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LPF's 'Swing for Certification' Golf Tournament is Postponed

With the current climate and the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19 and many retailers not being allowed to travel, The Loss Prevention Foundation has made the decision to postpone our 2021 'Swing for Certification' Golf Tournament. On June 20, 2022, 'Swing for Certification' will be held at the Stonewater Golf Club in Highland Heights, OH preceding the NRF Protect Conference in Cleveland, OH.

In the meantime, the LPF and all the 'Swing for Certification' Sponsors want to continue the tradition of giving LPQ & LPC Course Scholarships, in honor of the late Bob MacLea, through our Virtual 'Swing for Certification' Scholarship Drive.

The 'Swing for Certification' Golf Tournament is held to raise funds for LP/AP professionals who have a willingness to commit themselves to continuing their professional development. The scholarships, funded by our 'Swing for Certification' sponsors, cover the cost of course materials needed to obtain LP Certification (LPCertified or LPQualified) from the Loss Prevention Foundation. The cost of the exams is not included in the scholarship.

Scholarship Applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2021.


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Terrorist Groups Put Out 'Louder & Better Organized Call to Action' This Year
NYC prepares for 'elevated threat environment' on 9/11 20th anniversary
New York City is preparing for an "elevated threat environment" on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Saturday because of the recent Kabul airport bombing and increased al Qaeda propaganda, though there are currently no specific threats, officials said.

"We have developed a robust security overlay for the upcoming ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks," Martine Materasso, chief of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau, said Wednesday during the mayor's daily press briefing.

"We will be using all of our counterterrorism resources to ensure a safe event," she added.

Those tools include explosive detection canines, uniformed police presence by the former site of the Twin Towers, heavy weapons teams, explosives detection instruments, a bomb squad at the site, license plate readers, radiological and chemical sensors and surveillance cameras.

De Blasio noted, "As of this moment there is no specific and credible threat," but vowed to "have deployments all over New York City" in the days leading up to Saturday's anniversary.

John Miller, the NYPD's deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism explained why police officials are preparing for "an elevated threat environment." "We've seen the call to action this year be louder and better organized from terrorist groups that we've seen in prior years," Miller said noting the major Sept. 11, 2001, anniversary, American troops pulling out of Afghanistan, and the return of the Taliban in that country as well as the recent suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. nypost.com

U.S. Attorney Kennedy Announces Results Of VIPER Initiative

Homicides in Buffalo down over 50% following implementation of VIPER

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today the results of the first 60-days of the federal Violence Prevention and Elimination Response (VIPER) Initiative, which sought to address the dramatic increase in gun violence in the City of Buffalo during the first half of 2021.

The initial 60-day period of VIPER covered the time period between July 7 and September 7, 2021. Following the implementation of VIPER, the homicide rate in the City of Buffalo decreased by over 50%. In addition, in the first four months of 2021, the number of shooting victims in Buffalo was up 100% compared to the five-year average for those same months. Following the implementation of VIPER in 2021, shooting victims in Buffalo are down 6% compared to the five-year average for those same months.

VIPER achieved its ultimate objective of saving lives by focusing on four primary objectives:

1. Enhanced Targeted Enforcement 2. Enhanced Federal Prosecutions - 3. Enhanced Cooperation and Use of Intelligence-led Policing 4. Enhanced Community Engagement

During VIPER, 144 firearms arrests were made, 44 are pending federal prosecution, while 96 are pending state prosecution. The VIPER Task Force also seized 122 firearms, taking them out of the hands of those who would commit acts of violence. justice.gov

Robbed While Selling Through Online Marketplaces
Recent robberies prompt Seattle police to urge caution with OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace meetups
After recent robberies related to online sales, Seattle police are urging caution when meeting and selling through online-shopping exchanges like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace.

Two robberies in August were related to online sales meetups, and three people reported being robbed at gunpoint in June during attempted purchases and sales through OfferUp, according to Seattle police.

While the five precinct lobbies of Seattle police remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the South, Southwest and North Precincts have publicly accessible parking lots available for safe meetups with online buyers and sellers.

Here are some tips from Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook and police for safely meeting strangers for sales: seattletimes.com

Retail Violence & Shopworker Abuse Across the Pond

Violence & Abuse Skyrocket in UK Stores
Shopworker abuse 'has increased since Covid restrictions ended'

A study by a leading law firm has found most shopworkers believe abuse from customers has increased since coronavirus restrictions ended.

The study, by Foot Anstey, reports that 52% of staff said they had seen a rise in aggressive behaviour from customers when enforcing their store's Covid safety measures after 19 July - so-called Freedom Day.

The survey of 1,048 shopworkers found 61% had experienced some form of offensive behaviour while working for their current employer, for whom the impact manifested as stress (45%), anxiety (43%) and a loss of self-esteem (19%).

The study has been released in the same week that the government indicated it will not be introducing a specific offence of assaulting shopworkers, because it believes existing laws on violence and assaults are sufficient.

This is despite a long-running campaign by those in the retail business calling for greater legal protection for staff, including an open letter in July signed by 100 retailers and organised by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Foot Anstey's study supports this suggestion of a need for greater protection.

