident happened just after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, when a Saks security guard told police he saw six individuals, all juveniles, grab dozens of items in the store and run out, escaping into two vehicles parked outside on Powell Street. As KPIX reports, the SFPD burglary detail is investigating the incident, which appears to have been conducted in a strikingly similar manner to one that happened Wednesday afternoon at the Neiman Marcus store in Palo Alto. An Instagram account called SFstreets415 claims, via tipsters,or some unnamed source, that around 40 handbags and other items were taken in the San Francisco heist, with a retail value totaling around $90,000. In the second incident at Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto police say that ten suspects were involved - five male and five female. As the Mercury News reports, this "coordinated group" of thieves stole some 43 handbags worth about $150,000 altogether. sfist.com

Omaha, NE: Nebraska Furniture Mart security camera snags suspected 'professional' shoplifter
A shoplifting suspect described as a seasoned pro allegedly attempted to fool the security system at Nebraska Furniture Mart. But his use of a simple but unique device was caught on camera. Joshua Cirian, 35, of Papillion, was arrested Thursday at the Nebraska Furniture Mart on shoplifting charges. Jason Hansen, loss prevention specialist at the Furniture Mart, might use camera switches and a joystick, but is not playing games. "Reaching in his handbasket ... there's just something not right about this," Hansen said. After picking up a nearly $1.900 Surface Pro, Cirian allegedly pulled something from his pocket and maneuvered it over the computer-tablet box.

6 News reports that seasoned shoplifters go to the Mart with homemade tools, aiming to defeat security devices such as spider wrap. That sets off the exit alarm, so the accused shoplifter used a stack of magnets to disarm the security device and remove the wrap. "A normal shoplifter struggles with that for a little while, but his were within 10 seconds, so he's a professional at it," Hansen said. Cirian couldn't hide from the cameras in the refrigerator section. where he meets a woman. Store security employees moved in, preventing him from leaving with $2,400 worth of merchandise. Jim Cahill, Furniture Mart corporate security manager, said if someone is caught removing a security device using tools such as magnets, scissors or knives, "those are separate charges." wowt.com

LaBelle, FL: Police Officer Impersonator on the run after stealing guns from pawn shop
A suspect accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer at a pawn shop is on the run. Investigators say he tied up employees there and got away with half a dozen guns. Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed someone wearing a law enforcement uniform complete with a badge took six guns from Capital Pawn ono West Hickpochee Avenue in LaBelle. Susan Garcia works right down the street from Capital Pawn. She never dreamed about a fake cop targeting her place of business until now. "Where I work, I have to deal with money-wise and officer comes in we don't know if he's a real officer or not," Garcia said. ATF told WINK News in a statement, it's investigating whether there are similar holdups locally, specifically in Fort Myers and Hendry County. winknews.com

Tucson, AZ: Man Searched Tucson Hardware Stores In Connection With Several Robberies
A man is being wanted in connection with a series of robberies at home improvement stores in the Tucson area, according to a statement from the Tucson Police Department on Thursday. TPD said the suspect has been described as a man with a heavy physique that is between five feet, seven inches and five feet, 10 inches tall. Details on the break-ins are currently limited. arizonadailypress.com

Livingston, NJ: Fragrance Thieves Strike Three Times in Four Days
Multiple suspects in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Livingston businesses are still at large after they struck multiple local beauty departments over a span of four days. Two suspects in a theft from Argyle Marketplace earlier this month have also not been identified, and a California man was recently arrested in town for driving while intoxicated after crashing his rental car. Between May 13 and May 16, five unidentified individuals were involved in three reports of theft of large amounts colognes and perfumes from Victoria's Secret at the Livingston Mall and Ulta Beauty on West Mt. Pleasant Avenue. According to Livingston police, Victoria's Secret was targeted by a man and three women who concealed $2,000 worth of merchandise and fled the store. tapinto.net

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Shootings & Deaths

Update: Wichita, KS: QuikTrip Security Guard murder: Document claims murder suspect also confronted Wichita restaurant owner
A court document made public Thursday claims that the man charged in the shooting death of a QuikTrip security officer earlier this month was wanted for pointing a gun at a Broadway business owner in March. Police say Laroy West, 41, shot 39-year-old Will Robinson on Wednesday, May 5. Robinson, a former Wichita police officer, worked as a security officer at the QuikTrip at Broadway and Murdock. Police say there was a disturbance in the store, and Robinson escorted West off the property. That's when the shooting happened. West is charged with one count of murder in the second-degree in Robinson's death.

