Cybercrime: The Business of Fraud

Cybercrime has become an increasingly prevalent threat in today’s society. As more people around the world turn to online shopping, remote work, online dating, and banking, cybercriminals continue to gain the necessary knowledge to create a lucrative enterprise.

In The Business of Fraud: An Overview of How Cybercrime Gets Monetized,  Recorded Future by Insikt Group outlines the 11 methods of fraud currently used:

  • Fraud tutorials and courses: Provides information on vulnerabilities and scheme methods used by threat actors.
  • Drops and mules: Requires a physical human presence to carry out carding operations.
  • Dating scams: Creating fake profiles
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FEMA Community Vaccination Centers Playbook Update

As of February 2021, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has claimed over 500,000 American lives.  While mitigation efforts such as social distancing and masks are effective preventative tools, the widespread administration of COVID-19 vaccines remains critical in the battle against this pandemic.

FEMA  recently released their updated  Vaccination Centers Playbook with guidance for providing federal support to Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) to include interagency coordination, resource support, facility setup, and other requirements. CVCs are essential to support States, Tribes, and Territories (STT) vaccine administration efforts.

President Biden’s National Strategy for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness charges FEMA with supporting the set-up

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Weaponized: How Rumors About COVID-19’s Origins Led to a Narrative Arms Race

Reading disinformation about COVID-19In a recently released report from the DFRLab of the Atlantic Council of the United States, researchers analyzed the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disinformation being spread about the disease. Titled Weaponized: How Rumors About COVID-19’s Origins Led to a Narrative Arms Race, the study “focuses on how varying, unverified, and outright false narratives that the virus was a bioweapon or the result of a lab accident spread globally on social media and beyond, and the geopolitical consequences of those narratives.”

The report examines four countries as case studies: the United States, Russia, China,

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Rising Tide of Hate and Violence Against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19

The Asian American Bar Association of New York and Paul, Weiss, Goldberg, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP have released a new report “A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions”  which details an alarming uptick in anti-Asian violence associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.    

Focused on the phenomenon in New York City, the document begins with an explanation of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Asian-American community, before discussing causes and contributing factors of heightened Anti-Asian hate and violence. Next, the report highlights the fact that “while

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CDC Strategy for K-12 School Reopening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  has released a new strategy CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools Through Phased Mitigation for re-opening schools during the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. More detailed information from the relevant CDC webpage is also available here. The opening lines of the document underscore that schools should reopen “as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services.” 

The strategy highlights three essential components of safe school reopenings:  

  1. Mitigation strategies to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory
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In Focus: Impeachment 2021

New In Focus now available on the 2021 Presidential Impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

A collection of resources focused on the 2021 impeachment proceedings of President Trump. The House voted to approve a single article of impeachment, accusing President Trump of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in his quest to overturn the election results. The list of resources also includes a link to C-SPAN video coverage of the proceedings, as well as a link to the video of the rally on electoral college vote certification at which President Trump spoke before the capitol riot.


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Social Media: Conspiracy Theories and Radicalization

social media and fake news. propaganda disinformation.
The Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET) has released their latest report, Conspiracy Theories, Radicalisation and Digital Media, discussing the role of social media in inducing radicalization and terrorism through the spread of conspiracy theories.  In the wake of violent incidents spurred by disinformation, many believe more should be done to mitigate conspiracy theories; however, the ethical boundaries surrounding this topic are far from straight-forward.

In this report, GNET aims to prove the following:

  • That conspiracy theories are disseminated through social networking and media sharing platforms.
  • That conspiracy theories have historically played an important role in radicalisation, terrorism,
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Extremism in the United States: Looking Back on 2020

Each year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) collects and tracks data on murders that occur as a result of extremism. In their latest report, Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2020, the ADL states that there was a significant decrease in deaths by domestic extremists, with 2020 having the lowest number of yearly deaths since 2004.  While that may come as welcoming news, the ADL warns that extremists were still as active as ever, noting that there were “16 right-wing extremist-related terrorist plots/attacks in 2020 (through November), an increase from the 13 documented in 2019.”

The ADL speculates

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Policing in America: A Framework for Reform

Over the last few years, policing in America has become a constant topic of consideration among local communities, with the conversation reaching the ears of state and federal officials. Though there is no clear path on how to address police reform, the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City suggests a series of foundational changes that shifts the narrative around policing from that of “force” to one of “service.”

The Crime Commission recently published From Police Force to Police Service: A New Framework for Policing in the U.S., which highlights several recommendations that police agencies can implement to build

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GAO COVID-19 Recommendations: Progress Falls Short of Expectations

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report detailing their comprehensive review of the progress made by federal agencies to “respond to and recover from the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.”  Their report, COVID-19: Critical Vaccine Distribution, Supply Chain, Program Integrity, and Other Challenges Require Focused Federal Attention, finds that out of 31 recommendations made by the GAO in 2020, only 4 were implemented, leaving disappointing gaps especially in the following areas: cross-agency communication, COVID-19 testing, vaccine distribution, medical supply chains, data gathering, drug manufacturing testing, and program funding integrity. To further close these

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