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The Monitoring Association Appoints Tommy Whisnant Government Relations Committee Co-Chair
June 21, 2023, McLean, VA - The Monitoring Association (TMA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Tommy Whisnant to the co-chairmanship of its Government Relations Committee. In this important role, Whisnant will join seated Committee Co-Chair James Marcella, Axis Communications, in leading TMA's state and local advocacy efforts and often partnering with the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) on legislative initiatives. Whisnant is currently the compliance manager for North Carolina-based CPI Security.

Read more here

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How Is AI Changing The Course Of The Security Marketplace?

According to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to transform all sectors of society, including national security. The physical security marketplace is certainly feeling the impact of the new technology, which has quickly gained prominence as one of the industry's most popular buzzwords. To assess the more practical aspects of the situation, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the course of the security marketplace?

Fredrik Nilsson - Vice President of the Americas, Axis Communications

People may not realize it, but AI has been used extensively in the security industry for years. That said, we have seen an explosion of mainstream interest following the emergence of generative AI. Expectations are high for the impact AI may have, but in the security marketplace, it's important to remain both realistic and pragmatic. What we might see with generative AI is increased accuracy of reporting and analysis. For example, metadata generated from today's surveillance cameras might be uploaded into a program capable of writing a report detailing what the camera saw during a specific incident. That's just one application, but it is indicative of generative AI's potential. Still, it's important to avoid getting carried away - generative AI has significant potential, but it isn't magic. As leaders in the space, we have a responsibility to invest in innovation, but also to ensure the technology is being used and discussed appropriately.

Read more responses here


Retailer foils skimmer scam using AI

Retail deters skimmer crew, builds strong case in less than six hours

Here's how it started: A store manager saw through a skimmer crew's distractions at the checkout stand. As the manager approached, the three individuals abandoned the installation of the skimmer hardware and bolted.

With the immediate threat deterred, the client's AP team used FaceFirst's powerful visitor search feature. With this "look back," they quickly identified the subjects' criminal pattern by date, time, and store locations. In just hours, they built a strong case against a ring of 10 well-organized thieves.

You've seen some variation of this before. In this case, three individuals entered the grocery checkout together. They blocked view of the card swipe terminal with a bulk package of paper towels. One person distracted the cashier by asking for cigarettes from a locked case. Another said, "Oh, I'll bag" and stepped into position. The goal, of course, is to overlay an illegal skimmer device on the card swipe, intercept credit/debit card data, and steal money from the card accounts.

The sharp-eyed manager addressed the trio. They fled, leaving the partially installed skimmer behind. The manager called in his AP team right away. Their FaceFirst search of the three individuals' images revealed similar incidents in the client's other stores and more accomplices. Less than six hours after the manager's report, the AP team had identified 10 individuals casing 28 stores and installing six skimmers successfully. Overnight, the chain audited all checkout devices and added security measures.

Consider the benefit of taking an individual's image, running a search, and identifying that individual's past visits to any of your stores-all within minutes. FaceFirst's investigative features turn a nearly impossible manual task for humans into instant, actionable intelligence. FaceFirst helps AP investigators build strong, detailed cases faster for coordination with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

FaceFirst's face matching technology alerts retailers instantly when known threats enter their stores, providing both life safety and loss prevention advantages. Calculate the risks of being caught unaware when a known offender enters your store. If you knew there was a proven solution to keep your valued customers and associates safer from violent offenders and prevent loss, would you implement it? The real risk is answering no. FaceFirst's solution is fast, accurate, and scalable-take action today at facefirst.com.

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Crime-Fighting INFORM Consumers Act Takes Effect Next Week
FTC Puts Online Marketplaces on Notice About Their Responsibilities Under the New INFORM Consumers Act

Act will go into effect nationwide on June 27, 2023; Commission warns businesses to be in compliance on day one

The Federal Trade Commission has sent letters to 50 online marketplaces nationwide notifying them about their obligation to comply with the new Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act - or the INFORM Consumers Act - as soon as it takes effect on June 27.

"The INFORM Consumers Act requires online marketplaces to protect consumers from counterfeit, unsafe, and stolen goods by verifying their high-volume third-party sellers' identities, and making it easier for consumers to report suspicious marketplace activity," said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "The Commission will enforce the Act to the fullest extent possible and will collaborate with our state partners to hold online marketplaces accountable."

The letters announced today enclose a copy of the act, highlight the responsibilities the act places on online marketplaces, and urge that businesses carefully review the statute and take all steps necessary to fully comply by June 27. In the letters, FTC staff also urge online marketplaces to communicate with their third-party sellers about the information the act requires to be collected, verified, and disclosed.

Finally, the letters emphasize that a violation of the act may be treated as a violation of an FTC rule, and thus noncompliant online marketplaces may face enforcement that could result in civil penalties of $50,120 per violation. The letters are informational and the FTC is not publicly releasing the names of the recipients.

Understanding Compliance Obligations

As part of the FTC's effort to fully inform the public about the provisions of the INFORM Consumers Act and to put businesses on notice of their obligations as of June 27, it has developed business education materials that are available on the agency's website. "Informing Businesses About the INFORM Consumers Act," summarizes how online marketplaces can comply with the act when it goes into effect at the end of the month with links to the act itself. ftc.gov

Could a 'Most Wanted' Thieves List Help Curb Theft?
UK: Industry calls for 'Most Wanted' lists to tackle repeat shop theft offenders

The Association of C-Stores has put forward a five-point plan for police forces and the government to do more to take retail crime seriously and support local businesses

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called for police forces to introduce a 'Most Wanted' list for prolific shop thieves to help tackle repeat offending.