Half of respondents (50%) noted a rise in harassment during the pandemic (versus 42% who did not), and of that group 95% had seen a rise in verbal harassment, one in five (20%) physical harassment, and 5% sexual harassment within their working environment.

Shopworkers identified masks (57%), social distancing (45%), limits on customer numbers in-store (38%) and stock shortages (36%) as the main causes of confrontation. talkingretail.com

Retail union adds to pressure to bring in new law to protect shopworkers
The government has indicated that it believes current laws on assault and violence should provide sufficient legal protection, without the need for new legislation. The debate follows what Usdaw calls "a shocking upsurge in violence and abuse".

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary, said: "We remain disappointed and frustrated that the government has still not committed to a simple standalone offence for assaulting a retail worker, to encourage prosecutions and provide the deterrent effect that our members are desperately looking for.

"There needs to be a clear message that assaulting or abusing someone working to serve the public is totally unacceptable. It has been a terrible year for our members, with over 90% of shopworkers suffering abuse, more than two-thirds threatened and one in seven assaulted."

"Retail workers are saying loud and clear that enough is enough, abuse should never be part of the job.

"At a time when we should all be working together to get through this crisis, it is a disgrace that staff working to keep food on the shelves and the shop safe for customers are being abused. Action to protect shopworkers is needed."

Usdaw added that last month saw the Scottish Parliament introduce a new law to protect shopworkers, which it would like to see reflected in England. talkingretail.com

UK: Employers Urged to Do More to Protect Customer-Facing Staff from Assaults


COVID Update

377.6M Vaccinations Given

US: 41.5M Cases - 6714.5K Dead - 31.7M Recovered
Worldwide: 224.1M Cases - 4.6M Dead - 200.7M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 306   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 386
*Red indicates change in total deaths

The White House
Path out of the Pandemic

President Biden is implementing a six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy that employs the same science-based approach that was used to successfully combat previous variants of COVID-19 earlier this year. This plan will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage. whitehouse.gov

Biden Rolls Out Sweeping New Vaccine Mandates
Biden administration to require all companies with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are vaccinated or tested weekly
President Biden announced sweeping new coronavirus vaccine mandates Thursday designed to affect tens of millions of Americans, ordering all businesses with more than 100 employees to require their workers to be immunized or face weekly testing.

Biden also said that he would require most health-care facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding to vaccinate their employees, which the White House believes will cover 50,000 locations.

And the president signed an executive order compelling all federal employees to get vaccinated - without an option for those who prefer to be regularly tested instead - in an effort to create a model he hopes state governments will embrace. He is also ordering all staffers in Head Start programs, along with Defense Department and federally operated schools for Native Americans, to be vaccinated.

Taken together, the moves represent a major escalation by Biden of the pressure against those who have resisted vaccination. The announcement comes amid growing signs that the highly contagious delta variant, and the persistence of vaccine resistance, are combining to drag out the pandemic, slow the economic recovery and prevent Biden from turning his focus to other matters.

The White House estimates that the policy will affect about 80 million workers, or two-thirds of the country's workforce. Businesses that ignore the mandate could face up to $14,000 per violation. washingtonpost.com

The Ultimate 'Call to Action' - Associations Caught Almost Speechless?
No Postings on Association Websites Yet - Obviously Surveying Membership

Retail groups offered mostly cautious endorsements of President's Plan
In a statement on Friday, National Retail Federation Vice President of Government Relations and Workforce Development Edwin Egee said the group would work with the Labor Department as it develops the rule. "We appreciate the administration's commitment to ensuring workplaces are safe despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic," he said.

Retail Industry Leaders Association President Brian Dodge warned that "requiring large employers to mandate vaccination of all employees or produce a negative test is a colossal undertaking."

"Demonstrated good faith by employers to comply with the new rules should be appreciated and not punished," Dodge said in a statement.

Such a rule could exacerbate the labor shortage if anti-vaccine workers quit or companies try to stay under the 100-employee limit, and it will probably face legal fights, according to John Challenger, chief executive officer of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. By and large, however, the businesses affected by the rule will be relieved to be covered by a federal mandate rather than the hodgepodge of local and state rules that exists now, he said.

"Even with the inevitable challenges, this plan gives some guidance to HR teams and business leaders who for 18 months have been attempting to implement policy that is consistent with government regulations and makes sense for their organizations," Challenger said in emailed comments. "Ultimately, the plan's aim is to create a safe work environment for employees, which is a top priority for so many of the nation's business leaders."

An exodus of employees isn't likely, as not even a quarter would strongly consider leaving their jobs over a vaccine mandate, and 60% actually support one, according to research from Qualtrics. The process will be quite involved for employers, which have already been making work-from-home and other adjustments for the past 18 months

"The president's order means employers can stop discussing whether to impose a vaccination requirement, and begin the next important step of communicating with their employees about how they will act on it," Heimbrock said.

American Apparel & Footwear Association applauded it. retaildive.com

Retail Response to Biden's Vaccine Mandate
Retailers, manufacturers wary of Biden private sector vaccine mandate

Top NAM official said the requirement should not negatively affect the operations of its companies

Two powerful business groups, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation, stopped short of endorsing President Biden's plan requiring large companies to mandate vaccinations on Thursday.

