The Citizens’ Call
Information for members & supporters of the
Los Angeles FBI Citizens’ Academy
Alumni Association, Inc.
Cyber Crimes a.k.a. “Death by 1000 Cuts”
The Computer as Weapon or Target?!
By Lynette Warburton
James D. Paules, President
Jpaules@ socal.rr.com “There is more money
Linda E. Lee, Vice-President stolen through
LindaE Lee @hotmail.com computer intrusions
Christyann Evans, than conventional
Secretary bank robberies”
email@example.com ADIC Shawn Henry
David Evans, Treasurer FBI
Mark Mulcahy, Past President
Directors A neighbor defaces a woman’s legal brief “If I told somebody that there was someone
electronically to prevent her from timely filing in their home going through their personal
James Brabeck incriminating evidence against the man’s records, they would immediately do
cohorts in the Orange County, California Court something drastic about it such as leave their
Joe Dunnigan of Appeal. An ex-boyfriend stalks a woman job or call 911,” Henry said. “There are
Henry Leong through her cell phone using spyware to track people in their computer and the user is
her movements and monitor her every oblivious because they don’t perceive it with
Melissa McSorley conversation. A foreign entity takes command their five senses. Because they can’t observe
and control of a company’s network through it, it is not real to them. The fact of the
Charles McSorley phony e-mails sent to the CEO that were matter is, it is very real and the threat is
answered, virtually enabling a stranger to run significant. Most people just don’t get it,” he
Matthew Slatoff the business. said.
No, this is not some sci-fi plot in an upcoming Bots. Hacking. Malicious code. Phishing.
Administrative Liaison Ray Bradbury novel; it is life in the 21st century. Spam. DOS attacks. The list grows day by
Welcome to the Age of Information. day.
SA Mary Prang Shawn Henry, assistant director in charge of the A botnet, also known as a “zombie army,” is
FBI’s Washington DC field office, believes that a large number of compromised computers
firstname.lastname@example.org Americans do not take the cyber threat that have come under the reign of a hacker
seriously enough “because they cannot see it, usually for a nefarious purpose.
Newsletter Editor touch it, hear it, taste it or feel it.” He recently The herder, who controls the group of
received the Cyber Crime Fighter Award from computers remotely, accomplishes the
Lynette Warburton McAfee security experts. takeover in various ways; one way is by
“There are people right now sitting and working installing their program through “open doors”
email@example.com on their computers who do not realize the that are targeted on an unprotected
danger -- that there are others on it with them computer. Another technique is to send e-
going through files and extracting information,” mail with an attachment that can embed
he said. “Because they don’t witness it with hidden software when clicked upon. Still, an
The Los Angeles FBI Citizens their own two eyes since it is invisible, they additional tactic is to release a “drive by”
Academy Alumni Association, a don’t act upon it as they should.” which can occur just by surfing the web or
private, non-profit organization, is Cyber Crime. It is a blow that can and does downloading files. All of these methods
not part of the FBI. change life, as we know it. result in transforming a computer into a bot.
(Continued on page three)
Want to give back to those who keep our nation safe Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated, committed staff
putting their lives on the line continually in the name at the FBI, the Citizens’ Academy program has proven
of truth, freedom and justice? Then take action and to be a rewarding experience for all of our graduates.
formally renew your membership with the Los And, the best is yet to come with changes underway
Angeles FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association. to make the FBI CA course more robust; for example,
The recent FBI Fallen Agents Memorial Service was an instructors plan to use hands-on scenarios drawn
inspirational tribute to those agents who made the from real life cases and outdoor exercises to enhance
ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for us all. the curriculum.