ACS has put forward a five-point plan for police forces and the government to do more to take retail crime seriously and support local businesses.

1. Introduce a 'Most Wanted' list of shop thieves in each police force area, where prolific offenders can be banned from retail areas or referred to rehabilitation programmes.

2. Review the impact of new legislation that makes attacking a public facing worker (including shop staff) an aggravated offence.

3. Invest in rehabilitation programmes for offenders to break the cycle of offending and ineffective punishment.

4. Encourage local forces to use the tools available to them to deal with anti-social behaviour, such as the Community Trigger and Community Remedy powers.

5. Incentivise investment in crime prevention measures.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "The levels of theft that retailers are experiencing on a daily basis are unprecedented. ... The Government, Police and Crime Commissioners, and local forces need to take urgent action to stop this national crimewave in its tracks and send a clear message that repeat offenders will be dealt with properly."

The ACS annual Crime Report estimates that there were over 1.1m incidents of theft reported last year, with meat, alcohol and confectionery the most commonly stolen items. It also found that 63% of shop theft is committed by repeat offenders and that £228m was invested by convenience retailers in crime prevention measures over the last year. conveniencestore.co.uk

Retailers Have to Prove ORC Problem in Oregon or ORC Bill Sunsets Dec. 31, 2024
Progressive State Tip-Toes with ORC Bill

Update on Oregon House Ways and Means Committee Recommends "Do Pass" on 'Establishes Organized Retail Theft Grant Program'
Oregon's Senate passed the bill on June 20th and the House Ways and Means Committee took fast action and recommended passage to full House vote.

Establishes Task Force on Organized Retail Theft. Directs task force to review existing issues of organized retail theft to determine changes to laws or policies to address issues or reduce organized retail theft. Sunsets on December 31, 2024.] Takes effect on 91st day following adjournment sine die.] Establishes Organized Retail Theft Grant Program. Directs Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to administer program. Appropriates moneys to commission for purposes of program. oregonlegislature.gov

Editor's Note: Similar to New York's current Bill, this bill is really about studying the issue and determining what needs to be done. As opposed to definitively establishing an ORC criminal law that suspects can be charged with.

Certainly, funding $5M in grants to assist 'Cities and counties with the costs incurred by local law enforcement agencies in addressing organized retail theft,' helps retailers. However with a December 31, 2024 sunset it will require retailers to effectively communicate and share information with the task force. -Gus Downing

Smarter Stores Can Help Curb Crime & Shrink
AI-Powered Store Intelligence Shines a Light on Shrink
For as long as shrink has been an issue in retail, it's primarily been tied to human mistakes or crime. Theft, store associates mislabeling items and products getting damaged in a warehouse or store are three human examples that unfortunately impede profits. These reasons are why retailers consistently turn to technology for help.

Some ways retailers have turned to technology for shrink reduction include RFID tags on products to cut down on theft, robots in aisles to check labels and automated pickers in the warehouse to lower the risk of damaging products. Retailers are also testing autonomous delivery vehicles on the roads and drones in the air to avoid wrongly delivered items.

All these technology examples play a part in reducing shrink. Now add to that list store intelligence that provides analytics and store-level strategies.

Smart Stores Can Save Billions

Machine learning and AI can work to reduce shrink by:

Identifying mislabeled products: In less than a second, through AI-powered analysis of the shelf captured through computer vision, any mislabeled products or wrongly placed items are identified.

Monitoring out-of-stock inventory: Again, with computer vision and AI, cameras mounted on ceilings, shelves or a store associate's mobile device can monitor shelves for out-of-stock situations. The analytics can help stores rapidly restock when possible, and if not, strategize around why a product is missing and track back to whether anything is tied to shrink or theft.

Correcting phantom inventory: When the tech reads that a product is out of stock, the AI modeling can also project how many dollars are lost annually from the out-of-stock products and suggest ways to recoup the lost dollars. In this way, AI offers immediate action. retailtouchpoints.com

22 Big-Name Retailers Have Left San Francisco Since 2022
Retailers blame crime and the "deteriorating situation" in San Francisco.

Old Navy to Nordstrom: Half of retailers fleeing downtown San Francisco
Beset by rising crime and fewer shoppers on once-busy city streets, major retailers are leaving their broken hearts in downtown San Francisco.

At least 22 big-name businesses have closed or announced plans to flee the area around San Francisco's Union Square since January 2022, including trendy retailers like Anthropologie, Banana Republic and Crate & Barrel, as well as the investment firm that owns two of the city's biggest hotels.

Since 2019, 47% of businesses in the area have closed, according to the San Francisco Standard.

Some 203 retailers were operating in and around Union Square pre-Covid; as of May, only 107 were left.

The commercial chaos will continue in coming weeks, with brands like AT&T, Nordstrom, Coco Republic and Old Navy shuttering more shops as soon as July 1.

The most significant casualty - the Westfield San Francisco Centre - came last week as the mall's operator cited "challenging" conditions downtown, including sagging sales and occupancy rates, for its looming exodus.

Nordstrom officials made the announcements last month, blaming the "deteriorating situation" in San Francisco.

