December 4, 2021

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Four Individuals Plead Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving “Bulletproof Hosting” for Cybercriminals

20 min read
<div>Four Eastern European nationals have pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) arising from their providing “bulletproof hosting” services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and attack financial institutions and victims throughout the United States.</div>
Four Eastern European nationals have pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) arising from their providing “bulletproof hosting” services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and attack financial institutions and victims throughout the United States.

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    In U.S GAO News
    This is the Spanish language highlights associated with GAO-21-297. Conclusiones de la GAO La Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC, por sus siglas en inglés) tomó múltiples medidas para apoyar la restauración de las telecomunicaciones en el periodo posterior al huracán María. Por ejemplo, la FCC recopiló información sobre fallas del sistema, proporcionó asistencia de personal a Puerto Rico, estableció el Grupo de trabajo para la recuperación tras los huracanes para apoyar la restauración de las telecomunicaciones en Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de los EE. UU., y puso fondos a disposición para la restauración de las redes. Sin embargo, la GAO descubrió que la función de respuesta a los desastres de la FCC no quedaba claramente definida en las directrices publicadas por el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, por sus siglas en inglés), aunque las directrices establecen que todos los niveles del gobierno deberían comprender sus respectivas funciones. En particular, el DHS no definió acciones específicas para la FCC en las directrices de funciones de apoyo a emergencias relacionadas con la restauración de la infraestructura de comunicaciones. Esta falta de claridad pudo haber contribuido a la confusión y los retrasos en el periodo posterior al huracán. Por medio de la actualización de las directrices de apoyo a emergencias y una clara definición de la función de la FCC en ellas, el DHS podría ayudar a reducir la confusión y aprovechar el conocimiento de la FCC sobre tecnologías nuevas o en evolución que podrían ayudar a restaurar las redes con mayor rapidez después de los desastres. Vista aérea de una torre caída en Puerto Rico después del huracán María, septiembre de 2017 En el periodo posterior a la temporada de huracanes en el Atlántico de 2017, la FCC determinó cuáles fueron las lecciones aprendidas que le permitirán mejorar su respuesta a los desastres y labores de recuperación, y emitió un informe en agosto de 2018 que contenía observaciones sobre cuatro huracanes, incluido el huracán María. Por ejemplo, la FCC mencionó que pudo mejorar sus funciones en materia de capacitación y mejorar su colaboración con socios federales. Sin embargo, y específicamente relacionado con el huracán María, la GAO descubrió que la FCC obtuvo aportes limitados del público y que las labores del Grupo de trabajo para la recuperación tras los huracanes no fueron lo suficientemente transparentes porque la FCC no comunicó públicamente sus acciones ni sus hallazgos. Debido a la falta de comunicación sobre las acciones del grupo de trabajo y sus hallazgos, el público no tiene una explicación completa y precisa de las labores de respuesta de la FCC al huracán María. Una explicación de esta índole podría asistir con la preparación de desastres futuros. Al presentar al público informes sobre las labores del grupo de trabajo, la FCC podría ayudar a asegurar que los funcionarios del gobierno territorial y demás partes entiendan lo que la FCC ha logrado y qué medidas adicionales son necesarias para construir redes de telecomunicaciones que sean más resilientes. Propósito de Este Estudio El huracán María azotó a Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de los EE. UU. en 2017 y ocasionó grandes daños físicos a los residentes, así como graves daños a la infraestructura crítica de las islas, incluida la infraestructura de redes de telecomunicaciones (véase la foto). Las agencias federales han enfrentado desafíos sin precedentes en el periodo posterior al huracán que complicaron las labores para resolver las fallas de servicio de las redes de telecomunicaciones. Si bien el DHS es la agencia que lidera la respuesta a los desastres, la FCC desempeña una función de apoyo en asuntos de telecomunicaciones. Se le solicitó a la GAO que analizara la respuesta de la FCC a las fallas en las redes de telecomunicaciones posteriores al huracán María. Este informe analiza 1) las acciones de la FCC para apoyar la restauración de las redes de telecomunicaciones después del huracán María y hasta qué grado está claramente definida la función de respuesta a los desastres de la FCC, y 2) las labores de la FCC para identificar las lecciones aprendidas gracias a los aportes del público y determinar hasta qué punto la FCC comunicó esas labores al público. La GAO analizó informes de agencias y evaluó sus labores contra los criterios pertinentes, y entrevistó a funcionarios gubernamentales y a representantes del sector de las telecomunicaciones y grupos de activistas para obtener una amplia gama de puntos de vista no generalizables.
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    In U.S GAO News
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CERP is intended to provide commanders a source of funds that allow them to respond to urgent, small-scale humanitarian relief and reconstruction needs that will immediately assist the local Iraqi population. However, DOD guidance provides no definition for small-scale or urgent, which leaves commanders with the responsibility of developing their own definitions. Commanders we interviewed had varying definitions for small-scale. Our review of the quarterly reports to Congress demonstrated the wide spectrum in size and costs of projects. For instance, projects ranged from a waterline repair costing slightly more than $100 to an electrical distribution system costing more than $11 million. In addition, during our visit to Iraq, we observed three projects: a multimillion-dollar sewage lift station, a several hundred thousand dollar sports center and community complex, and a fruit and vegetable stand that had been renovated with a $2,500 grant. 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MNC-I guidance further states that coordination with local officials is critical to ensure that a project meets a need and will be maintained and that numerous projects have been built that did not meet their intended purpose because of lack of coordination. MNC-I guidance notes that coordination efforts may include synchronizing CERP projects with complementary programs funded by United States Agency for International Development or other nongovernmental organizations within the commander's area of responsibility. While the MNC-I project approval process provides some oversight, the Offices of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), the Army and MNC-I have limited oversight of CERP in Iraq because they (1) do not require units executing projects to monitor them, (2) have not established performance metrics, and (3) have limited knowledge of projects under $500,000. Neither DOD nor MNC-I guidance establishes a requirement for units executing projects to monitor them. MNC-I guidance has a broad requirement for the MNC-I engineer to monitor reconstruction projects, but does not include a requirement for units executing projects to monitor them. No performance metrics exist for CERP. As we have previously reported, federal agencies should develop plans that establish objective, quantifiable, and measurable performance goals that should be achieved by a program. Although MNC-I officials have some visibility over projects costing more than $500,000 because they approve these projects, they have limited visibility and oversight for projects costing less than $500,000. The quarterly reports do not provide information about the number of projects completed during a quarter, the number of projects that have been started but not completed, or the number of projects that have not been sustained or maintained by the Iraqi government or the local population.
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    In U.S GAO News
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