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How Does Risk Influence Buying Decisions For Security?

Risk is a core concept in the practice of physical security. However, the risk is not always assessed effectively. Ideally, an organization's appetite for risk guides its security strategy and action planning to the minutest detail, including buying decisions for security equipment and systems. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How does the concept of risk influence buying decisions in the security market?

Sean Foley - SVP, Customer Success, Interface Systems LLC

In the QSR (Quick Serve Restaurant) space we have seen an uptick in physical safety risks to employees and customers from harassment and violence. In certain urban environments, the risk becomes a wholesale inability to run the business. Major QSR brands can be located just steps away from mini-tent cities where drug use, violence, and general desperation bring panhandling, outbursts in dining rooms, and provocation in the drive-thru. Instead of focusing solely on the business, employees must police the premises. It's not uncommon to see high turnover and employees refusing to show up to work. Some businesses have resorted to security guards, but costs can be prohibitive, and the service is not always reliable. Many QSRs are turning to virtual guard interactive remote video monitoring solutions. This can include tours to clear areas of vagrants, escorting employees to and from vehicles, and responding instantly to issues without waiting on police at a fraction of the cost.

Larry Newman - Senior Director of Sales - Americas, Axis Communications

In considering the risks of a big purchasing decision, it is important to determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the investment. Strategic buyers who adopt a TCO mindset understand the importance of looking closely at the long-term commitment and costs associated with procuring, deploying, and operating a system throughout its lifetime versus only focusing on the upfront investment price. In taking the time to evaluate TCO, buyers are better positioned to make informed decisions when comparing and ultimately purchasing systems. TCO takes into account many factors, including risk management considerations, the probability of various scenarios, and potential negative impacts. It also allows buyers the opportunity to understand a manufacturer's level of expertise and how they will operate as a strategic partner to aid in overall success. This upfront due diligence uncovers and mitigates the cost of unforeseen risks so strategic buyers can feel confident in their purchasing decisions.

Summer 2023 Weekend Shooting Analysis
America's Crime & Violence Surge Continues

502 Shootings - 130 Killed - 525 Injured in 15 Big Cities Over Last 4 Weekends
That's a 15% increase in shootings compared to last year, though deaths have fallen by 16%

The D&D Daily's Big City Weekend Violence Study - Memorial Day to Labor Day

The Daily's annual study analyzes weekend shooting data in 15 major U.S. cities from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend 2023

Starting Memorial Day Weekend, the D&D Daily compiled and analyzed data from 15 major U.S. cities to get a snapshot of summer gun violence.

Over this past weekend, from June 16th through June 18th, there were 113 shootings recorded in these 15 big cities, resulting in 28 deaths and 130 injuries.

In total, over the past four weekends, these cities have recorded 502 shootings, resulting in 130 deaths and 525 injuries.

Compared to last summer at this time in the study, total shootings in these cities are up 15%, deaths are down 16%, and injuries are up 14%.

The D&D Daily will continue to track this data throughout the summer to capture the weekend violence trend in our nation's big cities as warm weather typically brings about more crime and violence.

Click here to see the list of incidents per city and follow along each week as this spreadsheet will be updated every Monday. docs.google.com

Read more coverage about America's crime and violence surge in the section directly below

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Another Violent Weekend in America
There have been 307 mass shootings so far in 2023

Mass shootings and violence leave dead and injured across the US this weekend

Fatal shootings broke out in Illinois, Missouri and Washington in a night of gun violence that injured more than 30 people.

Mass shootings and violence killed and wounded people across the United States this weekend, including at least 60 shot in the Chicago area alone. Four people were found shot to death in a small Idaho town, a Pennsylvania state trooper was killed in an ambush, and bullets struck 11 teenagers, killing one, at a party in Missouri.

The shootings happened in cities and rural areas alike, following a surge in homicides and other violence over the past several years that accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic. Officers responded to mass shootings in Washington state, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Southern California, Milwaukee and Baltimore.

"There's no question there's been a spike in violence," said Daniel Nagin, a professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. "Some of these cases seem to be just disputes, often among adolescents, and those disputes are played out with firearms, not with fists."

Researchers disagree over the cause. Theories include the possibility that violence is driven by the prevalence of guns in America, or by less aggressive police tactics or a decline in prosecutions for misdemeanor weapon offenses, Nagin said.

There have been 307 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit project that tracks incidents. It defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which at least four people - other than the shooter - are shot. washingtonpost.com nbcnews.com

   More Coverage of America's Bloody Weekend

   Shootings on Juneteenth weekend leave at least 12 dead, more than 100 injured
   At least 11 killed, 63 others wounded over long weekend in Chicago
   3 mass shootings reported in Chicago area over a single weekend

NYC Retailers Say Facial Recognition is Helping Combat Shoplifting Epidemic
But the City Council is now proposing a ban on the software

Grocers cry foul as NYC weighs ban on face-ID tech that stops shoplifters

One store owner says facial recognition technology saves him at least $150 per week per store

Big Apple grocers who have been using facial-recognition technology to battle a citywide shoplifting epidemic
are fuming over a City Council proposal that would ban the software - just as shopkeepers say it is beginning to prove effective.

The proposed bill - which follows the city's feud with Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan, who has used the tech to bar his legal enemies from events at his sports and entertainment venues - would require private businesses and residential buildings to obtain customers' written consent before their biometric information is captured.

