(TEL AVIV, Israel.) A former Israeli soldier is motivated to speak out about the suffering of the Palestinia ns after he was motivated to speak out about the atrocities in the West Bank under a mission called ‘ Straw Widow ‘ allowing the takeover of any Palestinian home in the right area for demoliti on and rebuild for Israeli citizens #AceNewsDesk

#AceNewsReport – Feb.19: A former Israeli soldier has said that it is the responsibility of Israeli citizens to call for an end to the occupation in order to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinians: During an interview with BBC HARDtalk last week, Avner Gvaryahu, executive director of Breaking the Silence, spoke about the organisation’s mission to collect testimonies from Israeli soldiers who witnessed the crimes of the military against the Palestinian people: A former paratrooper in the army, he spoke of his personal experience as a soldier and the operations he was made to carry out #AceNewsDesk reports

Avner Gvaryahu, Executive Director of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence [Open Society Foundation]Avner Gvaryahu, Executive Director of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence [Open Society Foundation] February 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

“I was the sergeant of a snipers team and one of the routine missions we carried out in Nablus, in Jenin or the surrounding areas of those two cities, was a mission that we call a Straw Widow; you would take over a Palestinian home. Every house in the West Bank actually has a number, each and every house has a number, so we would open up the maps and look at the specific house that looked into the right place that we had to enter, and after we would verify that the house has the best parameters, windows and geographical area, we made sure that the people in the house were innocent. So we would enter a house of an innocent Palestinian home in the middle of the night,” he explained.

Whilst initially Gvaryahu followed the orders he received without question, he realised that his moral conscience could not accept the brutal acts he was committing against innocent civilians.

What motivated me eventually to break my silence were the piercing eyes of young Palestinians, when I was barging into their house in the middle of the night.

I could always justify it to myself, but those eyes, their anger and their fear was what helped me overcome that.”

It was only when Gvaryahu spoke with a Palestinian doctor whose house he was raiding, that he was able to understand the suffering of the Palestinian people whose autonomy had been stolen from them.

“That physician himself was kind enough and generous enough to sit down and explain to me what it means to be a Palestinian, and that experience when I’m sitting in a house in Nablus made me realise what I’m actually doing, as a soldier to millions and millions of people,” he said.

When questioned as to whether abuses by Israeli occupation forces were simply cases of soldiers committing atrocities, Gvaryahu highlighted that the mission of the Israeli government was control over the Palestinians and military violence was just one means to achieve that.

“There is a system that for now 51 years is constantly thinking: How can we maintain the status quo? … How can we entrench it? The Israeli occupation has built in the mind set of Israeli society a false equation that basically says it’s a zero sum game, it’s either us or them, and in order for us to feel secure, they have to feel insecure,” he said.

“The mission is control … and the symptoms [military brutality] will not disappear until we end the occupation.”

He also highlighted how ongoing Israeli policies towards the Palestinians were sentencing both parties for another cycle of fighting.

“In every house, in every checkpoint, in every land grab, in every unauthorised settlement, that was approved, for example by our minister of defence just recently, we are dooming us and our neighbouring Palestinians, who are not going anywhere, to another cycle of this.” He argued:

In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there is one issue, the Israeli occupation, that is one sided and it’s our responsibility to want to end it

Gvaryahu emphasised that the Israeli government, was ultimately responsible for the acts soldiers were mandated to carry out in the occupied territories, and that a political resolution was needed to put an end to the conflict.

Many senior Israeli figures, including Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, have labelled Gvaryahu a traitor and accused Breaking the Silence of trying to besmirch Israel’s reputation. In response, Gvaryahu answered: “We are trying to besmirch something, it’s not Israel, it’s the occupation itself.”

Breaking the Silence has also been threatened on multiple occasions, with Gvaryahu noting how one individual was found attempting to burn their offices. However he reiterated that though the group is a minority, they were determined to stand against injustice.

