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A man who has won about $1.5 million in poker tournaments has been arrested and charged with running an operation that combined spam, Android malware, and a fake dating website to scam victims out of $3.9 million, according to Symantec.

Symantec worked with investigators from the Chiba Prefectural Police in Japan, who earlier this week "arrested nine individuals for distributing spam that included e-mails with links to download Android.Enesoluty—a malware used to collect contact details stored on the owner’s device," Symantec wrote in its blog.

Android.Enesoluty is a Trojan distributed as an Android application file. It steals information and sends it to computers run by hackers. It was discovered by security researchers in September 2012.

The suspect flagged as the "main player running the operation" is 50-year-old Masaaki Kagawa of Tokyo, president of an IT firm named Koei Planning and a poker player with success in high-stakes tournaments around the world.

Masaaki Kagawa wins a big pot in the Aussie Millions Cash Game Invitational a few years ago.

Kagawa has reportedly won about $1.5 million in tournaments dating back to 2008 (minus entry fees). His most recent score was a third place finish in the 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championship in February, which netted him $320,000.

Kagawa was already under investigation while playing in that tournament. Symantec explains:

From our observations, the operation began around September 2012 and ended in April 2013 when authorities raided the company office. We confirmed around 150 domains were registered to host the malicious apps during this time span. According to media reports, the group was able to collect approximately 37 million e-mail addresses from around 810,000 Android devices. The company earned over 390 million yen (approximately 3.9 million US dollars) by running a fake online dating service called Sakura in the last five months of the spam operation. Spam used to lure victims to the dating site was sent to the addresses collected by the malware.

The malware allegedly used in this operation appears to share source code with Android.Uracto, a Trojan that steals contacts and sends spam text messages to those contacts. Scammers maintaining Android.Uracto have not yet been identified.

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Original author: 
timothy

An anonymous reader writes "A new piece of malware propagating across Skype has been discovered that tries to convince the recipient to click on a link. What makes this particular threat different is that it drops a Bitcoin miner application to make the malware author money. While malware has both spread on Skype and mined Bitcoins before, putting the two together could be an effective new strategy."

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Original author: 
Sam Byford

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The exact identity of the attackers behind last week's record-breaking DDoS attack on European anti-spam organization Spamhaus remains unclear, but one name that keeps cropping up is that of Dutchman Sven Olaf Kamphuis. In an interview with Heavy, Kamphuis calls himself a spokesperson for Stophaus, the group of hackers that carried out the attack, and says he wants to "destroy" Spamhaus — however, he denies any direct involvement himself.

With Dutch authorities investigating Kamphuis, the New York Times has published a profile of the controversial figure variously dubbed an anti-Semite and the "Prince of Spam" — a self-proclaimed internet freedom fighter that rails against what he calls Spamhaus' censorship of the internet based on...

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Original author: 
Peter Bright


Sven Olaf Kamphuis waving the Pirate Party flag in front of CyberBunker's nuclear bunker.

Sven Olaf Kamphuis

Over the last ten days, a series of massive denial-of-service attacks has been aimed at Spamhaus, a not-for-profit organization that describes its purpose as "track[ing] the Internet's spam operations and sources, to provide dependable realtime anti-spam protection for Internet networks." These attacks have grown so large—up to 300Gb/s—that the volume of traffic is threatening to bring down core Internet infrastructure.

The New York Times reported recently that the attacks came from a Dutch hosting company called CyberBunker (also known as cb3rob), which owns and operates a real military bunker and which has been targeted in the past by Spamhaus. The spokesman who the NYT interviewed, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, has since posted on his Facebook page that CyberBunker is not orchestrating the attacks. Kamphuis also claimed that NYT was plumping for sensationalism over accuracy.

Sven Olaf Kamphuis is, however, affiliated with the newly organized group "STOPhaus." STOPhaus claims that Spamhaus is "an offshore criminal network of tax circumventing self declared internet terrorists pretending to be 'spam' fighters" that is "attempt[ing] to control the internet through underhanded extortion tactics."

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Google's how search works

Google has launched a new animated website called "How Search Works." It's an interactive scrolling graphic that shows what goes on behind the scenes everytime someone types a query into Google Search, broken into three distinct sections: one on Google's massive web-crawling and indexing operation (covering 30 trillion pages), another on its alogrithms and ranking strategy, and a final section on how it fights and removes spam.

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Well it’s that time of year where Americans pig out and say thanks for all they have. I do have a lot to be thankful for. A good job, friends, family and health. So thanks for that and I mean it. More importantly thanks for inspiration. I’m making a lot of music and somehow I’m not repeating myself. Since this is an American holiday I posted two videos above that show some of America in action. Sure I could post our troops at war or something like that but honestly most of us are just working and playing.

“We will use this runway right here. Eyes outside”.

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

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