Such a rule would make it practically impossible for supermarkets to use the technology to combat theft - even as Dolan has grabbed headlines for using it at Radio City Music Hall, where he barred one lawyer from attending the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular with her daughter's Girl Scout Troop.

"I hope this doesn't advance because I think it penalizes small businesses," said Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens), who attended the hearing as a member of the technology committee.

The security industry maintains that facial recognition technology has improved so much that concerns about racial profiling are outdated. Jake Parker, director of government relations for the Security Industry Association said, "... Today's software is very accurate, high-performing and uses artificial intelligence."

Earlier this year, a group of independent grocers formed a political coalition to demand that legislators and law enforcement clamp down on shoplifters, whose heists have multiplied since the pandemic.

Scores of businesses, including Fairway and Westside Market, have invested in facial-recognition technology. Between 30% and 40% of all independent groceries are using some version of the software, according to Jay Peltz, senior vice president of government relations for the Food Industry Alliance of New York.

The stores are building databases of thieves who have stolen from them at least once, identifying them initially on surveillance cameras. Images are then plugged into the facial-recognition software, which becomes more effective over time.

"We are losing a lot of staff because they are literally afraid to work in the store," Garcia said. "It's insane that [the city] want to take this [technology] out of my stores when it's cutting down on such confrontations."

Success stories like Garcia's convinced Morton Williams' owner to shop for facial recognition software to install in his 16 stores in the city. nypost.com

   RELATED: Stores Protest NYC's Proposed Restrictions on Facial-Recognition Software

Rampant Theft is Turning San Francisco Into 'Ghost Town'
Abandoned stores, streets overtaken by the homeless and drug-addled, theft so rampant that candy is locked away

San Francisco tourism is down by 16% from pre-pandemic levels, workers have abandoned their offices to work from home and stores are empty

Today, San Francisco's once bustling Union Square and downtown area is a shadow of its former self: rows of empty stores, sparse crowds even on peak weekend shopping days and nearby hotels - including a huge Hilton - unable to cover their mortgage payments.

The historic Flood Building stands largely empty: Gap has gone along with nearly every other business in the property with the exception of a tired branch of Dr. Martens and an Urban Outfitters store offering 70 per cent discounts.

On the other side of Market Street is the soon-to-be sold Westfield San Francisco Center - its doorways reeking of urine and every store staffed by hulking security guards. Westfield announced its planned departure on Monday and several occupants of the mall have already said they'll follow.

Days later AT&T announced its iconic flagship store around the corner at 1 Powell Street, one of the largest in the country, was to permanently close. The local branch of Walgreens is boarded up, although still open, and was recently the scene of a fatal confrontation between a homeless trans woman and a security guard.

Ross Dress For Less and Saks Off 5th are operating a one-in, one-out system to deter thieves while Nordstrom Rack is closing down altogether in September - along with its sister Nordstrom and scores of other stores such as T-Mobile and Payless Shoes.

An analysis of official figures and other research reveals San Francisco may lose hundreds of millions of dollars through an exodus of businesses and its failure to recover from Covid. dailymail.co.uk

   RELATED: Crime so out of control in San Francisco, stores are locking up candy

Former Williams Sonoma VP Real Estate - $20M in Kickbacks & Rebates to His Shell Company

New Jersey man admits to role in $12M scheme defrauding Williams-Sonoma

Defendant Admits to Paying Over $12 Million in Kickbacks to Obtain Warehouse Logistics Business

SAN FRANCISCO - Michael Podhurst, 62, of Monroe Township, pleaded guilty June 13 in San Francisco federal court to charges related to his involvement in a multimillion-dollar fraudulent kickback scheme that defrauded Williams-Sonoma Inc. (WSI), the parent company of brands such as Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm.

In the plea agreement, he admitted paying kickbacks in exchange for his co-defendant, Eric Marsiglia, a former executive at WSI, directing that company's business to three warehouse logistics companies where Podhurst held executive positions and ownership interest.

Marsiglia was WSI's Vice President of Engineering, Projects, Planning, Facilities, and Real Estate, and, as such, was responsible for identifying commercial real estate opportunities for the company. In his position, Marsiglia allegedly orchestrated the negotiation of real estate contracts on behalf of WSI that required third parties to pay millions of dollars in brokerage fee rebates to WSI. According to the indictment, rather than ensure that WSI received the brokerage fee rebates, Marsiglia instead created a shell company and then conspired with others to have the rebates paid to his company. In addition, as part of this scheme, Marsiglia allegedly paid a portion of the proceeds of this illegal scheme to his co-conspirators. Separately, Marsiglia also allegedly received kickback payments from another co-conspirator in exchange for directing contracts for business to companies controlled by the co-conspirator.

In total, WSI awarded companies connected to Podhurst more than $48 million in contracts for work done at warehouses around the country, and Marsiglia and Podhurst arranged for more than $12 million in kickbacks to be paid to Marsiglia's company, REM Group.

The indictment alleges that from approximately 2018-2022, Marsiglia received nearly $20 million through his shell company, REM Group, all of which was in the form of stolen broker rebate payments or kickbacks received for awarding business to entities related to Podhurst.

