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Breaking News in the Industry: August 5, 2016

New Chip Card Security Flaw Found

A new flaw has turned up in the chip-based cards on offer in the US. According to new data released by researchers at NCR, credit card thieves can apparently rewrite the magstripe such that the card looks to be chipless when run through a card reader machine — even though such machines should kick back the swipe and tell the user to insert the chip. This means fraudsters can continue to clone magstriped EMV cards and find them useful.

The hole is made possible, according to reports, because retailers are not encrypting their transactions as part of their EMV upgrade. “There’s a common misperception EMV solves everything. It doesn’t,” noted Patrick Watson, one of the researchers. The new flaw adds another line to retail’s ongoing list of complaints about EMV. The NRF has complained that the expensive upgrade ($25 billion) has done little to make retailers safer since unencrypted transactions are essentially just as hackable as they’ve ever been. [Source:]

 Shoplifting Case Helps Identify Possible Child Abuse

What started as a shoplifting investigation ended with a mother being arrested for investigation of child abuse and her two daughters taken into state custody. About 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, an officer was called to a convenience store on a report of a possible shoplifting, said Salt Lake police detective Cody Lougy. The officer found a 10-year-old girl who had taken something, and noticed that the girl “had a swollen face from her ear to the bottom of her jaw and was bleeding from the ear,” according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. The girl told the officer her mother, Lucinda Escobar, 30, had beaten her with a belt that had “large circles” on it, and used a second belt to wrap around her neck and “repeatedly punched and slapped the victim in the face while pulling the belt,” the report states. The girl also said she had been beaten with a phone cord on another occasion, according to police. The girl was taken to a local hospital to be checked out for “multiple injuries,” Lougy said.

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As investigators questioned the girl, they learned her 5-year-old sister, who was still at home, had been beaten with a belt that same day. Officers found the 5-year-old who repeated what her sister had told detectives, according to the report. Escobar was arrested for investigation of intentional child abuse and reckless child abuse, in addition to child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia. A methamphetamine pipe was found in the apartment in an area where the children’s clothes are kept, police say.

Ex-Officer Should Serve 2 1/2 Years for Manslaughter

A jury recommended 2 1/2 years in prison for a white former police officer convicted of voluntary manslaughter on Thursday in the shooting death of an unarmed black man who had been accused of shoplifting. The ex-officer, Stephen Rankin, shot 18-year-old William Chapman in the face and chest outside a Walmart store last year after a security guard called police to go after the young man. No video recorded the actual killing, and testimony conflicted on the details of what happened. But most witnesses said Chapman had his hands up, and prosecutor Stephanie Morales said the officer could have used non-deadly force.

The officer “brought a gun into what is at worst a fist fight,” Morales told the jury, which deliberated for nearly two days before returning its verdict. Rankin, 36, faced one to 10 years on the manslaughter conviction. Morales asked jurors to give him the maximum, while defense attorney James Broccoletti argued that no amount of jail time would bring Chapman back to life. A judge will formally sentence Rankin on Oct. 12. The judge doesn’t have to follow the jury’s recommendation, but can’t increase the penalty.

Rankin, who was fired from the Portsmouth police force after being indicted, had already killed another unarmed suspect, four years earlier, and many in the mostly black city of 100,000 saw his trial as a chance for accountability as police shootings continue around the country.

Four Men Face Racketeering Charges for Selling Counterfeit Denver Broncos Merchandise

Four men face racketeering charges after they allegedly sold counterfeit Denver Broncos football merchandise at the Mile High Flea Market in Commerce City for nine years, officials say.

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The defendants all surrendered to law enforcement officers and were released on $20,000 bail each. The four allegedly sold the NFL gear between Nov. 14, 2006, and Nov. 10, 2015, according to a news release by Sue Lindsay, Young’s spokeswoman. David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Denver, said the investigation uncovered an international counterfeit network. “This investigation uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in money wired to China to finance these counterfeit products and more than 20 shell companies furthering this illegal activity,” Thompson said in a news release. “Not only do these counterfeiting organizations produce inferior merchandise, which is sometimes dangerous, these counterfeits also hurt legitimate businesses in the United States, which can hinder job growth and support criminal organizations around the world.

DHS agents seized $68,000 in counterfeit NFL merchandise from the Miskos’ booth at the flea market on Jan. 10, 2015. The charges allege that the operation purchased more than $868,000 in counterfeit merchandise from China beginning in 2006 until late 2014 for sale in the Denver area, Lindsay’s news release says. All four defendants are charged with operating a criminal enterprise of trademark counterfeiting in violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.

Winona Ryder: “Shoplifting Conviction was a Blessing in Disguise”

Actress Winona Ryder insists her 2001 shoplifting arrest was not “the crime of the century” some media outlets suggested it was. The Beetlejuice star was convicted of attempting to steal items amounting to $5,500 from Beverly Hills department store Saks Fifth Avenue, and now almost 15 years on, Winona can reflect on what she was going through at that time, and believes her criminal record was a blessing in disguise.

“Psychologically, I must have been at a place where I just wanted to stop,” she told Porter magazine. “I won’t get into what happened, but it wasn’t what people think. And it wasn’t like the crime of the century! But it allowed me time that I really needed, where I went back to San Francisco and got back into things that… I just had other interests, frankly.” After taking a few years off following her conviction, Winona returned to acting with a new sense of passion and purpose. [Source: Belfast Telegraph]

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