“Even though I’m a minority voice, my responsibility is to speak out. Breaking the Silence is difficult because it is exactly against the stream,” he concluded. “But you cannot ban voices or accept them as legitimate or illegitimate because of the amount of people who support them, but because of the essence of the claim.”

EX-Israeli soldier: “What motivated me eventually to break my silence were the piercing eyes of young Palestinians, when I was barging into their house in the middle of the night.” | #Palestine https://t.co/7JKaw38kSl Middle East Monitor February 19, 2018:

#AceRelatedNews
No charges for Israel soldier who killed Palestinian child returning from swimming

Israel army admits live fire used on Palestinian civilians throwing stones

Report: Israel soldiers beat, abuse Palestinian child prisoners

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here https://t.me/acenewsdaily and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews

Advertisements

(MANHATTAN, NYC.) Just In: Man slashed in the face in Times Square on Sunday night after the victim was in dispute with suspected attacker according to the #NYPD #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Feb.19: A man was slashed in the face in Times Square on Sunday night, police said: It happened at 11:31 p.m. near the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue on Sunday, fire officials said. The victim got into a dispute with the suspected attacker before the slashing, according to police #AceNewsDesk reports

Posted 6:49 AM, February 19, 2018, by Yasmin Sara Merchant, Updated at 06:48AM, February 19, 2018 The FDNY said the victim, believed to be in his 40s, was transported to a hospital.

Police have a person in custody and have recovered the knife used in the attack.Man slashed in the face in Times Square: police https://t.co/fddcJJi4vz pic.twitter.com/Nonsz2wkxL PIX11 News February 19, 2018

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here https://t.me/acenewsdaily and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews

(GAMBIA, West Africa.) Gambia announces ‘moratorium’ on death penalty: Gambian President Adama Barrow announ ced on Sunday a suspension of the death penalty in his country, in a break from the former regime of the dic tator Yahya Jammeh leading the way to rejoining ‘ The Commonwealth ‘ after years of ‘ Human Rights Abuses ‘ #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Feb.19: Gambia’s President Adama Barrow signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment last year: Barrow, a onetime security guard in London who was elected president in December 2016, signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment last year #AceNewsDesk reports

Gambia's President Adama Barrow signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment last year

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment last year:

“I will use this opportunity to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the Gambia, as a first step towards abolition,” Barrow said in a speech marking the 53rd anniversary of independence from Britain: Jammeh ruled Gambia, a small English-speaking country surrounded by Senegal and a narrow Atlantic coastline, with an iron fist for 22 years:

The death penalty was last used under Jammeh in 2012, when nine soldiers were executed by firing squad:

Jammeh later threatened to expand a list of capital crimes in response to what he said was a rising crime rate.Barrow said Sunday: “We have won the war against dictatorship, which is the easy part. Maintaining the peace for our democracy to thrive will be our utmost challenge.” ………He added that “mistakes will be made, but we will correct them as we work towards perfecting the New Gambia.”……..Francophone west African nations such as Benin, the Republic of Congo and Guinea have all taken steps to end the death penalty in recent years, but English-speaking countries in the region have lagged behind.

Activists hope more states will follow Gambia’s example: Gambian President Adama Barrow announced on Sunday a suspension of the death penalty in his country, in a break from the former regime of the dictator Yahya Jammeh.The death penalty was last used under Yahya Jammeh in 2012, when nine soldiers were executed by firing squad https://t.co/b2eWQnvs1G AFP news agency February 19, 2018:

As Lord Ahmad congratulates The Gambia on Commonwealth re-entry: Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for the Commonwealth, visited The Gambia on 15 and 16 February to offer congratulations on the country’s re-entry to the Commonwealth…….The Minister met with senior government ministers, including President Adama Barrow, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ousainou Darboe, and Vice-President Fatoumata Tambajang, where he discussed the Government’s commitments to reforms in keeping with the Commonwealth’s principles of democracy, equality for all citizens, and good governance.