The probable cause affidavit made public Thursday claims that West is the same person police were trying to find from an incident on March 28 outside a Broadway restaurant. An owner of the restaurant said he saw a man walking behind the restaurant and through the parking lot. The owner told the man he was trespassing and to leave. He said the man argued with him and pointed a gun at him before finally leaving. Police got surveillance video and tried to identify him by posting it to the Wichita Crime Stoppers Facebook page. They were unsuccessful. ksn.com

Suffolk County, NY: Smoke shop owner found murdered inside store
Police on Long Island are investigating a murder mystery after smoke shop owner Kinshuk was found dead inside his store. - Police in Suffolk County are searching for the person who killed a vape shop owner. A relative found Kinshuk Patel inside his Dapper Smoke Shop in the 400 block of 40th Street in Lindenhurst. He was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip where he was pronounced dead. news.yahoo.com

Update: Arcadia, FL: Arrest made in homicide of beloved C-store clerk
Arcadia police have arrested a man in the death of a beloved store clerk killed last week. Saleh Ahmed was killed inside his convenience store, Fiesta Food Mart, on Magnolia Street on May 14. Reginald Roberts, 21, faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the death of Ahmed. winknews.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Man wanted for strong-arm robbery at Walmart
in South Carolina
Deputies say they need the public's help in identifying a man wanted in a strong-arm robbery after a shoplifting turned physical at a South Carolina Walmart. The Richland County Sheriff's Department said it happened about 11 a.m. Thursday at the Walmart on Killian Road. They said a man and woman walked out the store with items they failed to scan at the self-checkout. Walmart employees approached them and discussed the situation.

Deputies said when an employee reached for the unpaid items in the cart, video shows the man getting into a physical altercation with her and forcefully taking her Apple Watch off her wrist. When another employee tried to break up the altercation, the man can be seen assaulting him as well, deputies said. Deputies said the man and woman left with the stolen grocery items and Apple Watch. wyff4.com

Collier County, FL: 3 arrested after skimmer, fraudulent credit cards,
drugs found in car
Collier County Sheriff's Office says Florida Highway Patrol found a skimming device and dozens of fraudulent cards during a traffic stop on Alligator Alley in Collier County. A traffic stop was initially made due to the suspect car having dark window tint. Troopers also found 64 pre-packaged marijuana bags. According to the report, state troopers could smell the bags as soon as they pulled the car over. Of the 30 credit cards found, some were re-encoded or with somebody else's name on it. winknews.com

Hillsboro, OR: Possibly armed suspect demanded prescription drugs at pharmacy inside Tanasbourne Target
Hillsboro police are searching for a man who they say robbed a pharmacy in the Tanasbourne neighborhood Thursday morning. The robbery occurred at about 10:50 a.m. at the CVS Pharmacy inside the Target, located at 11095 Northeast Evergreen Parkway. Police told FOX 12 the suspect implied he had a gun, but no gun was ever seen. The suspect then demanded prescription drugs. According to police, it's not known at this time if the suspect was given any drugs. After the robbery, police told FOX 12 there was some confusion whether the suspect left the store or remained inside. When officers arrived to the scene, they evacuated the store as a precaution while they searched for the suspect kptv.com

Indianapolis, IN: IMPD and FBI arrest serial robber suspect for Family Dollar and Dollar General holdups
Kristopher Ogden, 25, is facing five charges of robbery and a charge of corrupt business influence. Back in January, IMPD and the FBI began investigating a series of robberies at Family Dollar and Dollar General stores on the east and southeast sides of Indianapolis. wthr.com

Milwaukee, WI: Suspects sought in eight armed robberies at various Walgreens in Milwaukee

Chicago, IL: Identity Theft: Stolen USPS Master Key poses a continuing threat to owners of Chicago apartments and condos

Plano, TX: 40 Years In Prison For Repeat Offender Who Held Screwdriver To Neck Of Pharmacist

Caddo County, Local Home Improvement store cashier arrested for Pass throughs and cash theft over $5,000



AT&T - Clearlake, CA - Burglary
C-Store - Mount Airy, NC - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Angleton, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Hidalgo County, TX - Armed Robbery
CVS - Irondale, AL - Armed Robbery
CVS - Hillsboro, OR - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Naugatuck, CT - Burglary
Grocery - Davis, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Bloomfield, CO - Robbery
Jewelry - Citrus Heights, CA - Robbery
Marijuana - Newcastle, OK - Burglary
Marijuana - Spokane, WA - Armed Robbery
Pawn - LaBelle, FL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Prince William County, VA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Davenport, IA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Denver, CO - Robbery (Taco Bell)
Restaurant - Savannah, GA - Robbery
Rite Aid - Auburn, WA - Robbery
Rite Aid - Bayonne, NJ - Robbery
Vape - Suffolk County, NY - Armed Robbery / Owner killed
Walmart - Richland County, SC - Robbery
7-Eleven - Charlotte, NC - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 19 robberies
• 3 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 1 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 89 robberies
• 38 burglaries
• 3 shootings
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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