I encourage each one of you to make a difference by In addition to maintaining your relationship with the
joining the organization that supports those agents on FBI family, FBI CA3 membership also entitles you to
the frontlines, namely our FBI CAAA. participate in various activities including behind-the-
We are living in tumultuous, uncertain times. Note scenes tours, educational presentations, and
the troubling BP oil spill in the Gulf, the pervasive volunteer events. In the fall, our association is
financial crisis throughout the country, not to mention tentatively slated to visit the Orange County Regional
the unsettling terrorist attack threat that looms in our Computer Forensic Lab and the LA County Coroner’s
midst on a daily basis. Department. We are also scheduled to meet with
These disturbing developments only serve to make SABT Kevin Miles for Bomb Tech Demo Day.
me appreciate our premiere law enforcement agency, What are we here for? The monks say: For the sake
the FBI, all the more, and remind me of the ongoing of the choir.
value and significance of our group. If you have any comments, please contact me.
Truly, where would be without the Federal Bureau of
To date, over 366 people have gone through the FBI James D. Paules, Jr.
Citizens’ Academy. What does that mean, exactly? It Los Angeles FBI CAAA
translates into hundreds more well-informed eyes and Graduate, Class of 2001
ears for the bureau. firstname.lastname@example.org
2010 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
January TBD August Bomb Tech
February Chinese New Year
March TBD Department
-New FBI CA
April US Coast Guard Session Starts
May -DHS-CBP/AMOC October Regional
-FBI Fallen Agents Computer
Memorial Service Forensic Lab
June -O.C. EOC November -CEO Range Day
-FBI Open House -FBI CA3
July American Heroes
Air Show December TBD
Meet the new ADIC of the Los Angeles FBI
Steven M. Martinez
A Renaissance Man with a Badge and Gun
You Don’t Want to Get on his Radar
By Lynette Warburton
One of the most noteworthy he ever Swindles can range from builder bailout
supervised was one involving an Eastern cons to foreclosure rescue scams. The
European organized crime group that most common form of mortgage fraud is
kidnapped and murdered five members of illegal property flipping where real estate is
the Russian community in Los Angeles while purchased, falsely appraised at a higher
extorting huge sums of money from their value, and then quickly sold. What makes
Book smart. Streetwise. Been there. Done
families who believed they were still alive. the conduct so criminal is that the appraisal
that. You want someone of Mr. Martinez’s
The truth of the matter was that the killers is dishonest and deceptive, the loan
caliber with his specialized education, training
had already disposed of the bodies in a lake documents are doctored, and the buyer’s
and experience watching your back.
in the foothills of California. income is inflated.
Ask the lady whose life he saved coming out
“The reason this is one of the most “Once we realize the situation, we are right
of a bathroom at a car wash in Las Vegas with
meaningful and memorable to me is that it on top of it,” Martinez said. “We keep the
her casino winnings. Martinez thwarted the
had a successful outcome,” Martinez said. pressure on where it is needed.”
“would be” robber who had lunged at her
“We used all of the tools and techniques at He observed that “Even Ponzi schemes are
from assaulting the woman and taking her
our disposal (including undercover stings, starting to crash and burn due to the lack
wiretaps, and surveillance, among others) to of new money.”
He was in the right place at the right time
bring the ones responsible for this horrific While financial fraud is a major focus for
doing what comes naturally to him.
crime to justice. Our FBI teams went all out them, Martinez stressed that counter-
His razor sharp, finely tuned instincts served
to recover the bodies in 300-foot deep terrorism is still the FBI’s number one
him (and her) extremely well that day.
water and gather evidence. It took years of priority.
Steven Martinez, the new assistant director in
arduous investigation and prosecution. In “We are very vigilant in this area,” he said.
charge of the Los Angeles FBI, is clearly in his
the end, the criminals were arrested, “We partner through the Joint Terrorism
extradited, tried, convicted and punished.” Task Force to make sure that any threats to
Born in Santa Barbara and raised in the San
And now, the good news: Statistics reveal Southern California are promptly and
Francisco Bay area, he and his family are both
that violence is down in the greater Los properly dealt with and that we are as far
delighted and grateful to be back in California
Angeles area. out and in front of it as possible. To the
after his many travels.