Overall crime near the San Francisco Centre mall has slightly increased thus far in 2023 compared to last year, police data shows. The reported number of major felonies in the Tenderloin swelled by 1.4%, while larceny theft surged 5.6%. nypost.com

Could 2023 Be the Deadliest Year Ever?
More Than 300 U.S. Mass Shootings Recorded Halfway Into 2023-This Year Is On Pace To Be Deadliest Ever
More than 300 mass shootings have occurred across the country this year, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, as 2023 remains on pace to become the deadliest year for mass shootings in recent history.

The U.S. has reported 311 mass shootings in 2023 as of early Monday morning, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The total number of mass shootings crossed the 300 mark on Sunday-the earliest in any year this gruesome milestone has been reached since the GVA began tracking them in 2014.

In comparison, in 2021 and 2022-the two deadliest years for mass shootings in the U.S.-the 300 mark was reached on June 25 and July 3, respectively.

The difference is even starker when comparing mass murders-incidents where four or more died from gunshots aside from the shooter-as 23 such incidents have been reported so far this year, compared to 16 and 14 during the same period in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

That works out to nearly one mass murder per week in the first half of 2023. forbes.com

Large Groups of Minneapolis Youths 'Takeover' Parks - Turning Violent
Recent park violence has Brooklyn Park police searching for answers to a 'complex situation'

Fights have taken place at Central Park, River Park and the Noble Sports Park.

Recent fights between large groups of young people in Brooklyn Park city parks have created a challenge for police who are seeking to balance the right for people to gather with keeping parks safe.

That is what happened Monday night, when law enforcement chased 300 to 400 people out of a Maple Grove park, only to have the crowd reassemble in Brooklyn Park's Central Park. Events started peacefully, Faust said, but then there was loud music and chanting and fights broke out.

Monday's incident was the second in Brooklyn Park this month. On June 9, a similar incident played out at River Park and continued at Noble Sports Park. Police shut down both parks for the night.

Groups using social media to coordinate takeovers of park pavilions, which is not inherently illegal, has created a new and "complex situation," and awkwardness around how police can and should respond. startribune.com

Philly Police Budget Gets $55M Increase
Members approved a $55 million increase in funding to the Police Department, largely to cover contractually obligated pay raises and upgrades to the forensics lab. The department's budget allocation will be about $855 million. inquirer.com

Memphis PD asks for millions to upgrade crime-fighting technology

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office unveils website to enlist public in crime fighting



15 State AGs Say Target Should Have Stood Firm
Minn. AG Keith Ellison, other state attorneys general concerned with Target pulling Pride products

The AGs said Target's decision sends a message that "hateful and disruptive conduct can cause even large corporations to succumb to ... bullying."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and a group of 14 other attorneys general penned a letter to Target CEO Brian Cornell this week expressing concern about the store's removal of some of its Pride products.

Target lit a media firestorm last month when it announced it pulled an unspecified number of products from its shelves after the company faced "confrontational behavior" at its stores as well as threats of violence on its customer hotline.

While Ellison and AGs from California, New York, Maryland and more offered support for Target's intention to keep its workers safe, they questioned if Target gave in to threats.

"While we understand the basis for this action, we are also concerned it sends a message that those who engage in hateful and disruptive conduct can cause even large corporations to succumb to their bullying," the AGs wrote, "and that they have the power to determine when LGBTQIA+ consumers will feel comfortable in Target stores or anywhere in society."

The attorneys stated there are state resources to help protect against harassment and "hate-based intimidation." They also said companies should report threats of violence to law enforcement. Especially in light of recent anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and escalating threats of violence, the attorneys urged Target "to double down on inclusivity, reject hate in all its forms and stand firm in the face of intimidation and discrimination." startribune.com

How much did Shrink Play into Closing 9 Just Walk Outs?
Amazon Go closures continue
So far, 2023 has been a tough year for Amazon Go. This closure comes after the company announced it would be closing eight of its automated-checkout convenience stores - two each in Seattle and New York City and four in San Francisco. It also announced in February that it has paused the rollout of its Amazon Fresh grocery stores.

With this latest closure, Amazon Go now has 22 locations in four states, according its website.

"From grocers and c-stores to retailers in stadiums, airports, and more, there are now more than 50 third-party stores across the U.S., Australia, and UK powered by Just Walk Out technology, with new locations launching every month.," said the spokesperson. retaildive.com

Chipotle and Suppliers Partner to Roll Out RFID Nationwide

The quick-serve restaurant is leading the way with a solution that tracks every crate of goods received and consumed at each location.

Jun 18, 2023After testing and deploying a radio frequency identification (RFID)-based solution to manage inventory at its Chicago-area restaurants, fast-casual restaurant Chipotle is now in the process of expanding the system to all of its locations nationwide. The chain is leveraging Mojix software and Zebra Technologies handheld readers at each of its approximately 3,200 dining locations, in order to bring visibility to its ingredients, ranging from beverages to produce and meat, as well as all non-food items.

The rollout follows a years-long program in which the company first deployed the technology at 200 restaurants in the Chicago area, according to Carlos Londono, Chipotle's VP and head of supply chain. The company also piloted the technology to monitor ingredients moving through the distribution center that serves those restaurants. Chipotle has since worked with suppliers to ensure they could apply the RFID tags to products as part of their own operations. rfidjournal.com

Apple Union Busting?
Apple engaged in 'coercive' interviews and other anti-union tactics at New York store, judge rules

A U.S. labor board judge has ruled that Apple illegally subjected employees to "coercive" interviews and interfered with distribution of union leaflets at a NYC Apple Store

Apple illegally subjected employees to "coercive" interviews and interfered with the distribution of union leaflets at a New York City Apple Store, a U.S. labor board judge ruled Tuesday.