NAM, in a statement, was adamant in its support of nationwide vaccination efforts, though it indicated concern about the potential implications of Biden's plan in the workplace. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons asserted any requirement should be rolled out in a way that would not negatively impact operations.

Biden's plan also drew a muted response from the National Retail Federation, which noted its commitment to "strict health protocols" and said the industry would "continue to encourage Americans to voluntarily protect their own well-being and that of their families by getting vaccinated.

"Several of our members have implemented policies mandating vaccinations for some or all of their employees, while others are offering monetary incentives and paid time off," the NRF said. "We appreciate the administration's commitment to ensuring workplaces are safe despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. We look forward to working with the Labor Department as it promulgates this rule."

Earlier in the day, the private sector vaccine requirement drew support from members of Business Roundtable, which represents the interests of dozens of the country's largest companies, including Amazon and Apple. foxbusiness.com

Retail Impact of Vaccine Mandates
New York City Vaccine Requirements Create Significant Compliance Hurdles for Covered Retailers
On Aug. 16, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio issued Executive Order 225 (the "Order") and related guidance regarding the "Key to NYC" vaccination requirements for nearly all patrons, employees, interns, volunteers, and contractors entering indoor dining, entertainment, recreation, and fitness settings.

The New York City guidance also states that businesses "must check identification of anyone appearing to be 18 years of age or older." This identification verification requirement may come as a surprise to some businesses as the focus of de Blasio's announcements on the mandate have all focused on individuals showing proof of vaccination only. These requirements were the first of their type to be announced in the country.

Written Policies for COVID-19 Vaccine Protocol

Covered businesses must develop a written policy describing their protocol for implementing and enforcing these requirements and also must post a notice (such as the NYC sample notice) in a conspicuous place that's viewable by prospective patrons prior to entering the establishment.

Exceptions and Accommodations to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Businesses also need to understand that certain individuals may be unable to be vaccinated for various reasons. For patrons unable to be vaccinated due to a disability, businesses must engage in a cooperative dialogue and consider if there's a reasonable accommodation that would enable them to access the business's goods or services without posing a direct threat or undue hardship to the business. Businesses also need to follow this process for employees, including employees unable to be vaccinated due to disability, pregnancy, religious belief, or their status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking or sex offenses.

The requirements took effect on Aug. 17, and New York City inspectors will begin enforcing these requirements, including potentially issuing fines, on Sept. 13. Therefore, businesses should take prompt steps to ensure they have an appropriate process in place, including reaching out to qualified counsel if necessary. mytotalretail.com

Top Retailers to Produce 280M COVID Tests as Demand Surges
Biden picks Kroger, other top retailers to sell COVID tests at cost

The president is invoking the Defense Production Act to produce 280 million COVID tests.

Kroger is among several large national retailers tapped to offer at-home, rapid test COVID kits at cost over the next three months. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced Kroger, Walmart and Amazon as the retailers that will sell the tests kits.

Because the kits will be sold at cost to the retailers, they will be priced 35 percent lower than currently available test kits, according to the administration. These price reductions will be in effect by the end of this week.

Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act to produce as many as 280 million COVID tests. The act authorizes the president to require businesses to accept and prioritize contracts for materials deemed necessary for national defense, regardless of a loss incurred on business.

Demand for testing is expected to rise as Biden's new vaccination mandate covering employers with 100+ employees goes into effect. fox19.com

New Governor Enacts COVID-19 Safety Legislation
What you need to know about the New York Hero Act
Gov. Kathy Hochul this week designated Covid-19 as a serious public health risk that triggers new workplace-safety requirements under the New York Hero Act.

The law, also called the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, requires the state Departments of Labor and Health to implement enforceable minimum workplace-safety standards aimed at airborne infectious diseases. dol.ny.gov

Calif Fails to Enact New Legislation
New vaccine mandates falter in California Legislature as protesters gather in Sacramento
A drumbeat of chants criticizing vaccine and mask mandates carried into the unusually sparse hallways on Wednesday at the state Capitol, where lawmakers were wrapping up the final week of their legislative session without the bills that hundreds came to Sacramento to protest.

A late push by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) to create a new workplace vaccine requirement failed to come together before a legislative deadline Tuesday evening. Another proposal by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), which fell apart last week, would have created sweeping new vaccine mandates in the workplace and to enter businesses.

Wicks said she might pursue the legislation in January when the Legislature returns. latimes.com

Unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die of covid-19, CDC report finds

Monster risk: Fauci says COVID cases 10x too high

Why are cases so high when millions are vaccinated? Blame the delta variant


DEI Topics Take Top Spots on LinkedIn Learning
'Unconscious bias' is LinkedIn Learning's most popular course
A course on diversity, equity and inclusion has earned the top spot on LinkedIn Learning's most popular list. "Unconscious Bias" by Stacey Gordon was the most-taken course in 2021. Per LinkedIn Learning's description, this course highlights how "unperceived biases" negatively affect job performance, communication with co-workers and overall productivity.

