Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The Latin American syndicate, behind the theft of more than RM1 million from ATM machines in Johor, Selangor and Malacca in the last 48 hours, used a computer virus to "infect" the system before emptying the machines, said the police.
Bukit Aman's Cyber Crime and Multimedia Investigation deputy director SAC Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said this was the first time in Malaysia that a virus was used to steal money from ATMs.
Initial investigations revealed that the syndicate had used a virus known as ULSSN to disrupt the ATM system.
"We found it when we were going through the system. The virus had rebooted the ATM system and allowed the syndicate to withdraw money multiple times from the targeted machines," said Kamaruddin.
He said so far, seven cases involving two banks – a local and an international bank – have reported the breach over the weekend, with the latest two in Kota Damansara, Selangor and Malacca.
He said that with a large number of gang members, the syndicate was able to deploy accomplices to the three states to execute the heists simultaneously.
"Although the two cases in Malacca and Kota Damansara were only reported today, we believe the syndicate had carried out the theft around the same time during the weekend.
  • "This is because they knew that the bank and the authorities would already be on high alert once the thefts were detected.
  • The bank would have boosted their security by then," said Kamaruddin.
  • He said a special task force has been set up to oversee the investigation into the cases reported so far.
  • "This is not the first time a virus was used to steal money from banking institutions. Similar cases have also been reported in other countries. This, however, is a first for Malaysia," he said.
  • Kamaruddin said police checks showed that the ATMs were infected when the syndicate member inserted a compact disc containing the virus into the computer system.
  • That was not the only thing the syndicate did as they were said to have used a SIM card as well as other high tech devices to carry out their plan.
  • It was understood that the virus was created only to override the ATM's system and not the other banking system and facilities. Police said bank accounts, belonging to individuals, were intact.
  • It was reported earlier today that a total of RM1.271 million was stolen from six ATMs belonging to Affin Bank Berhad and Affin Islamic Bank Berhad in Johor, Malacca and Selangor.
    The bank, in a statement, said their ATMs were tampered with on Saturday, resulting in cash being stolen from the machines.
    The affected ATMs are located in Johor Baru, Batu Pahat and Taman Molek (all in Johor), Melaka Raya as well as PJ State and USJ in Selangor, the statement said.
    So far, only Affin Bank has come forward to reveal the heists.

    Source: The Malaysian Insider

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    Tuesday, September 30, 2014
    Nearly one million people, most of them young men, leave Tajikistan every year to work in Russia. The Central Asian nation's economy relies heavily on the money they send home. However, their absence is leaving many women at a loss in terms of finding a partner. 
     Al Jazeera's Nidhi Dutt reports from Dushanbe.
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    Monday, September 29, 2014
    Hong Kong democracy protesters defied volleys of tear gas and police baton charges to stand firm in the centre of the global financial hub on Monday, one of the biggest political challenges for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago.   
    China wagged its finger at the student protesters, and warned against any foreign interference as they massed again in business and tourist districts of the city in the late afternoon. "Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying defiantly told a news briefing in Beijing. 
    The unrest, the worst in Hong Kong since China resumed its rule over the former British colony in 1997, sent white clouds of gas wafting among some of the world's most valuable office towers and shopping malls before riot police suddenly withdrew around lunchtime on Monday, after three nights of confrontation.
    China rules Hong Kong under a "one country, two systems" formula that accords the territory limited democracy. 
    Tens of thousands of mostly student protesters are demanding Beijing give them full democracy, with the freedom to nominate election candidates, but China recently announced that it would not go that far. 
    As riot police withdrew on Monday, weary protesters slept beside roads or sheltered from the sun beneath umbrellas, which have become a symbol of what some are calling the "Umbrella Revolution". In addition to protection from the elements, umbrellas have been used as flimsy shields against pepper spray.
    Source: Reuters...More...
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    Monday, September 29, 2014
    Hindus are upset with an upcoming art show opening in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on October 11 depicting iconic Barbie doll as their goddess Kali, calling it highly inappropriate.
    Titled “Barbie, The Plastic Religion”, this exhibition plans to include 33 dolls of various religious figures produced by two Argentinean artists Marianela Perelli and Pool Paolini.  
    Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged the artists to not include Barbie-ized Goddess Kali in the exhibition and remove it from their online postings and printed material as it trivialized the highly revered deity of Hinduism.  
    Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that reimagining Hindu scriptures and deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. 
    Goddess Kali and other Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and 
    not meant to be reduced to a Barbie character.

    • Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Artists should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, Zed added. 
    • Zed further said that Hindus welcomed art world to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning Hinduism concepts and symbols for personal agendas. Barbie-fication of Kali was simply improper, wrong and out of place.
    Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be plundered, Rajan Zed noted. 
    Goddess Kali, who personifies Shakti or divine energy and considered the goddess of time and change, is widely worshipped in Hinduism. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. 
    Besides goddess Kali, this art show also reportedly includes figures from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Argentinean folk religion. 
    Barbie as goddess Kali on Facebook page shows it in a box with symbol of Om and “Jai Kali Ma” in Hindi printed on it.

     Source: FMT
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    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    It is said traveling around the world is a great way to spend your vacation time. But not all cities are as charming as the ones in the travel brochures. 
    While every large city has its problems, There are cities out there which can scare even the most spectacular team of super heroes and if you think the Expendables can take a quiet walk in the park in some of these towns, think again!
    According to the research published by the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, a private organization and part of the Mexican Employers’ Association, there are 10 most dangerous cities in the world.
    The ranking is based on official crime statistics provided by local governments, though Middle Eastern cities were not included in the report, as the New York Daily News notes.  
    However, if you’re the type of person who wants to commemorate one of these dangerous cities, you 
    can always create a custom postage 
    stamp at online to honor 
    your favorite. 
    Check out the list of 10 most dangerous cities in the world;

    1.Aleppo, Syria
    A city under siege. Citizens are crossing from Aleepo – Syria’s economic hub – to Turkey in exodus fashion, as protests between citizens and government has erupted into an all out civil war. After three years of food and fuel shortages, Syria has become unlivable. Since the new year, attacks continue to escalate killing citizens by the hundreds. Power and water is cut, trash piles up spreading disease. Over 100,000 civilians have fled the front lines of a genocidal regime, even risking a feared bridge targeted by snipers, to cross into Turkey.

    2. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    For the second year in a row, the city of San Pedro Sula had the world’s highest murder rate, surpassing Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez. It topped the list of most dangerous cities in the world a second time with a rate of 169 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants – an average of more than 3 murders a day.

    3. Acapulco, Mexico
    Acapulco was once a popular tourist destination. These days, however, the stunning beaches see only a handful of vacationers. Drug cartels are a problem throughout Mexico and it has only been getting worse over the past decade. Large numbers of dead bodies are a common occurrence in this port city, making it a nerve wracking place to hang out.

    4. Caracas, Venezuela
    The capital of Venezuela, Caracas has one of the biggest homicide rates in the world, with 122 homicides per 100,000 residents. The city is under everyday pressure of drug cartels, street fighting and armed robberies. Its citizens and visitors should always be alert no matter which area they visit. If you are going to visit Caracas, make sure you don’t go to this city alone. And when visiting this city, don’t go out alone.

    5. Distrito Central, Honduras
    While no large city is immune to violence, Distrito Central has surpassed the usual amount of violence. There is one of the highest murder rates around the globe. The dangers can be attributed to extreme poverty, government corruption and a heavy Mafia presence. Distrito Central is actually three cities blended into one. The high level of violence deters all but the most reckless of tourists.

    6. Torreón, Mexico
    Although Torreón is one of Mexico’s most important industrial and economic centers, it is also one of the most dangerous cities in the world. While organized crime and drug trade may not be prolific in Torreón, this Mexican city still has one of the highest murder rates – 87 homicides per 100,000 residents.