Lauren Esposito, the judge in the case, found that an Apple Store supervisor at the World Trade Center location had improperly asked an employee about his discussions with other workers about wage levels and about the employee's opinion of unionization efforts across the company. Such activities ran afoul of U.S. labor law that protects the right of workers to organize, the judge wrote.

Similarly, Esposito ruled that Apple managers had singled out union literature, which is legally permitted in non-working spaces such as break rooms, for removal and disposal that sometimes involved shredding pamphlets.

The ruling requires Apple to "cease and desist" from activities that the judge found to violate established labor protections and to post workplace notices in the company's name acknowledging the court's findings, informing employees of their labor rights and pledging that the company will honor them. abcnews.go.com

Pride Month Strike at 150 Starbucks Stores
Starbucks workers at 150 stores go on strike over Pride decorations
Workers at about 150 unionized Starbucks stores in the United States are going on strike Friday over a dispute about the coffee chain's policy for Pride decorations in stores.

Starbucks Workers United, the union representing organized stores, has claimed that Starbucks has restricted decorations celebrating Pride month in some locations, demonstrating a "hypocritical treatment of LGBTQIA+ workers." Starbucks has forcefully denied this claim.

About 3,500 employees "will be on strike over the course of the next week," Starbucks Workers United posted in a tweet.

Store leaders are able to decorate stores as they wish for Pride and other heritage months, as long as those decorations adhere to safety guidelines, according to the company. Starbucks said it is not aware of any company-owned stores that have banned Pride decorations.

The company also pointed out that many stores have shared their Pride decorations on social media. cnn.com

Author Talks: What does it mean to be a good middle manager?

Three McKinsey partners discuss the untapped value in middle managers that most companies leave on the table.

Middle managers are uniquely placed to deliver value through developing talent. Yet they are increasingly occupied with administrative tasks and evaluated on their individual-contributor work, explain McKinsey partners Emily Field and Bryan Hancock and senior partner Bill Schaninger, authors of the forthcoming book Power to the Middle: Why Managers Hold the Keys to the Future of Work. As a result, managers are spending less than a third of their time on managing people, a McKinsey survey reveals.

Translating senior-leadership visions is a vital responsibility for middle managers, Field says. After a CEO instructed everyone to return to the office, one manager simply passed that message down to his team-like water running through a faucet. Another boss asked her team to consider when it made sense to collaborate in person. Like a sieve, she interpreted messages by adding context to the top-down edict; ultimately, people preferred working for her. Understand the challenges that middle managers face. mckinsey.com

New York, Minnesota latest states to target noncompetes
Noncompete agreements would be banned under a bill expected to be signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul shortly. The legislation follows passage of a similar bill last month in Minnesota, making the two states the latest of about a dozen to prohibit, or seek to prohibit, the agreements, for either some or all employees. hrdive.com

Regional off-price retailer Forman Mills lays off nearly 300, closes stores as it mulls bankruptcy

Under Armour lays off 50 in corporate roles

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In Case You Missed It

CONTROLTEK Unveils Innovative RFID Resource Center

CONTROLTEK, a global leader in tamper-evident packaging, retail asset protection and RFID inventory and asset tracking solutions, is excited to announce the launch of its new Online RFID Resource Center. This virtual platform is designed to revolutionize inventory management, asset tracking, and RFID as EAS by providing businesses with a comprehensive online hub for information, education, and awareness in the field of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

The CONTROLTEK RFID Resource Center is a dynamic and accessible online resource that empowers organizations across various industries to optimize their supply chain processes and maximize operational efficiency. This resource center is accessible to business leaders, retail, supply chain professionals, and industry experts seeking to enhance their understanding of RFID technology and its transformative potential. Through CONTROLTEK's online platform, businesses can gain valuable insights into RFID technology, its applications, its potential to enhance inventory control, and drive overall profitability.

"Our goal is to provide businesses with the tools and knowledge necessary to succeed in the ever-evolving world of RFID," said Rod Diplock, CEO of CONTROLTEK. "The RFID Resource Center enables us to reach a broader audience and equip them with the information they need to make informed decisions and drive operational excellence."

"We are thrilled to introduce the CONTROLTEK RFID Resource Center, a game-changing platform that empowers businesses with the knowledge and resources needed to unlock the true potential of RFID technology. This virtual hub serves as a gateway to enhance inventory control, operational efficiency, and informed decision-making. By providing businesses with comprehensive information and interactive learning opportunities, we aim to revolutionize the way organizations approach RFID in today's dynamic market," said Tom Meehan President of CONTROLTEK.

Key features of the CONTROLTEK Online RFID Resource Center include:

  1. Extensive Information Repository: The platform will host a vast collection of educational articles, case studies, white papers, and industry reports that cover various aspects of RFID technology and its implementation. Businesses can access valuable information to deepen their understanding of RFID and its potential benefits.

  2. Interactive Webinars and Training Sessions: CONTROLTEK's team of RFID experts will host webinars and online training sessions to educate businesses on the practical applications of RFID technology, implementation strategies, and best practices. These interactive sessions will equip participants with the knowledge to leverage RFID systems effectively.