"As alleged in the indictment and admitted to in the plea agreement, between approximately October 2018 and July 2022, Podhurst worked for three companies that provided WSI warehouses with forklifts, warehouse racking systems, and machinery. WSI used these warehouses to store and distribute WSI goods around the United States," according to prosecutors. "Using his position and interest within the companies where he worked, Podhurst caused his companies to pay his co-defendants kickbacks in exchange for his co-defendant causing WSI to award and sign contracts with and make payments to the companies affiliated with Podhurst.

"During a four-year period, Podhurst directed the three companies where he worked to pay more than $12 million in kickbacks to a shell company owned and controlled by his co-defendant," prosecutors said.

Podhurst faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy counts, as well as a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud conspiracy count and a $500,000 fine for the money laundering conspiracy count.

Last month, another co-defendant in the scheme, Kourosh Mirmehdi, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges. Charges against two of Podhurst's co-defendants, Marsiglia - the alleged ringleader - and Augusto Alizo, remain pending. irs.gov

Another Big City Retail Store Crime Closure
Wawa in Philly's Headhouse Square to close

Neighborhood groups had complained to Wawa about aggressive panhandling, crime, and drug use at the store.

The Headhouse Square Wawa will close July 16, a company official told the Inquirer. The move comes after neighborhood associations had complained to Wawa about aggressive panhandling, crime, and drug use at the store and outside on the sidewalk.

The site will become the sixth Center City Wawa to shutter since 2020.

Joe Dain, co-founder of the Delancey Square Town Watch, which was formed earlier this year, said his group and other neighborhood organizations had met with Wawa officials in April to discuss ongoing concerns at the Headhouse Square Wawa. By that time, the company, he said, had already taken measures to curb panhandlers and other public nuisance issues, including curtailing its hours, hiring private security and working with city police to provide patrols.

Wawa notified the group that it would be instead closing the location, he said. The closure will be only the latest vacancy to hit the historic cobblestone district. A CVS across the street from the Wawa also closed its doors in recent years. The drug store had been battling many of the same concerns.

In October, when Wawa announced it was closing stores at 12th and Market Streets and 19th and Market Street, the company cited "continued safety and security closures. At that time, the total number of reported thefts doubled in the previous two years. Wawas at 13th and Chestnut, Ninth and South, and Broad and Walnut have also closed in recent years. And more Center City branches have been scuttling 24-hour service.

"We would have groups of kids coming in and ransacking the place at night," he said. Some of the panhandlers that often congregated outside the store had become aggressive, he said. The store had also become a gathering spot for people in addiction, he said, who would then camp in the historic Shambles structure or by the Headhouse Square Fountain. inquirer.com

Downtown Chicago Mag Mile Losing Retailers
AT&T closing store on Michigan Avenue, latest in retail exodus
AT&T is the latest in a line of stores to pull out of Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

Other stores like Gap, Banana Republic and Verizon Wireless have already left the stretch.

The Mag Mile Association said about 25% of its store lots are vacant right now, similar to the 28% of vacant storefronts in the Loop. abc7chicago.com

Memphis Smash-and Grabs Doubled in 2022
DA explains new approach to handling smash-and-grab thefts
Smash-and-grabs have become a real concern in Memphis. Business owners have continued to plead for an end as the crime continues to make headlines.

"What we've been doing for the past 10 years, hasn't been working," Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said. "We noticed a pattern. It's happening a lot and a lot of businesses are reaching out to us and explaining that you know the dollar amounts involved are really high."

He said they are now trying something new. All smash-and-grab cases will be funneled through the same prosecutor.

"That prosecutor will be looking for patterns for repeat offenders," Mulroy said. They'll also be working with MPD's task force and other agencies.

Shelby County Sheriff's Officer says they've responded to twice as many smash-and-grabs last year compared to 2021. msn.com

Another Retailer Facing Bomb Threats
Kroger Releases Statement After 7th Cincinnati-Area Bomb Threat in One Week
Another Kroger location, this one near University of Cincinnati's campus, received a bomb threat around 4 p.m. on June 14.
The mega-grocer, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, received bomb threats at six stores around Cincinnati and northern Kentucky on June 10 and 11, prompting evacuations of customers and employees:

Cold Spring
North College Hill

The threats were all determined to be false alarms. Kroger said it's working with the FBI to investigate similar threats at Kroger stores in other parts of the country, including an April threat at a Kroger in West Virginia. citybeat.com

The Flip Side of Not-Stopping - 'Target is teaching Youths it's OK to Steal'
Long Beach neighborhood wants Target to stop daily student shoplifting
When the bell to go home rings at Long Beach Unified's Stanford Middle School in East Long Beach's Los Altos Village neighborhood, dozens of students from the 1200 strong diverse student body make a bee line to the nearby North Los Altos Center that is home to the popular East Long Beach Target .

There they congregate in the snack aisles: candy, chips, cookies, and the cold drink section. The students often fill the area to hide the thefts.

Neighborhood leaders have witnessed students riding their own scooters or the store handicap electric carts, throwing store items at each other, running around, yelling and screaming, and of course stealing. According to the Target staff it has been going on ever since the store started to ignore the petty thefts. Students have figured out that the store staff does nothing to stop them.

When any of the Target staff, including the lower managers and loss prevention staff, are asked about why they are just watching the thefts they respond that it is a corporate policy that they ignore the thefts.