Gordon's anti-bias courses was joined on LinkedIn Learning's 20 most popular list by three more DEI courses: Confronting Bias: Thriving Across Our Differences by Vernā Myers and Arianna Huffington, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging with Pat Wadors, and Communicating about Culturally Sensitive Issues by Daisy Lovelace. (LinkedIn Learning has made its top 20 courses free until Oct. 15.)

The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Department officer undeniably rekindled conversations about institutionalized racism and anti-racism, especially at work.

More than a year out from the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, this LinkedIn Learning milestone is a tangible marker of continued corporate interest in DEI. hrdive.com

Retail Wage & Benefits War Continues
Amazon Dangles Free Bachelor's Degrees as New Perk in Fight for U.S. Workers

E-commerce giant will expand college education benefit as it battles to hire hourly workers in tight U.S. labor market

Amazon.com Inc. is offering
to pay college tuition for more than 750,000 U.S. employees, as the battle for hourly workers escalates beyond minimum wages.

The e-commerce giant joins other retailers, restaurant chains, garbage haulers and meat processors dangling the prospect of a free college education as
a way to lure and retain staff in a tight U.S. job market.

Amazon said Thursday that
it will cover the cost of tuition and books for staff pursuing bachelor's degrees at various universities nationwide. Hourly employees will be eligible for the new perk after 90 days on the job. It didn't identify the schools.

company has hired 400,000 employees during the pandemic, but it is looking to reduce turnover and bring on tens of thousands of additional hourly staffers to work in its fulfillment centers and delivery network over the coming months. Employees working as little as 20 hours a week will be eligible for the college benefit, though Amazon will pay 50% of the college costs for part-time staffers. wsj.com

   Walmart ends quarterly bonuses after raising hourly pay

Luxury Boom Has Designers Marking Up Prices & Adding Stores
Luxury Brands Rushing to Open Stores in Suburbs & Vacation Hot Spots of the Wealthy
"There's a bit of a luxury land grab going on," said David Hurley, executive vice president of the Watches of Switzerland Group, which has opened eight stores this year, including Breitling boutiques in San Jose, Nashville and suburban Philadelphia. "Like many others, we're doubling down on store expansion plans."

Though the pandemic has battered the economy, casting millions of people out of work, the wealthiest among them flourished from a booming stock market and soaring home values. Americans have saved $2.6 trillion since the coronavirus outbreak, with the richest quintile accounting for 70 percent the vast majority of that tally, according to Oxford Economics.

Brands are aiming to cash in on the luxury boom by moving even further upmarket, according to Kayla Marci, an analyst at retail intelligence firm EDITED. Designers like Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton have marked up handbags, and many others are adding new stores with VIP suites, private shopping appointments and concierge services to accommodate the wealthy.

As a result, commercial real estate brokers across the country are reporting unprecedented demand from luxury retailers trying to take advantage of cheap rents. washingtonpost.com

NRF launches Retail Law Resource Center
The NRF Retail Law Resource Center is a new hub for in-house retail counsel to learn the latest strategies on guiding and advising organizations. Track weekly legal cases, access workplace trainings, learn about employment law, COVID-19, retail litigation and opportunities to connect through committees, councils and more. Learn more. nrf.com

Texas man gets execution delay over pastor's touch request

U.S. Supreme Court Reprieves Inmate Who Killed Corpus Christie Convenience Store Worker

Says the state was violating his religious freedom by not letting his pastor lay hands on him at the time of lethal injection.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked John Henry Ramirez's execution about three hours after he could have been executed. He is condemned for fatally stabbing 46-year-old Pablo Castro, who worked at a Corpus Christi convenience store in 2004 over a $1.25 robbery. In its brief order, the court directed its clerk to establish a briefing schedule so Ramirez's case could be argued in October or November.

Prosecutors say Ramirez stabbed Castro 29 times during a series of robberies in which the inmate and two women sought money following a three-day drug binge. Ramirez fled to Mexico but was arrested 3½ years later. The request by Ramirez, 37, is the latest clash between death row inmates and prison officials in Texas and other states over the presence of spiritual advisers in the death chamber. dallasnews.com

Target-owned Shipt delivery service expands potential reach to 2M more households

UPS & USPS to hire 140,000 for holidays

Dollar General CEO sees opportunities in 'health deserts'

US jobless claims reach a pandemic low as economy recovers

Quarterly Results

Torrid Q2 comp's up 30%, net sales up 34%

Academy Sports and Outdoors Q2 comp's up 11.5%, E-commerce sales down 0.9%, net sales up 11.5%

Dave & Busters Q2 comp's up 3.6% over Q2 2019, revenues up 642.9%

Kroger Q2 comp's down 0.6%, digital sales two-year stack up 114%, total sales down 0.4%, two year stack up 14.6%

September 11, 2001 - 20 Years Later

Where Were You That Morning?

Remembering 9/11 - Looking Past Hate Toward the Greatness of Unity

Though hate may have brought us momentarily to our knees, the power of unity and hope will always be much greater.