  3. Expert Consultation: Businesses can schedule virtual consultations with CONTROLTEK's RFID consultants to receive personalized guidance on RFID system integration, customized solutions, and optimization strategies tailored to their specific needs.







RH-ISAC Announces Synack as Title Sponsor for Cyber Intelligence Summit

Synack joins leaders from retail and hospitality at RH-ISAC's annual conference to present on strategic security testing.

Vienna, VA (June 22, 2023) - The Retail & Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RH-ISAC) today announced that Synack will be the title sponsor of the RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit, which takes place October 2-4 in Dallas, TX.

The RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit is an annual event tailored for strategic leaders and cybersecurity practitioners from retailers, hotels, restaurants, consumer product manufacturers, gaming properties, grocers, and other consumer-facing businesses. The Summit features an RH-ISAC member-driven agenda, including sessions delivered by prominent thought leaders from the world's biggest brands.

During the conference, Wade Lance, Field CISO at Synack, will be joined by Marc Varner, VP and CISO at Lowe's, to give a presentation titled "Enable a Resilient Security Posture with Strategic Security Testing." This session will show how a strategic testing program tracks improvements in overall security posture over time, improving resilience in ways that can be demonstrated to regulators, senior leadership, and the board of directors. Attendees will learn how to create a proactive, offensive security testing strategy that enables, protects, and aligns with a company's business objectives.

"Retail and hospitality security practitioners are all too familiar with the deluge of cyberthreats bearing down on consumer-facing organizations daily," Synack CMO Claire Trimble said. "We are thrilled to be joining RH-ISAC at their annual conference while supporting the sector's proactive approach to the most pressing security challenges."

For more information, or to register to attend the event, visit https://summit.rhisac.org/.

Detecting Phishing Sites with ChatGPT
ChatGPT shows promise in detecting phishing sites
ChatGPT can be used to generate phishing sites, but could it also be used to reliably detect them? Security researchers have tried to answer that question.

Can ChatGPT detect phishing sites based on URLs?

Kaspersky researchers tested 5,265 (2322 phishing and 2943 safe) URLs. They asked ChatGPT (GPT-3.5) a simple question: "Does this link lead to a phish website?". Based only on the form of the URL, the AI chatbot had a 87.2% detection rate and a 23.2% false positive rate.

Advertisement"While the detection rate is very high, the false positive rate is unacceptable. Imagine if every fifth website you visit was blocked? Sure, no machine learning technology on its own can have a zero false positive rate, but this number is too high," said Vladislav Tushkanov, lead data scientist at Kaspersky.

Then they tried a slightly different question - "Is this link safe to visit?" - and the results were much worse: a detection rate of 93.8% and a false positive rate of 64.3%.

Both approaches yielded unsatisfactory results, but the researchers agreed that "it is possible to use this type of technology to assist flesh-and-blood analysts by highlighting suspicious parts of the URL and suggesting possible attack targets." Also, that it could "be used in weak supervision pipelines to improve classic ML pipelines."

What surprised the researchers, though, was the fact that ChatGPT managed to detect potential phishing targets.

"ChatGPT has enough real-world knowledge to know about many internet and financial services and with only a small post-processing step (e.g., merging 'Apple' and 'iCloud' or removing 'LLC' and 'Inc') it does a very good job at extracting them. It was able to identify a target more than half the time," Tushkanov pointed out. helpnetsecurity.com

Myths & Misconceptions About Ransomware
Ransomware Misconceptions Abound, to the Benefit of Attackers

It's time to update what we think we understand about ransomware, including new defensive measures and how fast the attack response should be.

Richard de la Torre, technical marketing manager at Bitdefender cites a ransomware misperception that there's no capability to fight this all too common hostage taking of business data. Not true - proactive organizations are increasingly using decryptors and also making more strategic use of threat intelligence to prevent or disrupt attacks, he adds.

And despite all the worry and attention devoted to ransomware-as-a-service and more leading edge ransomware incidents, de la Torre claims ransomware attack vectors remain relatively basic. "The threat process has not changed and access starts through phishing attacks," he says.

Ransomware Is Big Business

All that being said, most organizations still haven't grasped that ransomware has mushroomed into big business, turbocharged by its RaaS business model with an operator who's sometimes state-sponsored.

Another misconception is that organizations must have a speedy response to a ransomware infection, and that time is of the essence to prevent encryption and loss of business data. While that may have been true a few years ago, times have changed, de la Torre notes. Most attackers now focus more on data exfiltration, and the "actual ransomware is used as a distraction while [attackers] exfiltrate data."

De la Torre also says it's a misconception that attackers only go after large targets. Most ransomware attacks typically target small organizations, as larger organizations have SOC teams and more resources dedicated to cybersecurity.  darkreading.com

Emergency Security Update
Apple issues emergency patch to address alleged spyware vulnerability

The fix follows allegations from a Russian intelligence service that an intentional flaw in iPhones provided a gateway for American espionage.

Apple issued a security update on Wednesday for all its operating systems to patch dangerous vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to take over someone's entire device.

The vulnerabilities in question, first revealed on June 1, appeared to have led the main Russian intelligence agency to make unusually public claims that Apple intentionally left the flaws in its iOS so the National Security Agency and other U.S. entities could compromise "thousands" of iPhones in Russia. Apple has denied those claims.