Neighborhood leaders witnessed the student thefts being allowed and learned from the store staff the store is allowing it to continue. Neighborhood leaders are frustrated that by allowing the ongoing thefts, Target is teaching the neighborhood youth that stealing is OK. newsbreak.com

D.C. Violent Crime Spikes 21% in 2023 YTD
Fatal shootings of young people in D.C. are exceeding last year's pace
Police say 11 people younger than 18 have been fatally shot in D.C. this year, exceeding the pace of 2022. Gunfire in the first half of 2023 has killed children ages 10, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Homicides overall in the District are up 16 percent over this time last year, according to the most recent statistics posted by police on Friday.

Friday, police said 58 people younger than 18 had been hit by gunfire this year, double from the same period in 2022. Meanwhile, D.C. police staffing is at its lowest in a half-century.

Violent crime in the District has spiked 21 percent this year over last, driven in part by robberies, homicides and sexual abuse cases, police statistics show. The city's homicide count is on a pace to exceed 200 for the third consecutive year; before 2021, D.C. hadn't recorded 200 killings since 2003. washingtonpost.com

Video: Lawmaker Demands Harsher Punishments & Enforcement To Halt Retail Theft

Video: Rep. Andy Biggs Decries Rise In Organized Retail Crime

Theft decreases in San Antonio, but nationally it's on the rise



NYC's Retail Crisis: Empty Storefronts Create 'Fractured Cityscape'
Empty storefronts in NYC are becoming part of the landscape, with Harlem's iconic 125th Street among the hardest hit

Empty windows and "for rent" signs line 125th St. in Harlem, one of the most iconic business corridors in New York City.

The city's commercial areas are struggling with vacant businesses and shuttered storefronts - and it's apparent across the city. Vacant storefronts dot the five boroughs from Midtown and the Upper West Side to Flushing, Brighton Beach and Staten Island, creating a fractured cityscape.

This is strongly felt in Harlem along 125th St., where, according to the latest city data, there are more than 70 vacant storefronts on the east and west ends on the street combined. It's a gut punch to the area, which was seeing an economic upswing as an emerging retail center in the years before the pandemic.

But amid a post-pandemic shift in retail, stores in the area are left scrambling to stay afloat, with little answer as to why - or what the answer is.

Experts point to different reasons for it: High rent prices, the continuing growth of online shopping and the lingering effects of a pandemic that has upended New York's retail landscape.

Shopping and safety

On top of a rocky post-pandemic economy, public safety has deteriorated across the city and shoppers are more selective about when they will go out. Mavruk pointed to public safety: "I used to open up 10 o'clock on Tuesday," he said. "Now I open 11 to five, six hours a day. So that alone tells you how we feel. It's not safe. It's not safe at all."

COVID and online shopping

COVID gave the retail sector in New York an extra push, but storefront retail shops actually started to gradually decline around 2014, he said. Then, lockdown happened. People got used to ordering online, and it hasn't slowed down much since. "The pandemic just really accelerated some trends that were already causing New York's retail sector to shrink, particularly e-commerce," Bowles said.  nydailynews.com

Retail Brick & Mortar is Making a Big Comeback
Brands Wanted to Cut Out Stores. Not Anymore.

Nike and others are selling through traditional retailers they once shunned

These companies-and other, more-established brands that followed them-found that cutting out the middleman was harder than they anticipated.

"Wholesale is profitable from day one," Checketts said, referring to the practice of selling goods through a third party such as a department store or mall chain. "E-commerce takes longer. Some digital brands never reach profitability because they spend so much money on marketing to acquire customers."

The miscalculation was the rising expense of acquiring customers online, they said. A flood of startups all buying Facebook ads and other digital marketing initially pushed up costs. Advertising online got more expensive after privacy changes by tech companies restricted how people are tracked as they move around the web.

"Beating customers over the head with marketing is far less efficient than shipping a crate of shoes to Nordstrom," said Tom Nikic, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. "The cost of acquiring customers has been the big whoops," Nikic added. "All these brands kept selling more stuff and losing more money."

One solution was to open physical stores. Everlane, Allbirds and other online startups raced to build bricks-and-mortar footprints. But that is expensive too.

Those brands and others have since turned to an even more old-school way of selling-displaying their wares in department stores and other traditional retailers-which executives say carries fewer costs and instantly exposes the brands to thousands of new potential customers. wsj.com

160 Bills in 34 States Coming
'Tsunami' of state AI regulations coming

There are more than 160 bills and regulations on AI being considered across the country, a management-side lawyer said.

On the other side of AI adoption are potential lawsuits and compliance hurdles.

All of the new AI tools coming into play are both "kind of cool and kind of horrifying," Dobbs Bunting told attendees Tuesday at the Society for Human Resources Management annual conference in Las Vegas. While there's a lot of opportunity, there's also a lot of risk.

The federal government has been steadily releasing guidance on AI on potential discrimination, including Americans with Disabilities Act violations, among other things. And states and municipalities are passing laws on how the technology is used. In legislation that went into effect this year, New York City now regulates how companies can use automated employment decision tools, namely by requiring a bias audit and that candidates and employees are notified beforehand.