Next, the bad: Financial crimes are at an all extent that we can be prepared to respond
Stimulating, challenging employment with
time high. if we have an event, I think we are doing a
loved ones by his side... “It does not get any
“The turbulent economy is creating a lot of great job.”
better than this,” he said.
stress and strain on society,” Martinez said. Martinez dispels the popular media notion
With a bachelor’s degree in government from
“We have noticed a spike in white collar of the FBI not getting along well with other
St. Mary’s College and a master’s in political
crime due to the crisis and collapse of the agencies.
science from U.C. Berkeley, Martinez started
housing market.” “The idea that the FBI would burst onto a
his career with the FBI in 1986. He has held
He cited mortgage fraud as a prime crime scene, push people out of the way,
posts in the Phoenix, Washington, Los
example. and take over, is pure nonsense,” he said.
Angeles, El Paso and Las Vegas divisions and
Reports show that it has cost victims “It does not play out that way in real life.
served as the first on-scene commander
(including borrowers, financial institutions, We could not get anything done without
during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad.
and the Dow) over a billion dollars. forging and cultivating those associations;
“It was a very intense assignment,” he said of
Perpetrators are usually industry insiders meaning, we could not act that way for
the overseas deployment. “I managed
such as accountants, real estate brokers, very long before getting completely shut
counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence
and banking professionals but can and very out. If you asked our law enforcement
efforts every hour I did not sleep.”
often do include others. counterparts they would say that we handle
Whether fighting ruthless drug cartels on the
Martinez is very familiar with the subject as issues collaboratively and make an effort to
Southwest border, corrupt, unconscionable
he headed a task force to combat the do so. The community is better served
CEOs on Wall Street, or crafty, cunning cyber
problem in Las Vegas. when we all pull together.”
thieves on the World Wide Web, Martinez is a
“Trust me, we are aggressively addressing One for all and all for one.
master at thinking on his feet.
this type of crime,” he assured. Citizens, too, are encouraged to do their
“There are exciting adventures to be had no
Mortgage fraud, which is fraud for profit or part.
matter where you land,” he ascertained.
fraud for property, is defined as the “If there are any serious concerns, please
He thoroughly embraces the opportunity to
intentional misstatement, misrepresentation, get a hold of us,” Martinez said. “Put the
lead the Southern California bureau.
or omission by an applicant relied on by a information into the hands of someone
“There is no more interesting place to work
lender or underwriter to fund, purchase or professional who can look into the problem
than Los Angeles with its diverse portfolio,” he
insure a loan. and evaluate it. Know that a report can
said. “The quality, variety and magnitude of
California ranks third in the nation for this always be made anonymously.
cases are exceptional.”
offense, according to Lexis Nexis. (Continued on page four)
FOR FBI AGENT
AND HER BOMB
By Lynette Warburton
Salem has BIG paws to fill, according to Special If they pass, they go on to six more months
Agent Kathleen Carson who recently lost her of professional training.
beloved bomb detection dog, Disco, to illness. The PBB facility was recommended to Carson
The Emmys, Olympics, Golden Globes, Super by the New York Police Department Bomb
Bowl, Grammys and the Academy Awards are just Squad.
a few of the extravaganzas that the FBI covers to In addition to assuming his normal duties in
safeguard the public from potential harm. June, Salem will also be participating in Major
Carson is deeply committed to the mission. League Baseball All-Star Week.