September 11, 2001 changed the lives of many. For those who lived through it, we will never forget the exact moments when we learned that a horrible tragedy was no accident, searing the visions in our minds forever. Almost 3,000 lives were lost on that day and more than 6,000 injured; in addition, a significant number of the heroes who responded to the attacks have died or are suffering from mental illness or diseases that are a result of exposure to the scene-in the deadliest terrorist attack in our history. As the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, we remember and we reflect on the impact those attacks have had on our nation, especially our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders who willingly and knowingly risked or gave their lives to save others.

Much of a first responder's job is to help people during their most difficult and trying life events, however, September 11, 2001, was undeniably different than what most of us have experienced in our lives. The sacrifices of our first responders have not been forgotten-in fact,
9/11 is a solemn reminder to us, that even in our darkest moments, our first responders will always show up to protect our communities, even at their own peril. For those who were able to physically survive the attacks, they have faced longstanding physical and mental trauma and an increased risk of heart, respiratory, and cancer-related illnesses. While most of us remember that day on its anniversary, these heroes relive and struggle with 9/11-every day.

Because of the courage and dedication of our first responders, and the unity born out of tragedy,
terrorism did not win that day, just as it will not win today or tomorrow. Instead, we, as Americans, and the world demonstrated that justice shall prevail. In honor of those who serve, we offer our gratitude, support, and deepest respect. Let us continue to honor the legacy of those who perished, support the survivors, and commit to telling our children how sacrifice, hope, bravery, and courage prevailed, and how we-as Americans and the world-came together in unity. policefoundation.org

9/11: Safety and Health Lessons Learned

Those who took part in the rescue, recovery and cleanup operations at the World Trade Center learned that heroism alone is not enough to stay safe.

Lesson One: Get the Facts Straight
Lesson Two: Provide PPE and Training
Lesson Three: Don't Suspend Enforcement
Lesson Four: Worry About the Worker, Not Liability
Lesson Five: Don't Allow Politics to Sabotage Response
Lesson Six: Emergencies Impact More People than First Responders
Lesson Seven: No Excuses
Lesson Eight: The Importance of Site Control
Lesson Nine: Protect Workers
Evacuation Plan is Critical ehstoday.com

Never Forget: Images from 9/11 and the Recovery and Clean Up Efforts


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National Cyber Director Sees Ransomware As Continuing Threat

Chris Inglis: 'Too Soon To Tell' If Gangs Have Changed Their Behavior

Despite a recent slowdown and some cybercriminals claiming they have stopped or abandoned ransomware attacks, National Cyber Director John "Chris" Inglis says it's "too soon to tell," if the behavior of these groups has changed permanently or if they are waiting for an opportunity to return.

Speaking at the Reagan Institute in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Inglis, who was approved by the U.S. Senate in June as the nation's first cyber director, says that while the information in the public domain seems to show that large-scale ransomware attacks have fallen off in the last few months, cybercriminal gangs remain a threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

In June, President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss cybersecurity issues, especially those concerning ransomware gangs suspected of operating within Russia's borders. Putin's government has denied that these groups operate with impunity within the country

Since that time, however, some ransomware gangs claimed that they have ceased operations, but it's believed by security analysts that many have simply switched names or revamped their malware

"We've seen that those kinds of [ransomware] syndicates had, to some degree, deconstructed, but I think it's a fair bet that they have self-destructed - essentially gone cold and quiet," Inglis told the audience Thursday. "Let's see whether the storm will blow over - whether they can then come back. And what I think will make the difference is whether Vladimir Putin and others who have the ability to enforce the law - international law as we know it - and ensure that they don't come back." govinfosecurity.com

Editor's Note: Obviously, REvil's blog popping back up hadn't reached Inglis's attention or he just ignored it.

Is Remote Work a 'Ticking Time Bomb' for Cybersecurity?

91% of IT teams have felt 'forced' to trade security for business operations

When it comes to remote work, security is often the last thing on the priority list.

A new survey suggests that the majority of
IT staff have felt pressured to ignore security concerns in favor of business operations.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused enormous economic damage, and as the virus continues to sweep across the globe, many businesses have suffered. In order to keep operations ticking over -- or to facilitate the changes needed in order to survive -- employers turned to virtual meetings and remote working.

While working from home may once have appeared to be just a temporary measure, r
emote and hybrid work is now firmly entrenched in some sectors -- and there may be serious ramifications for cybersecurity.

On Thursday, HP Wolf Security published a new study, the Security Rebellions & Rejections report, which combines data from an online YouGov survey targeting office workers that adopted WFH and global research conducted with IT decision-makers.

In total, 91% of those surveyed said that they have felt "pressured" to compromise security due to the need for business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
76% of respondents said that security had taken a backseat, and furthermore, 83% believe that working from home has created a "ticking time bomb" for corporate security incidents.

IT teams, their workloads, and the need to compromise are not the only issues -- it also appears there are general feelings of apathy and frustration when it comes to managing cybersecurity in a remote workplace.