"Everybody's getting in on this," Dobbs Bunting said. "There are currently more than 160 bills or regulations related to AI that are pending right now in 34 different state legislatures. There is a huge tsunami coming of state regulation. If you are a multi-state employer, go to God." hrdive.com

NYC Retail Sector Still Struggling down 45,000 since 2015 (13.2%), & 37.800 (11.1%) Since 2020

Payment Fraud losses to surpass $40B by 2027: report

Walmart, Sam’s Club Aim to Eliminate Threats to Tuna Supply Chain

Quarterly Results

H&M Q2 net sales up 6%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director, AP & Safety job posted for Guitar Center in Westlake Village, CA
The Director of Asset Protection oversees and directs all related functions for a Corporate Office, multi-state distribution centers and large retail store network. Incumbent will be responsible for enterprise direction and strategy as it pertains to Asset Protection with a goal of minimizing shrink, reducing loss and maximizing security and associate safety as well as overall performance of the Asset Protection function. careers.guitarcenter.com

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Why Walmart, Costco, and Sam's Club workers check your receipts

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Massive BEC Scam Targeting Dozens of Companies
Researchers unpack massive email scam targeting dozens of companies

The campaign is the latest case of business email compromise, which costs victims billions of dollars annually.

When researchers at the cybersecurity firm Sygnia responded earlier this year to a compromised email account at an unnamed company, they stumbled upon a sprawling campaign of business email compromise involving dozens of organizations whose infrastructure the attackers utilized in going after additional victims.

The hackers would compromise an email account of an employee for a given company, bypass Microsoft Office 365 authentication, and gain persistent access to the account. Then, they would use that account to to go after other targets.
"The phishing mails spread in a worm-like fashion from one targeted company to others and within each targeted company's employees," researchers with the Israeli cybersecurity firm said in a report published Tuesday. "All analyzed emails contain the same structure, only differing in their title, senders' account and company, and attached link."

Sygnia's investigation revealed that the attack was part of a broad campaign that potentially impacted dozens of organizations - the company would not say exactly how many - around the world in a sprawling campaign of business email compromise, or BEC.

The report comes on the heels of a recent FBI public service announcement estimating that BEC compromises were linked to more than $50 billion in actual and attempted losses across more than 275,000 attacks between 2013 and 2022. The FBI reported that between December 2021 and December 2022 there was a 17% increase in identified actual and attempted losses worldwide, with a particular focus on the real estate sector.

In all, the investigation revealed more than 170 domains and subdomains connected to the attacker's infrastructure, with further analysis revealing nearly 100 malicious files communicating back to the infrastructure, some of which were related to the FormBook infostealer malware family, the researchers said. cyberscoop.com

Companies Push Back on Cyber Incident Disclosure Rule
SEC delays final rule on cyber incident disclosure as industry pushes back
The Securities and Exchange Commission has postponed until October a final rule that would require publicly traded companies to report material cyber breaches and attacks in regulatory filings.

The rule, initially proposed in March 2022, would require public companies to submit a filing within four days of determining whether a cyber breach is material.

As part of that proposal, the SEC also sought additional disclosures from companies regarding their cyber governance, including board expertise and upper management involvement in cyber risk.

The SEC also proposed investment companies and advisors adopt written cybersecurity policies in February 2022.

The proposal stemmed from years of companies delaying or failing to disclose significant cyber breaches or ransomware attacks.

IT security experts say the delay will increase the level of risk, because many investors, consumers and companies will rely on voluntary disclosure of major cyberattacks.

"Without the hammer the SEC regulations can bring, reporting breaches will continue to be voluntary and historically that doesn't work," Gary Barlet, field CTO, federal at Illumio, said via email. cybersecuritydive.com

Microsoft 365 DDoS Attacks
Microsoft confirms DDoS attacks against M365, Azure Portal
The Microsoft 365 and Azure Portal outages users experienced this month were caused by Layer 7 DDoS attacks, Microsoft has confirmed on Friday.

Throughout the first half June 2023 Microsoft confirmed, at various times, ongoing issues with its cloud-based services - Microsoft 365 (including Outlook on the web and OneDrive) and Azure Portal - but did not say at the time that they were caused by an increase in traffic.

But on Friday, Microsoft said that the attacks were caused by DDoS activity. A group dubbed Storm-1359 by Microsoft was behind the attacks.

"These attacks likely rely on access to multiple virtual private servers (VPS) in conjunction with rented cloud infrastructure, open proxies, and DDoS tools," Microsoft informed.

Fortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that customer data was accessed or compromised during these incidents, providing some reassurance to affected users. helpnetsecurity.com

AWS Expands Cloud Security Services Portfolio
Amazon Web Services (AWS) this week added a bevy of offerings and capabilities to its cloud security portfolio as part of an ongoing effort to automate the management of cloud security.

Announced at the AWS re:Inforce conference, these extensions to the AWS cloud security portfolio include an Amazon Security Lake that is now generally available and a findings summary capability that has been added to the Amazon GuardDuty threat detection service. securityboulevard.com

J.B. Hunt Sues Tech Company Over Cybersecurity

Hacked Reddit Data To Be Published Unless API Changes Dropped, Hackers Say







How protected are your network or personal accounts from hackers?

Hackers can quickly attack vulnerable networks and make big money by selling what they gain on the dark web. According to a report by cybersecurity firm KELA, some network access can be sold for as little as $25 to $100,000.

Protect computers from hackers by using firewalls and antivirus software and not clicking on suspicious links. You can also protect mobile devices by being mindful of the Wi-Fi networks you connect to and using security apps for monitoring and protection.