    7. Maceió, Brazil
    Brazil has a whopping 14 of the world’s most violent cities. Maceió is the capital of the Alagoas state and sees around 135 murders per 100,000 residents each year. The city is by far the most dangerous in the country, topping even Rio de Janeiro, which most people know for its favelas, or slums. Brazil may host a large part of the Amazon rainforest, but its most populated areas are not places you want to hang out in.

    8. Cali, Colombia
    Many of the cities on this list are in Latin America and for good reason. Drug cartel violence abounds in many of these cities and Cali, Colombia is no exception. With nearly 80 homicides, it’s not a very safe place to live. Colombia has never had a great reputation and it’s unlikely to become a tourist destination anytime soon.

    9. Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
    Nuevo Laredo is a border town known for its turf war. Although the risk of crime in Nuevo Laredo is biggest at night, crimes such as kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery can also happen at all hours of the day. Since 2006, 60,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence, according to published reports. If you are going to visit Nuevo Laredo, be sure to stick to well-known and well-populated routes and don’t travel at night.

    10. Barquisimeto, Venezuela
    Though Barquisimeto has just over a million residents, the city sees murders almost every day. The city is the capital of its region and features a surprisingly high number of universities and other places of higher education. Despite once being a thriving tourist destination, the area is now so dangerous that many tourists avoid it.

    11. João Pessoa, Brazil
    The capital city of Paraíba, João Pessoa is in easy reach from the land and sea. João Pessoa is the easternmost city in Brazil and is one of the greenest cities in the world. Unfortunately, the city has high homicide rate due to the generally violent crime found across Brazil. With 71.59 homicides per 100,000 residents, it’s definitely not one of the best places to visit on your vacation. 

    Despite being in some of the most beautiful areas of the world, these cities simply present too much danger for the average traveler. It’s safer to find a place where you aren’t as likely to catch a stray bullet. Are you planning to go to any of these cities?

    Source: Agencies

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    Sunday, September 28, 2014
    Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have continued to advance into the Kurdish-dominated town of Ain al-Arab in Syria, despite the US-led air campaign against the self-declared jihadist group. 
    More than 15,000 residents have fled the northern Syrian town as ISIL fighters pushed deeper, fighting fierce battles with Kurdish armed groups on Saturday. 
    Ain al-Arab, which the Kurds call Kobane, is close to the Syrian-Turkey border. 
    Turkish officials said that four mortar shells from the fighting in Syria landed in Turkey on Saturday, injuring two people.

    Earlier on the day, US coalition-led warplanes struck ISIL positions near Ain al-Arab, as well as targets that included wheat silos in the country's east. 
    Fighting have been raging in the north for two weeks as ISIL captured dozens of villages around Ain al-Arab and tried to push into the town itself.  
    Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Turkish side of the border, said smoke could be seen from the eastern side of the town after what sounded like an explosion. 
    Kurdish sources inside Ain al-Arab, where fighters had been preparing for street battles should ISIL manage to penetrate their defences, said they had been informed of the strikes in advance so that they could pull back from some frontlines. 
    Locals said the village of Alishera, just a few kilometres from the border and held by the ISIL, had been hit by one of the four strikes on Saturday morning.  The US-led coalition did not say whether it had carried out the air raids in the area. 
    Surrounded by dozens of Kurdish refugees from Syria, Dekker said that those who left their homes seemed to be disappointed by the US-led air campaign. 
    "Many of the people we have spoken to do not see the usefulness of the strikes as the ISIL continues to push into their areas," she said. 
    The US, backed by Arab allies, launched its first air strikes on ISIL targets in Syria on Tuesday after hitting hundreds of targets in neighbouring Iraq, where the group has also captured large swathes of territory.

