Breaking News in the Industry: October 24, 2016

Experts warn against fake World Series tickets, merchandise

With the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs looking to make history, ticket scammers looking to cash in on excited fans. The Cleveland Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948. The Chicago Cubs have faced an even longer drought, having last won the World Series in 1908. This has left millions of fans in both cities looking to end heartbreaking streaks, and many want to be a part of it. Unfortunately there are those looking to take advantage of these diehard fans, seeking opportunities to cash-in on baseball fever.

According to ticket resale site seatgeek.com, a ticket for a potential World Series ticket for Game 3 at Wrigley Field would start at more than $2,000 with secondary ticket websites listing some tickets at $35,000. Technologically savvy ticket scammers see this as an opportunity to score big by fooling an unsuspecting consumer that they’re paying thousands for a seat at the historic series.

Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois President Steve Bernas said that people looking to get tickets online or at the ballpark need to beware of making an emotional purchase. “Every game coming up will have people that are pushing counterfeit tickets,” he said. Bernas said to resist the urge to show off your tickets online because “a scammer can grab the barcode off the picture and copy them in some way.” He says to check out the reputation of any website you are looking to buy tickets from at ask.bbb.org.

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The Indians, Cubs and Major League Baseball are also currently looking at a number of vendors that park outside of Wrigley in Chicago and Progressive Field in Cleveland for selling knockoff merchandise.

Here are some suggestions from the BBB if you’re looking into buying tickets:

  • Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true deals. One-time good deals should be red flags to anyone anxious for a ticket.
  • Buy tickets and merchandise from a reputable ticket broker or retailer. There are established businesses that have been selling legitimate tickets for years. Many are Accredited Businesses with the BBB.
  • Look for the official hologram and license from the sports league. These are very difficult to fake and an excellent indication of a licensed product.
  • If buying merchandise online, buy from licensed sites. Look out for broken English in the descriptions. This could indicate an overseas company, and these companies are among the principal culprits in producing counterfeit goods.
  • Use a credit card if possible, so you can appeal to the card company. Using a credit card allows you to dispute the charge before you pay.

The first game of the World Series will begin Tuesday in Cleveland, with the full schedule of games as follows:

Game 1: (Cleveland) Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m.
Game 2: (Cleveland) Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
Game 3: (Chicago) Friday, Oct. 28, 8 p.m.
Game 4: (Chicago) Saturday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m.
Game 5*: (Chicago) Sunday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m.
Game 6*: (Cleveland) Tuesday, Nov. 1, 8 p.m.
Game 7*: (Cleveland) Wednesday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m.

*If necessary
[Source: Rock River Times]

 

Investigations continue over Friday’s mass cyber-attack

An unknown attacker intermittently knocked many popular websites offline for hours Friday, from Amazon to Twitter and Netflix to Etsy. How the breach occurred is a cautionary tale of the how the rush to make humdrum devices “smart” while sometimes leaving out crucial security can have major consequences.

Dyn, a provider of Internet management for multiple companies, was hit with a large-scale distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), in which its servers were flooded with millions of fake requests for information, so many that they could no longer respond to real ones and crashed under the weight.

Who orchestrated the attack is still unknown. But how they did it — by enslaving ordinary household electronic devices such as DVRs, routers and digital closed-circuit cameras —is established. The attackers created a digital army of co-opted robot networks, a “botnet,” that spewed millions of nonsense messages at Dyn’s servers. Like a firehose, they could direct it at will, knocking out the servers, turning down the flow and then hitting it full blast once again. The specific weapon? An easy-to-use botnet-creating software called Mirai that requires little technical expertise. An unknown person released it to the hacker underground earlier this month, and security experts immediately warned it might come into more general use.

As long as companies have been gleefully making and selling Internet-connected devices (the so-called Internet of Things or IoT), computer security experts have warned the security included with them was far too weak, or sometimes even nonexistent. While users at least sometimes are willing to install security updates to their phones or computers, the idea of going around and doing software or firmware security updates on thermostats, garage door openers and even refrigerators has yet to catch on. [Source: USA Today]

 

Czechs Arrest Russian Hacker Sought by United States

Czech police have arrested a Russian hacker suspected of cyberattacks in the United States, officials said. Police said an international warrant for the man, who was not named, was issued by Interpol and that officers cooperated with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on the case.

Hours after the arrest was made public, the professional networking service LinkedIn suggested that the arrest was tied to a 2012 breach of member information. A spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department declined to confirm that or comment on a possible connection. “Following the 2012 breach of LinkedIn member information, we have remained actively involved with the FBI’s case to pursue those responsible,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of the FBI in its efforts to locate and capture the parties believed to be responsible for this criminal activity.”

In May, LinkedIn said that the 2012 breach resulted in more than 100 million of its users’ passwords being compromised — vastly more than previously thought. The business social network said that it believes to be true a purported hacker’s claim that 117 million user emails and passwords were stolen in the breach.

In a statement, the FBI said the man was “suspected of conducting criminal activities targeting U.S. interests,” but didn’t give any more details. “As cybercrime can originate anywhere in the world, international cooperation is crucial to successfully defeat cyber adversaries,” it said.