Senate Democrats pressure PayPal, Venmo, Cash App over fraud protections

Four top Democratic senators requested detailed fraud prevention measures from PayPal and Cash App.

Each company revealed in annual reports that current strategies are not effective enough to prevent fraud, the lawmakers noted.

Peer-to-peer payment platforms are ripe for fraudulent behavior, say the lawmakers.

PayPal, meanwhile, said in its annual report that it expects users to continue to attempt laundering money, sanctions evasions and other illegal activities on Venmo, and that its current fraud reduction measures "may not be effective in detecting and preventing fraud, particularly new and continually evolving forms of fraud or in connection with new or expanded product offerings."

Block also said it may not be able to "prevent or mitigate" identified or possible risks under its risk management procedures in its annual report.

Lawmakers cited a January Consumer Reports survey that found 9% of weekly P2P users had been the victim of a scam and 12% accidentally sent money to the wrong recipient. cnbc.com

61% Increase in Garments Marked "New with Tags" on Second Hand Website
More Online Clothing Sales Come With a Catch: No Returns
Early in the pandemic, online shopping and easy returns proliferated as millions hunkered down. Then, in 2022, clothing retailers started selling some more nonreturnable items, when the decline of pandemic-related "revenge shopping" coincided with an influx in inventory.

Nonrefundable items are now popping up in even more places. Secondhand website Poshmark reports a 61% rise in garments marked "new with tags" and feature the words "final sale" in the description since 2022. When a retailer includes the words "final sale," the company means that even if the item doesn't fit, you can't send it back.

Clearance racks have always included nonreturnable merchandise. But more of today's final sales offer clothing items from the current season.

And while retail giants such as Amazon seem - so far - secure in charging some sort of fee for returns, other companies are exploring alternatives. For example, returns technology provider Optoro announced in March that Gap would begin using its portal to offer more intuitive returns experience that includes instant exchanges and label-free, box-free drop-off locations.

It's not just online retailers changing their returns policies. As reported here last month, brick-and-mortar retailers such as J.C. Penney, Footlocker and J. Crew all charge consumers for returns by mail. wsj.com pymnts.com

Here's the Median Salary At Big Tech Companies Like Amazon and Google

Why Amazon built a second headquarters and how the pandemic reshaped HQ2







Another PD Activates ORC Unit
Las Vegas police taking proactive approach to retail crime
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) reactivated its organized retail crime section around last month. It's something the department had a few years back but went away during COVID as crime fell and resources were needed elsewhere. Now with national attention on retail theft, detectives are going all in.

"We have groups that will go in, in an organized fashion that will bring tools in to defeat security devices," LVMPD Sgt. Patrick Flynn. Flynn is part of the department's organized retail crime section, who says while Las Vegas hasn't seen nearly the same level of brazen theft, it does happen.

One thing about organized retail crimes the statute dictates, the loss can be a cumulative amount. For instance, if someone steals $100 worth of wipes, it's a misdemeanor. But when police can prove that same person has hit 25 times, now it's a felony.

"We are arresting, we are prosecuting these crimes," said LVMPD Lt. Travis Cunningham. "What we're afraid of is businesses, like we've seen in other jurisdictions, will be taken for everything they have, shelves will be wiped out and businesses will be forced to close."

Congress is getting involved in this issue after passing the Inform Consumers Act last year. It requires online marketplaces to verify the identities of high-volume 3rd party sellers. news3lv.com

$40K Return Abuse - 27 Fraudulent Transactions
FDLE arrests Orlando man for defrauding major online retailer
ORLANDO, Fla. – Following a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigation, Wail Chouder, 33, of Orlando, was arrested on charges of organized scheme to defraud $20,000 or more but less than $50,000.

The investigation began in May of 2022 when the Office of Statewide Prosecution contacted the FDLE Gainesville Field Office with a criminal complaint from a major online retailer. The retailer identified a customer that was engaged in fraud involving merchandise theft through a systematic pattern of return abuse. The total loss to the business was $40,395.56 for 27 fraudulent returns between May of 2019 and May of 2022.

The investigation revealed that Chouder’s scheme was to purchase high-value products, including electronics, sporting goods, and luxury eyewear, and after receiving the merchandise he requested returns, and then sent back lesser-value substitute products in place of the original merchandise.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Organized retail theft preys on businesses and harms our consumers. This lawlessness will not be tolerated in Florida, and thanks to FDLE and my Statewide Prosecutors, a thief stealing more than $40,000 is arrested and his fraudulent return scheme is out of business.” einnews.com

Sandy, UT: Women arrested in organized retail theft crime ring suspected of being from out of country
Two more people were taken off the streets that police say are part of an organized retail crime theft ring plaguing the Salt Lake Valley. Special Agent Steve Jensen of the Crimes Against State Economics Task Force said the suspects hit five stores across three counties. "It's a persistent problem for us which is this organized retail theft right now and that's what this particular organization is doing and there's a profit for it," said Jensen. Jensen said one woman had ID showing she's from Romania and the other from California, but both are being questioned by ICE. The task force provided pictures of the women accused of walking out with a cart filled with thousands of dollars of circuit breakers from a Sandy Home Depot at 11400 and State Street. kjzz.com