According to the survey,
younger workers, in particular, are more likely to circumvent existing security controls in order to manage their workloads, with 48% of this group saying that security tools, such as website restrictions or VPN requirements, are a hindrance -- and 31% have at least attempted to bypass them. zdnet.com

Food Supply Chain Under Attack
Cybercriminals See Bountiful Harvest in Food Supply Chain

Agriculture and food companies are seeing increased attacks from ransomware groups targeting the industry, prompting the DoJ and security firms to issue warnings.

The US Department of Justice put the
food and agriculture sector on notice that companies need to beef up cybersecurity or risk attacks that could hobble their business and affect the critical infrastructure responsible for the US food supply.

In a Private Industry Notice (PIN) published Sept. 1, the FBI warned that
cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the sector with ransomware and other attacks. Citing an unnamed private industry report, the notice stated that the increased use of automation in the food and agriculture sector has boosted the number of potential weak points that attackers could exploit.

"Ransomware may impact businesses across the sector, f
rom small farms to large producers, processors and manufacturers, and markets and restaurants," the advisory stated. "Cybercriminal threat actors exploit network vulnerabilities to exfiltrate data and encrypt systems in a sector that is increasingly reliant on smart technologies, industrial control systems, and internet-based automation systems."

In 2020,
attacks against the food and agriculture industry jumped more than sixfold, vaulting the industry into seventh most targeted industry, according to telemetry data from security firm Malwarebytes. The industry will likely rise a few more places in the list: In the first three months of 2021, attacks continued to increase, rising a more modest 36%, the company said. darkreading.com

The First Line of Defense: Employees
Phishing attempts: Employees can be the first line of defense
33% of emails employees report as phishing attempts are either malicious or highly suspect, according to new research. The finding comes from an analysis of emails reported by employees from organizations across the globe during the first half of 2021, and highlights the efficacy of employee-led efforts in preventing cyberattacks.

Most common reasons for reporting emails

According to the analysis, the most common reason users gave for reporting emails was a suspicious link, which was cited by 59% of users. 54% reported an email because of an incorrect or unexpected sender, and 37% because of suspected spam. 34% of users suspected the use of social engineering in an email, while 7% reported because of a suspicious attachment.

99% of the reports were automatically analyzed. Out of those,
33% were classified as phishing. Security professionals manually investigated the remaining 1% of reported emails and determined 63% of those were phishing attempts.

"You often hear that people are security's weak link. That's very cynical and doesn't consider the benefits of
using a company's workforce as a first line of defense," said F-Secure Director of Consulting Riaan Naudé. "Employees can catch a significant number of threats hitting their inbox if they can follow a painless reporting process that produces tangible results." helpnetsecurity.com

Impact of ransomware on cyber insurance driving the need for broader cybersecurity knowlege


Register Now for the 2021 RH-ISAC Summit - September 28-29

Hey LP/AP senior: If your retailer is a member you might want to consider attending yourself or sending one of your team members who works with cybersecurity on investigations or e-commerce fraud.

Especially now with the increased ransomware attacks and data beaches and the corresponding increased attention from law enforcement. Cross pollinating and building those relationships could pay off long term. 
Register here






E-Commerce is Driving Counterfeit Sales
Combating Counterfeit Goods in the Age of E-Commerce
Counterfeiting is the practice of manufacturing and exchanging products that are branded to appear like their authentic counterparts but are not genuine. The scope of counterfeit goods goes far beyond luxury items to include products from multiple industries.
E-commerce, meaning commercial transactions that take place online, has only increased the diversity of platforms accessible to counterfeiters.

Governmental authorities argue that counterfeits, as objects intended to deceive consumers, present several risks of harm to individual customers and the collective economic system.
In an e-commerce environment, the risks of counterfeiting brands are especially high. In 2017, for example, Nike withdrew its products from Amazon in part because Amazon houses third-party vendors that sell counterfeit Nike products to consumers.

Counterfeiting not only harms the producers of the items being counterfeited, it also harms the broader public. For example, counterfeit items can be dangerous. Pharmaceuticals, which could contain the wrong dosages or incorrect ingredients, may become one of the most counterfeited goods in the United States.

Counterfeit goods also pose a risk to the financial success and innovation of honest businesses. Consumer trust in brand authenticity and the health of the global economy are put at risk. And workers may be subject to devastating working conditions to produce counterfeit goods.

In the United States,
multiple federal bodies develop and enforce e-commerce counterfeit goods regulations. These include the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Office of Intellectual Property Rights, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. theregreview.org

COVID Misinformation on Amazon?
Sen. Elizabeth Warren asks Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to explain why the company's algorithms recommend Covid misinformation

Searches for "Covid," "vaccine" and other terms on Amazon turned up products that promote false information about the coronavirus and vaccines, the letter states.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., sent a letter to Amazon on Wednesday
demanding it do more to stop the spread of Covid misinformation through dubious products on the marketplace.

In a letter addressed to CEO Andy Jassy,
Warren asked for more clarity on how Amazon's search algorithms and "Best Seller" badge work, saying the company's recommendation engines are potentially driving consumers to books and other products that contain falsehoods about Covid-19.

Warren says searches for "Covid-19," "Covid," "vaccine," "Covid-19 vaccine" and "pandemic" turned up products that
promote false information about coronavirus vaccines and cures, many of which appeared at the top of search results.

