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Russian Arrested in Guam on Array of U.S. Hacking Charges

July 8, 2014 Leave a comment
Roman Valerevich Seleznev was accused of   inserting malware into cash register systems capable of stealing credit card information.
Roman Valerevich Seleznev was accused of   inserting malware into cash register systems capable of stealing credit card information.Credit Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

A Russian man accused of being one of the world’s most prolific traffickers of stolen financial information was arrested in Guam on Saturday, according to the Secret Service.

Roman Valerevich Seleznev was arrested on charges that he hacked into cash register systems at retailers throughout the United States from 2009 to 2011. The Secret Service would not say whether he was tied to the recent attacks that affected the in-store cash register systems at Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels and other retailers last year.

The arrest of Mr. Seleznev provides a lens onto the shadowy world of Russian hackers, the often sophisticated programmers who seem to operate with impunity. As long ago as March 2011, the United States attorney’s office in Washington State identified Mr. Seleznev, a Russian citizen, in a sealed indictment as “Track2,” an underground alias that is an apparent reference to the data that can be pulled off the magnetic strips of credit and debit cards.

That data includes enough basic information — like account numbers and expiration dates — to make fraudulent purchases.

The indictment accuses Mr. Seleznev of hacking into the cash register systems of businesses across the United States and of operating computer servers and international online forums in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere where such stolen data is traded in the digital underground.

It was not yet clear how the Secret Service arrested Mr. Seleznev, and the United States attorney’s office in Washington State declined to elaborate.

In a statement, the Secret Service said Mr. Seleznev’s charges included five counts of bank fraud, eight counts of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer, eight counts of obtaining information from a protected computer, one count of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices, two counts of trafficking unauthorized access devices, and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed on Monday, Mr. Seleznev is accused of scanning devices for weaknesses and inserting so-called malware that was capable of stealing credit card information. He is accused of stealing 32,000 credit card numbers from computers at Broadway Grill, in Seattle, from December 2009 to October 2010. The restaurant did not discover the thefts until late October 2010.

Mr. Seleznev is also accused of similar heists at four other Washington State restaurants and a number of other American businesses, including Schlotzsky’s Deli in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Active Network in Frostburg, Md.; Day’s Jewelers in Maine; Latitude Bar and Grill in Manhattan; and the Phoenix Zoo.

In addition, Mr. Seleznev is also accused of stealing more than 200,000 credit card numbers from November 2010 to February 2011 and of selling 140,000 credit card numbers on underground sites with names like bulba.cc and Track2.name, generating profits of more than $2 million.

“This scheme involved multiple network intrusions and data thefts for illicit financial gain,” Julia Pierson, director of the Secret Service, said in a statement. “The adverse impact this individual and other transnational organized criminal groups have on our nation’s financial infrastructure is significant and should not be underestimated.”

Mr. Seleznev appeared at a court in Guam on Monday. He will be held in custody there until his next hearing in two weeks. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of just the bank fraud. The other charges also carry significant sentences.

The case remains under investigation by the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force in Seattle and is being prosecuted by the United States attorney’s office for the Western District of Washington.

According to one government official, who declined to be identified because of the current investigation, Mr. Seleznev was also among the members of a transnational criminal organization whose members bought and sold personal and financial information through online carding forums, such as the Russian underground website carder.su. In 2012, 19 members of that group were arrested, but Mr. Seleznev remained at large.

He still faces a separate indictment in the District of Nevada on charges of racketeering as well as two counts of possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices.

Todd Greenberg, an assistant United States attorney, would not comment on the means by which Mr. Seleznev, a Russian national, was detained in Guam. However, arrests in Russia over computer crimes are rare, even when hackers living in Russia have been outed by outside groups like the Spamhaus Project, a spam-prevention service based in Europe. According to Spamhaus, Russia is the world’s third-biggest source of Internet spam, after the United States and China.

Just last week, American security researchers accused the Russian government of systematically hacking into oil and gas companies in the United States and other Western nations.

The United States has treated computer security as a law enforcement matter. But Russia has pushed for an international treaty that would regulate the use of online weapons by military or espionage agencies. The United States has been hesitant to press for such a treaty — in large part because its own National Security Agency is behind some of the broadest espionage operations — but it has continued to press for closer law enforcement cooperation on cybercrime.

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Kassim Denim Project

July 8, 2014 Leave a comment
 
 
 
 

Kassim Denim Project

Link to Sandeep Agarwal

 

Posted: 07 Jul 2014 10:53 PM PDT

The London College of Fashion MA Fashion Futures course launched a project on speculative and futuristic denim apparel based on sustainable denim, which was supported by The Sustainable Angle, a non-profit body from UK and Kassim Textiles (Pakistan).Through the Future Fabrics Expo, The Sustainable Angle facilitated the sponsorship of the latest project from LCF’s MA Fashion Futures course, and sponsored by Kassim Textiles.This is a project that exercised the practice of speculative design. The aim of the project was to use design as a media to catalyze social discussion and debate over what life could be in the near future, to explore how to create clothes that make people think. 
One of the student’s projects contemplated using five steps to achieve that (Image credits – all images are fromCaroline Yan Zheng’s (student at LCF ) project ‘Wearable Data’)

1. Choose Data

According to RAY KURZWEIL (author of the singularity is near) the average $1,000 laptop should be computing at the rate of the human brain in fewer than 9 years (that is the year 2023). Fast-forward another 23 years (that is the year 2043). and average $1,000 laptop is performing 100 million billion billion calculations  per second – which would be equivalent to all the brains of the entire human race.