Milpitas, CA: Police make arrests at Milpitas Great Mall theft
Detectives from our Criminal Investigations Bureau partnered with detectives from the California Highway Patrol Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) to conduct an operation at the Great Mall. Detectives coordinated with various retailers at the Great Mall to identify suspects and prevent the loss of merchandise. Eleven suspects were arrested for various crimes including shoplifting, grand theft, and outstanding felony warrants. Detectives recovered 125 stolen items valued at over $3,200. The Milpitas Police Department is committed to working with partner agencies and local retailers to proactively address retail theft.  facebook.com

Memphis, TN: Three Suspects steal $1000 worth of kid clothes from Wolfchase

San Antonio, TX: Police searching for suspect who robbed Marshall's store

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Shootings & Deaths

Federal Way, WA: Suspect in custody after deadly triple shooting in Federal Way kills 2, critically injures 1
Two men are dead, one is critically injured, and another is in custody after a deadly triple shooting at a grocery store in Federal Way. Officers went to the Twin Lakes Safeway at 2109 SW 336th Street after receiving reports of a shooting on Friday evening around 11:25 p.m. Three Pacific Islander men in their 20s were found shot when police arrived. Police say two men were dead in a parked car while the third man was nearby. The third man was critically injured and taken to Harborview Medical Center to be treated. Preliminary investigations revealed that "another vehicle pulled up to the victim's car in the parking lot, some sort of argument may have ensued, and then someone from the suspect's vehicle shot into the victim's vehicle," according to the Federal Way Police Department.  komonews.com

Fairfield, AL: 16-year-old boy killed in hail of gunfire by 3 masked suspects outside Western Hills Mall
The teen killed in an ambush in the Western Hills Mall parking lot Friday afternoon was 16, authorities announced Saturday. The victim's name has not been released, but the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said he was shot by three masked suspects. He is the third teen killed in Fairfield in three weeks. Though the first two teen deaths - which happened over Memorial Day weekend were linked - authorities said there is no indication Friday's killing was connected in any way. The gunfire erupted just before 3:30 p.m. Witnesses said the 16-year-old boy had just left the barbershop inside the mall and was walking through the parking lot when he was approached by the three masked suspects. It wasn't immediately clear how many shots were fired, but investigators put down more than 70 evidence markers. Witnesses reported hearing what they believed to be automatic gunfire. Sheriff's Lt. Joni Money said the young victim was shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead on the scene.  al.com

New York, NY: 4 dead, 2 critically injured in NYC e-bike store fire
Four people were killed and two others left clinging to life when a massive fire ripped through a Lower Manhattan e-bike store early Tuesday, officials said. Two men and two women died in the blaze that erupted around 12:15 a.m. on the first floor of six-story 80 Madison Street, which houses the HQ E-Bike Repair, authorities said. Two other women are listed in critical condition, according to police. The FDNY reported a total of nine victims in the early-morning inferno, including one firefighter and one EMT, both with minor injuries, cops said. Those injured were taken to Bellevue Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, and NewYork-Presbyterian facilities, according to the FDNY.  nypost.com

Harris County, TX: Security guard shot to death in attempted robbery at game room
A security guard was shot and killed outside of a game room in northwest Harris County, deputies said. The deadly shooting happened just after midnight in the 5000 block of FM 1960 near Wunderlich. Deputies said a man walked inside the business and tried to rob it. The security guard confronted him, and it escalated into a struggle before being shot multiple times. The suspect got away in a dark-colored car. Deputies believe a second person was waiting in the car.  kake.com

Los Angeles, CA: 2 die in shooting following dispute outside smoke shop
Two people are dead and a third is undergoing surgery in a hospital following a shooting in the parking lot of a strip mall in Valley Glen Monday night. The incident occurred around 10 p.m.at the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon Avenue. The LAPD said the gunfire erupted following a dispute at the smoke shop at the location. One person, a man in his 50s, died at the scene, and another died at the hospital. A third gunshot victim is undergoing surgery and their condition is unknown. abc7.com

Battle Creek, MI: 18-year-old shot dead in Burger King parking lot; suspect in custody
An 18-year-old Battle Creek man is dead and another man is in jail following a shooting in the parking lot of a Battle Creek Burger King Saturday night. Officers responded to the shooting in the 2100 block of West Columbia Avenue after receiving multiple calls at about 11 p.m. Saturday, according to a release. Witnesses provided a description of the suspect, who left the parking lot on foot. The victim died from his injuries at the scene of the shooting. When officers arrived in the area, they used a police K-9 to track the suspect.  news.yahoo.com

Lubbock, TX: Police say shoplifter was struck by truck, died while fleeing Walmart
Police say a man was killed when he was struck by a vehicle as he fled authorities after shoplifting Friday evening at a north Lubbock Walmart. According to police, officers responded to Mac Davis Lane and Avenue Q at 9:07 p.m. where they found 36-year-old Luis Barrera who was struck by a car. Barrera was pronounced dead on the scene. Investigators believe Barrera fled from a Lubbock County Sheriff's Office deputy after shoplifting from Walmart. He was fleeing east on Avenue Q when he was struck by a truck traveling from the north. No other injuries were reported. According to LPD, no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.  yahoo.com