Equipped with a master’s degree, she has a His initiation is rigorous and thorough.
passion for animals, the environment and law “For the first two weeks after arriving in Los
enforcement, and uses all three in her role as an Angeles, Salem and I will spend a lot of time
Explosive Detection K-9 Handler, Hazardous bonding,” Carson said. “He will not be
Materials Response Team Member, Bomb exposed to a lot of other people during this
Technician, and Assistant WMD Coordinator. period. He will learn that I am the pack
She and her canines often upstage the stars with leader and he must learn to trust me.”
their presence. What Carson has gleaned from Cesar Milan,
To audiences attending these larger than life the popular dog whisperer, is that humans
events, they serve as guardian angels providing have to be balanced in order for the dog to
peace of mind -- to those with evil intentions, remain balanced and for the human to be the
they serve as a warning and a deterrent. pack leader. The pack leader never goes to
Salem, a frisky, ten-month-old, male, yellow the pack – the pack must go to the leader.
Labrador retriever, is clearly up to the task. The pack leader must invite the pack into its
“I chose him for several reasons,” Carson said. space.
“He was the top choice from 25 K-9s that were According to the expert, exercise (one hour a
graded and was selected because of his good day), discipline and affection, in that order,
appearance, health, and temperament. He also are what are needed to keep a dog on track.
has exceptional abilities in hunting and playing, “After the two weeks of bonding, Salem will
and is socialized and friendly.” begin his exposure to explosive odors,”
This soldier was trained well by Puppies Behind Carson said. “He will be introduced and
Bars. PBB is a program on the East Coast that trained with other dogs and handlers at this
prepares dogs to perform for law enforcement. time. He will be prompted to recognize all
The Explosive Detection Canine curriculum began major explosive odors and combinations and
in 2001 in response to the September 11th will then have to be certified with the
tragedy and has been thriving ever since. California Narcotics Canine Association
These specially bred puppies, usually Labradors or (Explosive Detection) to become a qualified
Golden retrievers, are placed in prisons with a working K-9 that will earn the approval of the
suitable inmate who raises, trains and works with U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”
them. Dogs are taught everything from basic There is never a “typical” day for Carson and
obedience skills to explicit commands such as the man’s best friend.
mandate to watch an officer’s back. Literally. “When I am in the office, Salem will be at my
After a year or so, if deemed appropriate, the side,” she said. “When I attend meetings he
dogs return to school and are given a series of will either wait in the truck or I will bring him
tests to determine their level of confidence. in if I am allowed. (Continued on page four)
(continued from page one)
“Once someone gets a foothold in a computer, financial institutions. They take more money - A Computer Crimes Task Force
it is hard to get them out,” Henry said. “They through computer intrusions than - Outstanding partnerships with
can do everything an administrator can conventional bank robberies,” he said. domestic and international law
including shutting down communications.” Because of its potentially devastating impact enforcement
FBI Director Robert Mueller considers botnets to on national security and the economy (from - Strong relationships with citizens,
be the Swiss Army knives of cyber crime. Wall Street to Main Street), cyber attacks are private industry, the public sector,
“You name it, they can do it,” he said. “From considered by the FBI to be a very serious academia and the government
attacking networks, sending spam, and issue. InfraGard, an alliance comprised of 35,000
collecting data to infecting computers and “We are more predisposed to an assault as a members throughout the country from a wide
injecting spyware. They do not require highly country because we are more reliant on range of disciplines, is a great example of the
technical skills, yet the national security infrastructure run by computers which use FBI and commerce working together for the
implications are far reaching. A botnet can shut microchips,” Henry said. Water, power, and common good. The organization shares
down a power grid, flood an emergency call transportation are just a few examples of important information about cyber threats to
center with millions of spam messages, or what could be gravely affected. their own company with other trusted
disable a military command post.” “Increased connectivity increases our associates through a secured computer
Botnets are acknowledged by many in the vulnerability (as a nation),” he said. server. Their primary function is to protect
industry to be one of the biggest security The FBI’s top priorities are to protect the U.S. and defend critical infrastructure.
threats on the Internet today. against terrorist attacks, foreign intelligence “Proactive investigations enable us to identify
Over one billion people around the globe use operations and espionage, and cyber based and infiltrate cyber crime organizations and
the World Wide Web on a regular basis, a attacks and high technology crimes, in that create the opportunity to disrupt and
staggering statistic. order. dismantle them permanently taking them off
While Henry believes that it is the greatest line,” Henry said.
innovation of his lifetime, he warns that it does Operation Phish Phry, one of the largest
pose serious risks.