For example, a book by Ronnie Cummins and Dr. Joseph Mercola, the latter of whom is considered an influential spreader of vaccine and coronavirus misinformation online, called "The Truth About Covid-19" was the top search result for "Covid-19″ and "vaccine," according to the letter. It was also labeled a bestseller in Amazon's "Political Freedom" books category.

Searches for "COVID 19 vaccine" produced other
literature promoting discredited Covid cures or vaccine misinformation, including that Covid-19 vaccines are "making people sick and killing them," the letter states. CNBC was able to replicate several examples mentioned in Warren's letter. cnbc.com

E-commerce depends on 'product line' not just 'tech': Williams-Sonoma CEO







Vermilion Parish, LA: $20k worth of stolen firearms recovered after gun shop burglary in Vermilion Parish; Six arrested
$20,000 worth of stolen firearms was recovered after a gun shop in Vermilion Parish was burglarized on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Five men and a juvenile have been arrested, according to a press release from the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office. In the early morning hours of Sept. 7, the VPSO received a call about a burglary in progress at a local gun shop on Woodlawn Rd. in Vermilion Parish.

The VPSO Patrol Division, along with assistance from the Maurice and Abbeville Police Departments responded. While en route to the gun shop, a vehicle was observed traveling from the location of the shop. While officers were attempting to conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle fled and then crashed. Multiple suspects exited the car and fled on foot. A VPSO K9 was called to assist in tracking the suspects. The driver was apprehended and taken into custody without further incident. All firearms matching the descriptions of what was stolen from the gunshop were recovered, amounting to a total of $20,261.76 in stolen items. klfy.com

Cicero, NY More than $30K in sports memorabilia stolen from Cicero store
Three men were arrested early Thursday morning after getting caught using a sledgehammer to break into a sports memorabilia store they had previously robbed two other times this year, police said. Cicero police began investigating the burglaries in May after Southpaw Sportscards at 8342 Brewerton Rd. had its front door smashed in and more than $30,000 in merchandise was stolen, according to a news release issued Thursday by the department. In August, the store was burglarized again in a similar fashion, and another several thousand dollars in merchandize was stolen, police said.

St. Johns County, FL: Three women wanted in July robbery of Coach store
Investigators say that on July 29, the women targeted a Coach store at the St. Augustine Premier Outlet. One of the females approached the store manager, possibly as a diversion, while another female began removing clothes from the rack and putting them inside a large handbag. Deputies said the other two women also removed several items before leaving the store.

Mt Pleasant, MI: Four Illinois residents have been accused of stealing multiple tools from Menards in Mount Pleasant

Murfreesboro, TN: Police seek 2 men in $1,500 Home Depot theft

Gig Harbor, WA: Trio wanted for $1000+ thefts at Kohl's and Sally Beauty

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Shootings & Deaths

Clayton, MO: Woman accused of murdering shopper at Breckenridge Hills Family Dollar found mentally unfit for trial
A judge ruled Thursday that a Tennessee woman's mental health makes her permanently unfit to stand trial for the fatal stabbing of a church nursery worker at a Family Dollar store in 2018. Circuit Judge John Borbonus signed orders in three pending criminal cases against Cameka Cathey, finding her mentally incompetent based on evaluations from state psychologists who said she is unlikely to regain competency. Cathey, 36, is accused of murdering Marybeth Gaeng on Nov. 27, 2018, inside the Family Dollar Store at 9730 St. Charles Rock Road in Breckenridge Hills. Cathey also faces charges of fleeing St. Ann police and stealing a car from a Breckenridge Hills auto shop a few days before the killing. She had been arrested for those crimes but released before the murder of Gaeng. Police have said Cathey and Gaeng, 65, were strangers, and that Cathey grabbed two knives from a store shelf before stabbing Gaeng in the head. Gaeng worked at The Gathering Clayton church as a kids' nursery specialist. stltoday.com

Roanoke, VA: Youth charged in holiday shooting at Valley View Mall found Not Guilty
A Roanoke teenager charged with malicious wounding after a shooting inside Valley View Mall has been found not guilty on all charges. A Roanoke jury deliberated about an hour before returning the verdict late Thursday afternoon. Nashawn Smith was 16 at the time of the incident. He's 17 now, and was being tried as an adult on three charges, including malicious wounding.

There was no dispute that Smith fired one round December 26. One person was wounded during the brief encounter that sent shoppers scrambling for cover. During testimony Thursday, Smith said he acted in self-defense. He said the victim had threatened him and was pulling a gun when Smith fired the weapon. After the verdict, family members shed tears in the courtroom. And Smith emerged from the courthouse to congratulations. Smith's attorney, Patrick Kenney, said they were very pleased with the verdict.

Houston, TX: Would-be victim shoots Armed Robber in the face
A would-be robber was shot in the face after he tried to steal from a man in southeast Houston, according to authorities. The shooting happened just before 11 p.m. Wednesday outside a convenience store on Monroe Road and Airport. Houston police said a driver dropped off the suspect in the parking lot of the store. Moments later, the would-be robber approached a customer who was walking towards the store. The suspect then approached the customer, flashed his gun and demanded his belongings, according to police. Police said the customer, who had his own gun, pulled it out and shot the suspect in the face. The entire incident was caught on surveillance video.