Cleveland, OH: Mother arrested after 3-year-old boy's death ruled homicide
A woman is under arrest after the death of her 3-year-old son was ruled to be a homicide, Cleveland police confirmed Monday afternoon. Officials say the incident occurred last Wednesday in the area of the Family Dollar store on the edge of the Hough neighborhood, where the child was found "unresponsive." He was rushed to University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center just down the street, but was later pronounced dead. While the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has not yet released an official cause of death, authorities say the case has been ruled to be a homicide, and the boy's mother was taken into custody this past weekend. Police have not given her name, nor have they indicated the exact charges she is facing.  wkyc.com

Ashtabula, OH: Update: Man charged with deadly shooting at auto parts store found incompetent to stand trial
A 54-year-old Ashtabula man charged with three felony charges for allegedly shooting a man and woman at the O'Reilly Auto Parts store in May, has now been found incompetent to stand trial at this time. David Montalban is charged with aggravated murder, murder and attempted murder. When officers arrived, they said Montalban was still holding the semi-automatic handgun. Officers said he dropped the weapon when ordered and surrendered. According to Chief Stell, the female victim, Rihana Gilbert, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene. The male victim, Timothy Campbell, 33, was carrying a small child as he ran from the shooter. The shooter chased him to the rear of the store, where he was shot, said Chief Stell. Campbell managed to flee the store and was located several blocks away. He was transported to the Ashtabula County Medical Center and then taken by medical helicopter to an undisclosed hospital. Chief Stell said Campbell suffered serious injuries, but the child was not injured. According to Chief Stell, there is no motive and the victims did not know each other or Montalban.  cleveland19.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Crofton, MD: Witness assaulted while video taping Dollar General shoplifters
Police are in search of two masked suspects accused of assaulting and robbing a witness who recorded them shoplifting from a Crofton Dollar General. It happened Sunday around noon at the store on Defense Highway. Anne Arundel County Police said the suspects were on their way out when the store's anti-theft alarm sounded. One suspect allegedly tried pepper spraying a worker who began to follow. A witness saw what was happening and pulled out their phone to tape it. That's when the suspect pushed them down and stole the phone before taking off in a white Mitsubishi SUV.  wmar2news.com

Westminster, CO: Circle K clerk who worked at store 18 years fired after shoplifter who stole pack of cigarettes sues company
A Colorado Circle K employee is suing the company after she was fired for putting her hands on an armed thief that snatch a pack of cigarettes from behind the counter. Mary Ann Moreno, 75, claims in her lawsuit against Circle K Stores, Inc. that she was wrongfully terminated from the Westminster store she had worked at for 18 years for her brief interaction with the criminal. "I really did not think I would get fired for something like that. [Maybe] If I had chased him out the door or, you know, argued with him," she told KDVR. On Oct. 4, 2020, Moreno was behind the counter when Tyler Wimmer walked into the convenience store with a knife in one hand and a sealed package in the other that also contained a knife. It's not clear in surveillance footage obtained by KDVR whether or not he ever threatened Moreno with the knife, but Willmer did ask if she would give him a pack of cigarettes for free. kdvr.com

Lee County, FL: Woman Rages At A Family Dollar Store In Florida When Employees Refused To Give Her A Refund Without A Receipt
A woman rages inside a Family Dollar store in Florida after employees refused to accept her return for an item without providing a receipt, as captured in a surveillance video from the store. According to Lee County Sheriff's Office, LaJada Michelle Hill, a 34-year-old woman, was taken into custody last Friday and was charged with robbery without a weapon. The surveillance video shows Hill lunging toward the computer screen of the store's counter as it occurred to her that she will never have her money back. Afterward, Hill steps out of the store but eventually came back, raging towards the counter once again.  checkersaga.com

4 pharmacies robbed in Fairfax County since March

Man arrested for series of ATM heists across Southern California

Oneida, TN: Former Employee stole $14,000 of fuel from Distribution company



Beauty - Los Angeles, CA - Burglary
Best Buy - New York, NY - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Des Moines, IA - Burglary
C-Store - Wilmington, DE - Robbery
C-Store - Calexico, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Wichita, KS - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Huntington Beach, CA - Robbery
C-Store - Colorado Springs, CO - Robbery
C-Store - Dallas, TX - Armed Robbery / Clerk killed
Cellphone - Macon, GA - Armed Robbery
Clothing - Memphis, TN - Robbery
Clothing - San Antonio, TX - Robbery
Dollar - Macon, GA - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Crofton, MD - Robbery
Dollar - Maurice, LA - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Tulsa, OK - Burglary
Dollar - Jacksonville, FL - Robbery
Jewelry - Waco, TX - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - San Francisco, CA - Burglary
Jewelry - Lancaster PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Valley Stream, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - Marion, IN - Robbery
Jewelry - Albuquerque, NM - Robbery
Jewelry - Waterford, CT - Robbery
Jewelry - North Attleboro, MA - Robbery
Liquor - Nashville, TN - Robbery
Restaurant - Kunia, HI - Burglary
Restaurant - Lewes, DE - Burglary
Restaurant - Chicago, IL - Burglary
Restaurant - Smithville, MO - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 23 robberies
• 7 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



Jay Harris named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Swatchgroup

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It always boils down to the people - the team. No matter how sophisticated we become or how fast and efficient our systems are, it's always the people that make it work or not work for that matter. So many hide so much behind the technology that I wonder if we, the people, are losing ground at times. It's easy to sit back, get work done, shuffle our emails and feel like we accomplished a lot. But at the end of the day have we really?

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