“Increased connectivity international cyber fraud busts to date in U.S.
“There are many wonderful advantages to using increases our vulnerability history, was a major coup for the FBI and
the Internet including access to information, nation alike.
speed, and the ability to accumulate large data
(as a nation)” Last October, almost 100 people were
sets. The problem is these advantages can also ADIC Shawn Henry arrested in Southern California, Nevada and
be exploited by the criminal as a tool to North Carolina, and as far away as Egypt for
enhance their illegal activity,” he said. Washington, DC various crimes related to “phishing” including
Primary United States adversaries are terrorists, computer fraud, money laundering and
spies and organized crime. aggravated identity theft. The con artists
“Traditional groups involved in, for instance, They are also responsible for preventing face a lengthy sentence behind bars as the
cigarette smuggling, extortion, theft of predators from using the computer to steal conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud
interstate cargo, and money laundering ten from, defraud, and otherwise victimize charges alone carries a statutory maximum
years ago have now migrated to the web. citizens, businesses and communities. penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
Stealing data off a network (such as research Armed with its authority and resources, they What actually happened was innocent,
and development) is lucrative because it is a investigate and prosecute unauthorized gullible victims gave their sensitive,
commodity that can be bought or sold like any access violations known as hacking, denial of confidential login credentials to a fake
other pilfered item,” he said. service attacks, Internet fraud schemes, financial website set up by the thieves. Once
According to Henry, the cost of cyber crime is malicious code such as viruses and worms, the information was processed, offenders
stolen data, lost business opportunities and the and copyright violations. withdrew over $1.5 million from one bank
remediation of networks that are extremely Tools they utilize to combat the cyber threat and transferred it to another bogus account
expensive. are: they set up and managed at a different
“Eastern Europe has sophisticated, highly - A Cyber division which supervises location.
technical organized crime groups that steal and facilitates FBI investigations This FBI investigation took two years.
hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. related to computer crimes staying According to Special Agent Jason Smolanoff
on top of the latest threats, who is working on the case, the prosecution
technology and trends is active and ongoing.
- Squads in 56 field and 60 overseas “The sophistication with which Phish Phry
legal attaché offices which research defendants operated represents an evolving
and examine computer intrusions, and troubling paradigm in the way identity
theft of intellectual property and theft is now committed,” said Keith Bolcar,
personal information, child FBI Special Agent in Charge of Counter
pornography and exploitation, and Intelligence/Cyber Crime in Los Angeles.
online fraud “Criminally savvy groups recruit here and
- Cyber Action Teams which have abroad to pool tactics and skills necessary to
special agents, intelligence analysts commit organized theft facilitated by the
and forensic experts ready to travel computer, including hacking, fraud and
at a moment’s notice to where ever identity theft, with a common greed and
they are needed around the world willingness to victimize Americans.”
to solve a case (Continued on page four)
CYBER CRIME (continued from page three)
Cyber crooks use phones, text messaging private sector needs to be conscientious and
and chat rooms to converse with each other. vigilant, and secure their systems.”
Law enforcement uses intelligence such as In other words, safeguard your computer as
the personally identifiable information, you would your home. Exercise caution and
Internet Protocol location, e-mail address, follow the FBI’s recommendations: First,
names linked to those, hacker monikers and keep the firewall turned on; next, install or
clues collected in the computer code to catch update anti-virus software and anti-spyware
them. technology; always keep the operating
There are more adversaries today trying to system up to date; be careful what is
access the U.S. government’s top-secret data downloaded; and lastly, turn off the unit
than ever before. when done with your business online.