Russian news agencies quoted Prague’s Russian Embassy spokesman Alexey Kolmakov as saying that it was insisting that the suspect be handed over to Russia. “The embassy has been taking all necessary efforts to protect the interests of this Russian citizen. We are in contact with his attorney,” the embassy statement said. The U.S. has accused Russia of coordinating the theft and disclosure of emails from the Democratic National Committee and other institutions and individuals in the U.S. to influence the outcome of the election. Russia has vigorously denied that. [Source: The New York Times]

 

LP Worldwide: Ex-Tesco trio to stand trial for fraud

Three former Tesco directors will stand trial in Crown Court next September to face charges of fraud in relation to the retailer’s £263m ($320,912,600 US) accounting scandal. Chris Bush, Carl Rogberg, and John Scouler have been accused of acting dishonestly for personal gain and abusing their positions by falsely inflating Tesco’s supplier income. Mr Bush was Tesco’s UK managing director until the scandal emerged two years ago, while Mr Rogberg was UK finance director and Mr Scouler was food commercial director.

The three men were charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) last month with fraud by abuse of position and fraud by false accounting. The investigation into Tesco “remains ongoing”, meaning it could yet bring charges against other directors as well as a fraud charge against the company. Tesco also faces a £150m legal claim in the civil courts from a group of 60 shareholders who claim to have lost money following the supermarket’s accounting scandal.

Bentham Europe, the firm funding the claim, said the investors were “misled by information inaccurately provided to the market” when Tesco overstated its profits. The retailer will likely face other lawsuits as a US law firm, Scott & Scott set up a vehicle – Tesco Shareholder Claims – last year to allow UK and European investors to join forces. The discovery of Tesco’s accounting black hole caused £2bn ($2.44 billion US) to be wiped off the supermarket’s market value. [Source: The Telegraph]

 

Credit card theft of over $200K leads to arrests

Two people were charged with stealing roughly $200,000 in credit and gas cards from an oilfield service company, and two others were arrested for their alleged participation in the burglaries. The Webster Parish (Louisiana) Sheriff’s Office arrested William Harry Dishinger, Janice Sherman, Shawn Milligan, and Tiffany Caldwell.

Detectives say Dishinger, Caldwell and Milligan went to a business in Claiborne Parish with the intent to break into the company vehicles and steal the cards. Milligan reportedly admitted to actually stealing the cards.

According to reports, the three then traveled to a gas station, filling up their vehicle using the stolen cards. They then attempted to get money and purchase items with the cards. During an interview with Dishinger, he reportedly admitted to stealing roughly $200,000 from the business over a year and a half, hitting the company in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico. He would use the credit cards to purchase gift cards and conduct cash transactions, according to the report.

During a search of their residence detectives say they discovered multiple gift cards and pre-loaded cards and cash transactions, along with pipes commonly used for smoking methamphetamine. [Source: Minden Press Herald]

 

Mother, daughter indicted for running JCPenney retail theft ring

Authorities state they have indicted a New Jersey mother and daughter who siphoned more than $100,000 out of JCPenney stores in and around the Tri-State area. Caroline Britt and Breanna Britt were charged with reportedly stealing expensive cosmetics from ULTA beauty stores and returning the items to JCPenney stores for store credit or cash for two years, said New Jersey Attorney General Chris Porrino.

From 2011 to 2013, Porrino said the women and their retail theft ring associates returned stolen ULTA merchandise to JCPenney cosmetics counters, which sold the same range of items. Porrino said the ring members initially only received store credit for the cosmetics. The group began to receive cash when they bought some merchandise from JCPenney and produced counterfeit receipts.

When the members conducted the transactions, Porrino said they reportedly showed store employees fake driver’s licenses or licenses that belonged to other, existing people. The scheme raked in $107,000 from JCPenney stores in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

Porrino said the two women are charged with conspiracy, leading an organized retail theft enterprise, shoplifting and identity theft. Porrino said the mother was also charged with second-degree theft by deception. [Source: Asbury Park Press]

 

LP Worldwide: Help us or we may leave Vancouver, Lululemon tells Ottawa

One of Vancouver’s most successful companies is warning it may be forced to move its 1,200-employee head office outside the country because of problems with the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program.

Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica Inc., which earlier this year delivered a scathing written critique of the strict TFW rules on hiring foreigners, wants the same kind of exemption Ottawa grants to universities, the film industry and Microsoft. That would allow the athletic apparel retailer, with global revenue of $2.1 billion in 2015, to avoid going through a time-consuming labour market impact assessment (LMIA) process before recruiting a senior manager or design expert from one of the world’s apparel hubs, like London, New York or San Francisco.

“Our growth and our ability to remain headquartered in Vancouver will require that the vertically-integrated apparel industry be granted a similar LMIA transition plan exemption as the film industry and academia,” the company stated in a paper submitted to the House of Commons finance committee in late July.

The B.C. Federation of Labour this week accused Lululemon of issuing a “threat,” though the Business Council of B.C. said Ottawa should make it easier to bring in people with specialized technical and professional skills. The company said it already invests considerable time and money trying to train and recruit employees, but that there isn’t a deep enough talent pool in Canada to meet the company’s needs.

“Canada needs well-educated and highly skilled foreign workers to help grow our companies and drive innovation, but the ‘regular’ immigration program tends to be very difficult to use to get this kind of talent, especially in a world where employers can’t wait 18-24 months to bring on the right person,” economist Jock Finlayson, the business council’s executive vice-president, said in an email. [Source: Vancouver Sun]

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