Panama City, FL: Man wearing women's clothing and possible wig shoots Bay County store clerk
Bay County Sheriff's deputies are searching for a man dressed in women's clothing and possibly a wig who shot a convenience store clerk in an attempted robbery early Thursday morning. According to a sheriff's office press release, deputies received a call at about 3 a.m. from a clerk at the Beeline Store on Cherry Street in Callaway. She told dispatchers that she had been shot. Citing the victim, surveillance video and witness testimony.


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Rockford, IL: Subway worker suspended after defending herself
during Armed Robbery
A local Subway worker has been suspended after defending herself during an attempted robbery. The incident happened Sunday morning at the restaurant located at 1120 East State Street. Subway employee Araceli Sotelo said she was scared for her life, and in the moment, decided to fight. Now, she says that a surveillance video circulating online is the reason she has been suspended. Sotelo was working alone when a man walked in, demanding money. "He kind of just showed me his gun, and I was like freaking out like, 'woah you can't do that please leave,'" Sotelo said. "[He said] 'give me all the money' and I said 'I do not have any money, like, I do not have any money.' That is all I had and he was just like, 'give me everything before I hurt you.'" The man did not leave, and ended up grabbing Sotelo's purse, so she fought back.

"He was smaller than me, so I have that advantage. I'm bigger than him, so I could at least put my weight on him, push him, or something," Sotelo said. She said the man's gun fell to the ground during the scuffle. Surveillance video from inside the Subway shows the entire incident and was posted online. Now, Sotelo is suspended from her job. "I get a call yesterday it was like, 'if every one of these videos are not taken offline you will be suspended,' and then I texted them and I'm like 'how long am I suspended for?' They said till everything is removed online. I have no ability to do that," Sotelo said. Sotelo said she did not leak the video, and says the owner is ignoring her. mystateline.com

Fairfax County, VA: Alexandria Police say string of 7-Eleven robberies are connected
Alexandria Police say that a string of robberies from 7-Eleven convenience stores in the city and in Fairfax County are connected. The most recent incident occurred just before midnight on August 19 at the 7-Eleven at 1025 W. Glebe Road. The clerk told police that the male suspect was buying a Black & Mild cigar. He handed over cash, but when the register opened he pushed the clerk away, "lunged" over the counter and stole about $30 in cash, police said in a search warrant. Police believe the suspect is also responsible for robbing two 7-Elevens in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. Just after midnight on June 21, the suspect walked into the 7-Eleven at 3100 Lockheed Boulevard and asked for a Black & Mild from the clerk. Police reported that, "as the clerk opened the register to process the transaction, the offender leaps over the counter assaulting the clerk and then removes cash from the register and flees." Another identical robbery was reported five hours later at the 7-Eleven at 2305 Huntington Avenue.

Napa, CA: Man arrested after climbing into rafters of Office Depot
A man was arrested Wednesday night at the Napa Office Depot store after workers saw him climbing a ladder toward the ceiling in possible preparation for a theft, according to police. Officers were called to the office supply store at the South Napa Marketplace, 211 Soscol Ave., at about 8:07 p.m., after employees saw the man use a ladder to climb from a bathroom toward the rafters, then refuse to come down when workers told him to do so, Sgt. Aaron Medina said in an email. Police arriving at Office Depot found the ladder, and the man, identified as 35-year-old Kevyn Darmacy Davis of Vallejo, said he would climb down, according to Medina. Davis climbed down but broke an air conditioning vent along the way, Medina said.

Carroll County, GA: 20-year sentence handed down in AT&T store robbery
A Lawrenceville man accused of tying up the clerk of a Villa Rica AT&T store before robbing it was given a 20-year sentence Wednesday in Carroll County Superior Court. Stephan Devon Proffitt-Long was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years probation after pleading guilty to the crime, according to a release issued Thursday by the District Attorney's office of the Coweta Judicial Circuit.

Madelia, MN: Former Fiesta Market cashier pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $27,000

Effingham County, IL: Man Sentenced to 58 Months in Prison for Manufacturing Counterfeit Money




Auto - Tupelo, MS - Burglary
C-Store - Jacksonville, FL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Albany, GA - Burglary
C-Store - Shelbyville, TN - Robbery
C-Store - Charles County, MD Armed Robbery
C-Store - Charles County, MD - Armed Robbery
C-Store - LaGrange, GA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - East Longmeadow, MA - Robbery
Collectables - Cicero, NY - Burglary
Dollar General - Ocean Springs, MS - Armed Robbery
Guns - Vermilion Parish, LA - Burglary
Jewelry - Garner, NC - Robbery
Jewelry - Anchorage, AK - Robbery
Jewelry - Aurora, CO - Robbery
Jewelry - Corpus Christi, TX - Burglary
Office Depot - Napa, CA - Burglary
Restaurant - New York, NY - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Rockford, IL - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Wetherfield, CT - Armed Robbery


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


Weekly Totals:
• 53 robberies
• 25 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Regional Manager LP, Audit & Firearms Compliance
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