Lord Ahmad said:

The UK warmly congratulates the people of The Gambia on this country’s re-entry to the Commonwealth family of nations. When the Foreign Secretary visited last year, he met many Gambians who share the common values of the Commonwealth and wanted to re-join – and who felt as if they had never truly left……We have welcomed the Government’s progress on human rights and governance over the past year. It is important now that there is continued, concerted commitment and tangible action: human rights, freedom of expression, equality for all, and strengthening rule of law are critical building blocks for a sustainable, successful democracy…….I am delighted to have formally invited, on behalf of the Prime Minister, President Barrow to the UK for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April, and we look forward to working with The Gambia as a Commonwealth partner once more……Lord Ahmad also met with civil society organisations, human rights groups, and members of the international community, including to hear about the challenges facing many women and girls, from lack of access to quality education, to FGM, early marriage and inequality:

Nine Gambia prisoners executed amid rights group outcry in 2012

Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh in November 2011AFPPresident Jammeh pledged to have all death row inmates executed by mid-September

Nine prisoners have been executed in The Gambia, despite international alarm at an apparent official policy to carry out all death penalties by next month: The prisoners were shot dead by firing squad on Sunday, the interior ministry said……

President Yahya Jammeh had vowed to kill all 47 death-row inmates by mid-September………..Rights groups and the international community have expressed alarm, calling on Mr Jammeh to halt the executions.

Amnesty International attacked the policy last week when it reported that the executions had been carried out three days earlier: https://www.amnesty.org/ reported that Soldiers sentenced to death in secret trial must not be executed

01 April 2015, 22:51 UTC Death sentences imposed on soldiers accused of participating in December’s attempted coup d’état in Gambia are a cruel violation of the right to life and the right to a fair trial, Amnesty International said today…………….A military court handed down death sentences to three soldiers and sentences of life imprisonment to three others following a trial on Monday 30 March 2015. The trial was held in secret; media and independent observers were barred from observing the proceedings:

Gambia’s justice system is deeply flawed and we have concerns about the fairness of the trial, given that it was held in secret

Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Many countries in West Africa are moving away from the use of death penalty and it is disappointing that the Gambia has not followed this trend.”……..Reports from the country indicate that the soldiers may have been convicted of treason, conspiracy, mutiny and assisting the enemy. The last executions in Gambia were carried out in 2012, when nine prisoners (eight men and one woman) were executed by firing squad:

In September 2012 President Jammeh announced a “conditional” moratorium on executions, which would be “automatically lifted” if crime rates increased. In March 2015, during a review by a United Nations (UN) human rights body, Gambia rejected recommendations by other states to maintain the moratorium on executions and abolish the death penalty…………The death sentences imposed on Monday are the latest in a series of regressive actions by the Gambian authorities in relation to human rights. In January, at least 30 family members of people alleged to have taken part in the coup attempt were detained without charge or access to their lawyers or families. Some have since been released but many remain in incommunicado detention three months on. In November 2014 United Nations officials investigating reports of torture were prevented from visiting the country’s main prison………..Amnesty International is calling for the death sentences to be commuted to terms of imprisonment, pending a re-trial which meets internationally accepted fair trial standards and does not include the possibility of a death sentence:

Many of The Gambia’s death row inmates are former officials and top military officers who have been detained for treason since 1994, when Mr Jammeh took power in a coup…….The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, urged The Gambia to stop the executions immediately.

Eid address

One woman was among those executed, the Interior Ministry said, listing crimes such as murder, treason, arson, drug and human trafficking as being punishable by death…….It was not clear what crimes each of the nine prisoners were executed for……..The death penalty was abolished when former President Dawda Jawara led the country but reinstated in 1995 shortly after Mr Jammeh seized power……….”By the middle of next month, all the death sentences would have been carried out to the letter; there is no way my government will allow 99% of the population to be held to ransom by criminals,” President Jammeh said in a speech, which was broadcast on national television on 19 August, marking the Muslim festival of Eid……….In response, Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi, who currently holds the chair of the African Union, sent his foreign minister to The Gambia to warn Mr Jammeh not to carry out any executions.