The charges from the Federal Security Service, or FSB, came the same day that researchers with cybersecurity firm Kaspersky published a report detailing what they said was an "ongoing" zero-click iMessage exploit campaign dubbed "Operation Triangulation" targeting iOS that allowed attackers to run code on phones with root privileges, among other capabilities. Kaspersky published an additional analysis Wednesday, saying that after roughly six months of collecting and analyzing the data, "we have finished analyzing the spyware implant and are ready to share the details."

Apple said in its security update that the fixes would address an app that "may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS released before iOS 15.7." cyberscoop.com

Cybersecurity expert on how to protect your family from AI scams

Azure AD 'Log in With Microsoft' Authentication Bypass Affects Thousands







Target's $100M E-Commerce Push
Target races to bring next-day delivery to customers farther from city centers

The big-box retailer said Wednesday that it is testing an extension facility that helps it get online orders to more shoppers the day after they click "buy."

Target has a new way to speed packages to customers who live in the farther-out suburbs and neighborhoods of major cities, as it tries to give its e-commerce business a jolt.

The big-box retailer said Wednesday that it is testing an extension facility that helps it get online orders to more shoppers the day after they click "buy." It opened the first one last month in Smyrna, Georgia, about 16 miles northwest of Atlanta, and may open them in other cities.

Drivers from Target-owned delivery service Shipt pick up packages from the extension facility and deliver them to customers' doorsteps. The drivers are independent contractors, similar to those who deliver for Uber.

The extension facility is part of Target's effort to offer next-day delivery to more customers. Early this year, it said it would spend $100 million over the next three years to build a larger network of supply chain hubs to support the effort.

More than 96% of the company's online orders are fulfilled at stores. The retailer has opened supply chain facilities, dubbed "sortation centers," that then help group those boxes into denser and more efficient delivery routes. It has opened nine facilities and plans to have at least 15 by the end of January 2026.

The extension facility adds to that model and expands the radius for faster deliveries. cnbc.com

Target & Walmart Try to Overtake Amazon
Will Target and Walmart Outdo Amazon on Prime Day?
Target and Walmart want to use their store networks and omnichannel capabilities to outdo Amazon.com in the same week it holds its two-day Prime Day sales event. The two retailers yesterday announced competing July sales events with big discounts on popular products.

Target Circle Week will run July 9 through 15 with up to 50 percent savings across the retailer's popular private label lines and national brands. The special savings are exclusive to Target Circle members, the retailer's free loyalty program, who can shop in its stores, online and through its app. Circle members can get digital orders through the chain's popular free same-day Order Pickup and Drive Up services or same-day delivery through Target's Shipt service.

"Target Circle Week is our way of saying 'thank you' to our guests," Cara Sylvester, executive vice president and chief guest experience officer, Target, said in a statement.

The Walmart+ Week promotion will kick off at midnight ET on July 10 and run through July 13. Subscribers who pay $98 a year will "get first dibs on summer's hottest must-have items on Walmart.com, including exclusive deals and limited-time offers" before the gates swing open for all of Walmart's customers on July 11, according to an email sent to media outlets. The sale will conclude at 7 PM ET on July 13. retailwire.com

TikTok prepares 'Project S' plan to break into online shopping

Amazon facility coming to Abbeville, LA







Robbery Crew Faces Life Sentences in 18 Violent Robberies
DOJ: Seven Members of Multi-State Violent Robbery Crew Indicted on Conspiracy and Hobbs Act Robbery Charges
WASHINGTON - An indictment was unsealed today charging seven members of an armed robbery crew with conspiracy, Hobbs Act robbery, and other charges related to a multi-state robbery spree that targeted pharmacy and cell phone retail stores.

Ashley Gause, 30, was arrested on June 8, 2023. She and her co-defendants - D'Marrell Mitchell, 33, Terrance Barnham, 33, Floyd Neal, 30, Ashawntea Henderson, 31, Deaundre Blount, 30, and Glenn Dolford, 29, all of Washington, D.C., are charged with conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery), a crime that carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, for allegedly robbing at least 18 pharmaceutical and cell phone stores in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey, between May 2020 and May 2021. Gause is charged in 20 of the 21 counts. She is charged, with various members, in all 15 counts of Hobbs Act robbery.

According to the indictment, Gause, a/k/a "Cray," worked with different members of the crew to rob businesses that they had surveilled. Gause and her co-conspirators also allegedly traveled to other states - including North Carolina and Virginia - likely searching for other possible targets for robberies. In some of the robberies, the defendants assaulted the victims, zip tied their hands, and/or held them at gunpoint in order to demand currency, prescription drugs, and/or cellular telephones from the victim businesses. The defendants would then sell the narcotics and cell phones. The victim businesses were located as far away as Neptune, New Jersey, and as close as neighborhoods in the District of Columbia.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, each count of Hobbs Act robbery carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; conspiracy to distribute oxycodone carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison; using, carrying, possessing and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison. justice.gov