Henry’s biggest concern of the moment is When issues arise, the Internet Crime
what he terms “the expansion of the Complaint Center is the perfect place to
perimeter” where places such as Africa, parts register a computer related grievance. IC3 is
of Asia and South America have now a partnership between the FBI, the National
increased their connectivity translating into White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of
“more people trying to get in the door.” Justice Assistance. It collects and analyzes
He emphasized that the FBI’s primary duty is data, and when appropriate, refers criminal
to identify threats to the U.S. and then roll complaints to the appropriate law
out operations to mitigate them, in the end, enforcement agency.
to finally take them down. Never under estimate them. Though they
“Our first line of defense is the individual,” are inundated with calls these days, the FBI
Henry said. “The FBI is not in a position to is still just a mouse click away from finding
do network defense; just as it cannot provide the bad guys.
for the defense of a neighborhood against a As J. Keith Mularski, an undercover agent
burglar. It is up to the homeowner to be who posed as a cyber criminal for the FBI’s
responsible for their safety by putting locks online card trading forum “Dark Market”
on the door, installing an alarm system, and successful sting operation, said: “Know
making sure there is adequate lighting this: We will get you no matter where
outside to deter the criminal. Similarly, the you live.”
SABT Kathleen Carson & Salem (continued) ADIC Martinez Profile (continued)
(That is how Disco, who Salem replaced, became so famous. Remember, the FBI does what it does on behalf
He was always invited in to wherever I was at the time and of the people.”
everyone loved him. He became the welcomed mascot to Martinez could not lavish enough praise on the
many different groups that I was involved with). men and women of the Los Angeles FBI.
“Salem will also work local and national events and will go out “They have such an outstanding work ethic,” he
on explosive search warrants and clear bomb threats. He will said. “It is easy to come to your job each day
never be allowed to investigate a suspicious package. That job when you have that level of dedication.”
belongs to the bomb tech. However, he will tell me if he According to Martinez, the ideal FBI agent should
detects an explosive in the area. If so, I will then remove him have “exceptional leadership skills honed by
from the premises, reward him and work with the local bomb exposure to difficult and demanding situations.”
squad to clear the package. If the package can be handled To be a successful one, they should have a good
remotely (with a robot), that is preferred. If not, a bomb tech education, critical thinking aptitude, report
will dress out in the 85 lb. Kevlar suit and go down range with writing acumen, the ability to express themselves
the prescribed tools. If possible, x-rays will be taken to well in a court of law with authority and
determine if the package is a threat. If it can be visually influence, the wherewithal to take on projects
cleared, it will be; otherwise, the package will be disrupted and and see them through, and last but certainly not
rendered safe,” she said. least, they should lead an honest and clean life.
Carson felt the Academy Award winner Hurt Locker had some “I live my life according to the Golden Rule,” he
very realistic elements to it. “I found the apprehension felt by summed up. “Treat others how you would want
the lead bomb tech was very believable,” she said. “The to be treated.”
number one concern of all bomb techs is for someone to He believes that it pays off in the law
remotely detonate a bomb (remember, they can see you – you enforcement environment as well.
cannot see them). In the case of the movie, everyone on both “We leverage a lot out of those relationships,” he
sides of the road was suspicious. The tension was palpable.” remarked. Translation: What goes around
When in doubt, it is always best to err on the side of caution. comes around.
“If a citizen finds something suspicious, they should never The Southern California populace can sleep
touch or move it,” Carson advised. “Distance yourself at least peacefully at night knowing that ADIC Martinez
300 feet away (if not more) and call 911. Try to provide as and his extraordinary team of FBI agents are
much detailed information as possible. For instance, how big keeping a studied, watchful eye over the region.
is it? Are there wires, batteries, electronic components? Use a
lot of description. Know that all data is greatly appreciated
and utilized in our endeavor to keep our nation safe.”
“And the Humanitarian Award goes to the FBI and their furry Page Four