    Source: Al Jazeera
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    Saturday, September 27, 2014
    France has issued a travel warning to its citizens to be “vigilant” in a few countries including Malaysia through their Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
    The website mentioned that with “the intervention of the international coalition against Daech (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL) and the increased kidnappings and hostile acts against the nationals of coalition countries, citizens of France residing in or passing through Malaysia are urged to increase their vigilance.
    It also urged its citizens to inform the French consulate if they are not already registered as French outside of France.
    The warning comes just after French tourist Herve Gourdel, 55, was beheaded in Algeria on Wednesday.
    The murder came after France’s rejection of the group’s 24-hour ultimatum to halt its air raids in Iraq which was initiated by US.
    The warning on the website could also be related to reports that Malaysians were among those who travelled to Syria to fight alongside the terrorists groups.

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    Saturday, September 27, 2014
    KUALA LUMPUR - An architect, a technician and a shopkeeper became the latest Malaysians to be detained as suspected militants just as the country made its firmest stand against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), designating it as a "terrorist organisation".
    The three were about to board a flight to Turkey from where they would have found their way into Syria to join the ISIS.
    But they were detained at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport by members of the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division at about 8.55am on Thursday.
    On the same day, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution calling on countries to help stem the flow of foreign militants to Iraq and Syria.
    • Police said the architect was from Pahang and the technician from Perlis, and both are aged 26. The 42-year-old sundry shop owner is from Kelantan and is believed to be married with six children.
    • "Initial investigations revealed that the suspects were planning to board a flight to Istanbul, which transited in Doha," said Senior Asst Comm (SAC) Datuk Ayob Khan, principal assistant director of the Counter Terrorism Division.
    • "From Turkey, these men were planning to book a passage into Syria where they would join the Islamic State terror group."
    • He said that prior to the arrests, the police raided the homes of the suspects without their knowledge and discovered, among other evidence, an ISIS flag.
    • The arrests raise the number of Malaysian militants held by the Counter Terrorism Division to 22 in the country since April 28.
    • Police are now on the hunt for five militants believed to be linked to ISIS and the Abu Sayyaf, a terror group based in the Philippines.
    • Former lecturer Mahmud Ahmad (also known as Abu Handzalah) and another sundry shop owner, Mohd Najib Husen, both 36, are believed to be leaders of a local militant group that is training and sending members to fight in Syria and Iraq.
    • Sources said the authorities believed that the two men recruited and arranged for four Malaysians to be sent to Syria on March 5 this year, including Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki, the first Malaysian suicide bomber.
    The third member being sought is former Selayang Municipal Council employee Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, 39, also known as Abu Nur.
    The two other wanted men are Darul Islam Sabah members Mohd Amin Baco, 31, and Jeknal Adil, 30, both from Tawau.
    Sources revealed that both men had undergone training with the Abu Sayyaf in southern Philippines since 2005.

    Source: Agencies
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    Friday, September 26, 2014
    YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s army released 109 children from its military ranks on Thursday in its single biggest discharge of child soldiers, but boys are still being illegally recruited from poor families, the United Nations said.
    Myanmar has for years been listed among countries where children have been recruited to fight – both by government forces and rebels.
    The military ran the country for 49 years and was condemned internationally for human rights abuses including the use of child soldiers.
    Bertrand Bainvel, head of the U.N. Children’s Fund in Myanmar, said the military wants to professionalise its ranks and the presence of child soldiers may block military cooperation with countries that could provide assistance.
    A reformist, semi-civilian government that took over in 2011 has been working with the United Nations to get children out of the military. 
    It has released 472 service since June 2012 including Thursday’s discharge, which was the largest yet, according to the United Nations.

    Bainvel said recruitment continues at a decreased rate and that most young recruits come from poor families seeking the income that a son in the army can provide.
    Recruiting most often takes place in the two largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay, and is often facilitated by civilian brokers who forge identification documents, making it difficult to determine how many child soldiers remain enlisted. 
    The United Nations said seven ethnic minority guerrilla forces, which have fought or are still fighting the government, were also 
    using child soldiers.


    Source: Reuters.
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