2. Visualize Data

Denim Data

3. Create Pattern for cutting and moulage

Denim Data

4. Create forms on body & experiment on finishing

Futuristic Denim

Futuristic Denim

5. Creating The Final Designs

Futuristic designs were created using the sustainable fabrics from Kassim Denim.

Futuristic Denim

Futuristic Denim

We spoke to the Project Manager of The Sustainable Angle –Charlotte Turner, and London College Of Fashion MA Futures student Caroline Yan Zheng to understand what was the concept behind the whole project and how they see it contributing in influencing denim designs in coming times.

1. How was this project conceived and what was the idea behind it

Charlotte Turner, The Sustainable Angle –

The Sustainable Angle have been working with educational establishments including the London College of Fashionand the Royal College of Art over recent years, to provide students with the opportunity to experience and learn about sustainable textiles. When the London College of Fashion MA Fashion Futures course leader approached us to set up a collaborative project, we thought that it was a great opportunity to bring in Kassim, a company with a strong commitment to becoming more sustainable, and engaging with students, our future industry leaders.

Caroline Yan Zheng –

Practicing speculative design is a major theme in my master degree studies. So this project is part of my practice to raise social reflections using fashion design. The question behind this project is to question the relation of science and technology, humanities and human identity, to raise the reflection of ‘are we ready to cope with the overwhelming development and smartness of artificial intelligence’.

2. How do you think sustainability is a pillar of the project?

Charlotte Turner, The Sustainable Angle –

Within this project, each student had the space to explore what sustainability means to them, and to decide how to investigate and communicate this through their work. Sustainability should be inherently present in everything we do, and this project allowed the students to visualize their ideas in relation to sustainability in fashion and textiles, providing them with a platform to share it outside of the studio.

Caroline Yan Zheng –

Sustainability for me is not merely using sustainable material or up-cycling. Designers as the creators of things need to initiate from sustainable thinking. Asking questions and being speculative is a critical start of creating sustainability. Of course, as an embodiment of the concept, sustainable fabrics enhance the message.

3. Do you think in near future consumers might be strongly attracted by the sustainability mantra?

Charlotte Turner, The Sustainable Angle –

We are already seeing a growing interest and concern about sustainability in fashion and textiles, as well as in other areas of design and production. At The Sustainable Angle we are seeing this first hand via the increasing number of visitors to the Future Fabrics Expo each year, attending to find out more about the latest developments in sustainable fashion and textiles, and through interest from all levels of the market for workshops on integrating sustainable thinking and sustainable textiles in to their collections. This is led in part by consumer demand, and partly by an industry that knows it must reduce it’s negative environmental and social impact now.

Caroline Yan Zheng –

Yes, absolutely. But it won¹t be limited to a showcase of a series of products marketed as sustainable, it will be sustainable thinking and sustainable lifestyle. This is not only to maintain the environment we live in but also to sustain human identity.

4. Your designs are very futuristic. Why do you think consumers could go for such designs?

Futuristic Denim

Caroline Yan Zheng –

For people who are thoughtful and reflective, this type of design will echo their ideas. Instead of being dressed in trendy fashion whose standard of beauty is defined by others for a surface value, to dress to be reminded to reflect or to demonstrate personal messages is definitely appealing for many.

We also spoke to Sohail Ahmed at KassimDenim to take their views on this project :

a) What was the the thought behind to promote this project by Kassim Textiles?

    We at Kassim textiles always believe in progress, and on this belief when we were approached by The Sustainable Angle to assist the students of LCF, we felt obligated to participate in these projects. This was our way of helping out future tex-perts complete their studies and step into the real world.

b) How do you think the consumer can be made aware of the fabric part of sustainability?

     The enlightened consumer of today is aware of the eco situation with drastic changes in the climate, problems in the water resources etc. hence they tend to be more cautious of what they buy. The less enlightened consumers group is either unaware or has lack of empathy, and organizations like The Sustainable Angle educate these masses, reaching out to them with online literatures, lectures, expos etc. and then we ,as producers ,should play our role in supporting such organizations in every possible way.

c) Do you envisage a major changes in apparel designs to take care of sustainability aspect ?

    It has been slow, but yes the trend towards sustainability is now becoming a big factor in the textile industry and apparel designs, and I believe that in not the distant future, sustainability will be the major factor. 

About

The Sustainable Angle is an award winning not for profit organization which initiates and supports projects which contribute to minimizing the environmental impact of industry and society. Their biggest project to date, theFuture Fabrics Expo focuses on the fashion industry and how its environmental impact can be lowered through innovation in the textile industry, and novel ideas to transform the fashion system and design practice.

Fashion SVP is a fashion manufacturing sourcing event comprising an exhibition showcase and industry seminars, presenting retail, brand and wholesaler/importer buyers with local region producers (UK, European and Mediterranean) of casual and formal fashion garments, workwear, outdoor wear and accessories. Launched in 2011, the show is currently co-located with the established fashion stock event, Off-Price Show London.

Kassim Textiles (Pakistan) use primarily natural fibres to create their denims, combining certified organic cotton with linen and cellulosic fibres to create diverse denims for the international fashion market. The company has achieved a wide range of internationally recognized environmental certifications including GOTS, Oeko-Tex, and OE100, and will have a range of their denims showcased in the 4th Future Fabrics Expo on 28th – 30th September 2014 at Fashion SVP, London.

MA Fashion Futures at the London College of Fashion is a ground-breaking design course at the London College of Fashion that combines practice with theory to evolve sustainable solutions for the fashion industry.

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