Nashville, TN: Two men arrested after 'smash-and-grab' jewelry heist at Kohl's; jewelry counter was destroyed and over $100,000 in jewelry missing
Two out-of-state men are accused of stealing over $100,000 in jewelry in a "smash-and-grab" jewelry heist at a Franklin store, according to Franklin Police. Police say two men are in custody after a theft took place after midnight on May 29 at the Kohl's in Franklin. Officers initially responded to a burglar alarm and found the front glass of the store broken out, the jewelry counter destroyed and over $100K in jewelry missing. Franklin Police say they were able to identify 25-year-old Patrick Hawley of Los Angeles and 48-year-old John Signorile of Indianapolis as the suspects involved in this heist. Hawley was apprehended in Christian County, Kentucky and was transferred to Tennessee where he is in custody at the Williamson County Jail, police said. Signorlie was arrested and remains in custody in Cook County, Illinois. Police say multiple jurisdictions across the U.S. are looking into the possibility of their involvement in similar crimes. "Signorlie is a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history, wanted out of Kentucky and Illinois for other crimes, as well as in Wisconsin for a Parole Violation. Both men are now facing burglary and felony theft charges in Franklin," Franklin Police said.  wsmv.com

Memphis, TN: Trail of wigs, money stolen from beauty supply store in burglary
Strands of wigs and loose change from a cash register helped police determine stolen items from a beauty supply store. A business's alarm system alerted police to a burglary at the Royal Bee Beauty store on Jackson Avenue in the Snowden neighborhood on June 22. When officers arrived just before 4 a.m., they determined that a truck had been rammed into the store's front door to open it. No suspects were found, police said. A trail of wigs and coins outside leading away from the business were identified, police said.  fox13memphis.com

Folsom, CA: 3 arrested in Folsom for Best Buy theft ring
Three men were arrested Monday in Folsom in connection to a Best Buy organized retail theft ring that involved Auburn. The Folsom Police Department reported employees of Best Buy in the 2400 block of Iron Point Road called just after 2 p.m. to report two men who had stolen items at a Best Buy in Roseville were in the Folsom store gathering items. The suspects left the store and drove away before officers arrived, but officers located the suspects' vehicle as it fled on Highway 50. According to Folsom Police, the vehicle yielded to officers after the occupants tossed some of the stolen merchandise from the front and back seats. Officers discovered there was a third man in the vehicle and all three individuals were detained. Folsom Police reported officers confirmed the trio worked together to steal electronics from Best Buy locations in Folsom, Auburn, Roseville and Elk Grove. According to FPD, the stolen merchandise was valued at more than $10,000 goldcountrymedia.com

Murfreesboro, TN: Police searching for woman accused of stealing 3 TVs by buying a Pepsi at Walmart self-checkout
Murfreesboro Police are looking for a woman who allegedly scanned a Pepsi and stole three televisions from a Walmart in Murfreesboro. Police say on June 5, the woman was seen going inside the Walmart on Memorial Boulevard. She went to the self-checkout and just scanned a Pepsi, but she didn't pay for the rest of the items. The woman then left the Walmart and drove away in an older red Ford Crown Victoria, however, the license play returned to a red Chrysler 200, according to police.  wsmv.com

Cortlandville, NY: Man banned from Walmart arrested for burglary at store
New York State Police at Homer announced the arrest of Adrian Endsley, 46, of Lacona, NY for burglary in the third degree, a class "D" felony. State Police said that troopers were dispatched to a report of a larceny at Walmart in Cortlandville. At Walmart, employees saw Endsley fill a shopping cart with $836 of merchandise, purchased a soda at the self-checkout and didn't pay for the other products. This occurred on June 7. Previously, Endsley was trespassed or banned from entering any Walmart due to his previous incidents in the area, police said. State Police noted that since Endsley trespassed on the property, he entered the premises unlawfully and committed larceny, which makes the crime a burglary. Endsley was transported to State Police Homer for processing and turned over to the Cortland County Jail for central arraignment and processing.   wbng.com

Pearl River County, MS: Suspect in Picayune shoplifting case also a suspect in other cases
A woman charged with shoplifting at the Picayune Walmart - and other stores in Louisiana - also is a suspect in other cases. Picayune Police say 23-year-old Dana Johnson, who was arrested Wednesday along with 28-year-old Vlyncia M. Barnett, is a suspect in shoplifting cases from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina wxxv25.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Temple Hills, MD: A man shot, killed outside Prince George's County liquor store
Prince George's County police are investigating a homicide outside of a liquor store in Temple Hills, Maryland Thursday evening. Officers arrived in the 3200 block of Naylor Road around 5:50 p.m., where they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds in the parking lot outside 51 Liquor. The man was pronounced dead on scene, police said. A 7News crew on the scene watched as police blocked off the area to collect evidence.  wjla.com

Chicago, IL: Update: Charges dropped against 2 of 3 suspects in killing of Chicago Police Officer in December of 2011
Prosecutors have dropped charges against two of three men accused of killing an off-duty Chicago police officer, including a man who spent nearly 12 years in jail awaiting trial as authorities challenged allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct. Tyrone Clay faced nearly 80 counts and Edgardo Colon almost 20 counts in the shooting death of Officer Clifton Lewis during the robbery of a convenience store where Lewis was working as a security guard in December 2011. Colon was convicted in 2017 but the verdict was overturned in 2020 after he argued that police obtained a confession even though he'd asked for an attorney during an interrogation that lasted some 50 hours. Clay has spent almost a dozen years in jail awaiting trial while prosecutors appealed a judge's ruling that he, too, had repeatedly asked for an attorney before giving an incriminating statement. Prosecutors dropped the charges Wednesday just ahead of a hearing where detectives and prosecutors would have had to testify about how they handled the case, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Assistant State's Attorney Kevin DeBoni told a judge that the state couldn't meet its burden of proof police1.com

Oneida County, WI: Shooting reported at Rhinelander gun store
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office has determined the deceased male died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Oneida County Sheriff's Captain Tyler Young is reporting a death following a report of a shooting at Hodag Gun and Loan on Lincoln Street in Rhinelander. Young said there is no threat to the community at this time. The 911 center received a call approximately 11:30 a.m. of a shooting at the store. When law enforcement arrived, one deceased male was located.  starjournalnow.com

Dallas, TX: Police ask public's help identifying man wanted in fatal shooting at 7-Eleven
The Dallas Police Department is asking for the public's help identifying a suspect wanted in the killing of a 7-Eleven clerk during a robbery. Dallas police responded to a shooting call at 6:10 a.m. Monday in the 400 block of North Hampton Road, where officers found the 54-year-old victim, Nathaniel Ogbolu, with gunshot wounds. Dallas Fire-Rescue also responded to the scene and transported Ogbolu to a hospital, where he died. An unidentified man entered the store and pointed a gun at Ogbolu and demanded money from the register, according to surveillance video obtained by police.  star-telegram.com

Kansas City, MO: Police seek 'dangerous' man who robbed McDonald's, shot at cops in Brookside
Police were searching for a man who allegedly fired shots during a McDonald's robbery in Waldo, engaged Kansas City cops in a Brookside Plaza gun battle and then escaped in a carjacked vehicle on Thursday night. No crime victims or police officers were struck by gunfire, said Capt. Corey Carlisle, a Kansas City Police Department spokesman, and police had not found any signs of the suspect being treated at an area hospital for gunshot wounds. As of early Friday morning, the stolen vehicle had been found but the man remained at large. Carlisle described a dangerous encounter Thursday as officers had exchanged gunfire with a suspect twice near the Brookside Plaza area while business patrons were out.  ca.style.yahoo.com

Jackson, MI: Man sentenced 50 to 80 years in prison for murder near party store

Minneapolis, MN: 29-year sentence for man who fatally shot woman outside Merwin Liquors

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Los Angeles, CA: Surveillance video gives new angle of mob-style burglary targeting Northridge strip mall
Police hope newly-released security video will help them capture seven masked burglars who broke into several Northridge shops last week. Video showed the vandals smashing their way through the glass doors of one the businesses there. They targeted an ATM, cash registers, safes and merchandise at the store. Eyewitness News reported last week that a mob-style burglary had targeted several businesses, including the Modern Barber Room, where the thieves also targeted an ATM there, as well as barbers' equipment.  abc7.com

Avon, OH: Elderly woman crashes into 19-year-old Avon store employee
An 83-year-old Avon Lake woman lost control of her car at Pickering Hill Farms and struck a 19-year-old employee, before hitting the store and a support pole. The accident happened around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 35000 block of Detroit Rd. Avon police said the employee was on foot at the front of the store when the accident happened. Avon firefighters transported him to MetroHealth Medical Center, where police said he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. His name has not been released. The driver was not injured.  cleveland19.com

Vancouver, BC, Canada: Customer choked by security guard while trying to make return at Vancouver store
A trip to the store to return an item turned violent for one man in Vancouver last weekend, A loss prevention officer, who's typically dressed in plain clothes trying to catch shoplifters red-handed, was instead caught on camera roughhousing a customer at Mountain Equipment Company. Amir Ghassemzadehnaghedhi and his wife went to the store on Sunday to return a Yeti cooler, which they purchased back in Feb. 2022. He said he tried to explain to the store manager that the drain plug had not been working. After buying two new plugs, he thought the product was defective and wanted to return it. "She's thinking I'm there to do a scam the way she treated me," Ghassemzadehnaghedhi told CTV News. "She was not listening at all. She said, 'Get out of the store. Get out of the store both of you.' And I said, 'No, I need someone to listen to me.'" Ghassemzadehnaghedhi doesn't think it was necessary to involve the loss prevention officer, who escalated the situation by putting his hands around Ghassemzadehnaghedhi's neck and putting him in a headlock. bc.ctvnews.ca

Federal Way, WA: 16-year-old Bellevue burglary suspect arrested with stolen gun from Gun Store burglary

Duluth, GA: Georgia Liquor Store Employees Laugh Off Armed Robber, Continue to Serve Customers



Beauty - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Beauty- Los Angeles, CA - Burglary
C-Store - Alexandria, VA - Robbery
C-Store - Alexandria, VA - Burglary
C-Store - Rochester, NY - Robbery
C-Store - Craven County, NC - Burglary
Dollar - Bulloch County, GA - Armed Robbery
Gaming - Sioux Falls, SD - Armed Robbery
Gaming - New Cumberland, PA - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Nassau County, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - Nashville, TN - Burglary
• Jewelry - Newport. RI - Robbery
• Jewelry - Chula Vista, CA - Robbery
• Jewelry - Colorado Springs, CO - Robbery
Liquor - Duluth, GA - Armed Robbery
Liquor - Detroit, MI - Armed Robbery
Medical - Tarpon Springs, FL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Kansas City, MO - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Yuma, AZ - Robbery
Restaurant - Mobile, AL - Robbery
Thrift - Rockford, IL - Burglary
Walmart - Cortlandville, NY - Burglary  


Daily Totals:
• 15 robberies
• 7 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 75 robberies
• 22 burglaries
• 3 shootings
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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