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here https://t.me/acenewsdaily and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews

(WASHINGTON) A new Department of Interior plan to build roads in national parks, fix visitors centres and co mplete other infrastructure projects using money raised by drilling on public lands is facing skepticism fro m members of Congress and a former senior department official after Fridays announcement to hold ‘ G as & Oil Lease Sale ‘ #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Feb.19: The plan, part of the budget the White House proposed this week, would forgo traditional funding and instead opt to finance up to $18 billion in “backlogged” infrastructure projects solely through the sale of mineral and fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters: But the proposal heralded by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke faces several key hurdles, leaving even Republican members of Congress questioning its feasibility and raising a number of concerns, including whether the drilling money is already spoken for by other agencies #AceNewsDesk reports

“Keep in mind that if we are funding this through oil revenues from offshore, what else is it being spent for?” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on the Interior: “You have a lot of uses or sources, a lot of calls on that same money. So how many times has it been spent over? We have to find that out,” she added.

The annual budget already takes into consideration the billions of dollars in revenue generated from oil and gas extraction on public lands when it makes its appropriations to each department. Zinke’s plan suggests creating a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund to pool new lease sale revenues for use exclusively by the Department of Interior:

The fund concept is novel, said a former Interior senior official, but the idea of trying to make a claim on a source of funding solely for one department is not.

“Previous administrations have wanted to have royalties developed from public lands to help fund projects at the Interior Department. But Congress is very conscience of the purse strings that it has and does not want to share that decision-making with administrations that come and go,” said David Hayes, who served as Interior deputy secretary and chief operating officer under former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, respectively.

Hayes noted that royalties from oil and gas are “one of the largest revenue producers in the entire federal government.”

Interior announced in November that the U.S. made $7 billion in revenue from energy disbursements under Trump in 2017. Last year, oil and gas sales from extraction on land under Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) increased by 86 percent, generating nearly $360 million in revenue.

“These results are hard proof that our sound energy policy is working for both public lands and Americans in terms of reliable power and job growth opportunities,” Brian Steed, BLM’s deputy director, said in a statement.

Zinke has proposed increasing revenues even further by doing away with regulatory hurdles and opening up more federally owned property for fossil fuel extraction.

In January, Zinke proposed opening up 90 percent of the U.S. outer continental shelf to offshore drilling leases—areas that would include the Atlantic, Pacific and eastern Gulf of Mexico. However, his announcement was met with intense backlash, including from Republican governors from coastal states such as Florida.

On Friday, Interior to hold largest oil and gas lease sale in US history The Department of Interior announced plans for the largest sale of oil and gas leases in the country’s history. The March sale would auction off 77.3 million acres of offshore waters to drilling, covering coastal waters in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Interior also submitted for public comment a list of 35 “critical” minerals the department is proposing for increased mining development. According to the department, the minerals, which include aluminum and uranium, are considered “essential” to the U.S. economy and national security.

In a press call with reporters Monday following the release of the White House budget, Zinke emphasized that “sovereignty should mean something, so we’re focusing on that.”

“Our growth curve continues to be impressive. As this country focuses on energy dominance, we’ll see this budget request increase going into our parks, and schools,” he said.

But critics say the increase in revenues generated in 2017 were not a result of policy changes but instead increasing oil and gas prices.

Today, oil prices are just starting to rebound at $40 to $60 a barrel after falling from about a $100 a barrel around 2014 to a low of $26 per barrel in 2016.

“Zinke is very misleading suggesting that all of a sudden there is a renaissance in oil and gas,” Hayes said. “The main driver for royalties going up and down is the price of gas. There has been virtually no change at all in the amount of oil and gas leasing available [in 2017].”

Additionally, if auctions on already available land leases are any indicator of interest by industry in more drilling on public land, it doesn’t bode well for Zinke’s proposal.

A BLM auction of $10.2 million acres of land in Alaska in December yielded only seven bids on less than 1 percent of the available land, according to federal data. Another auction that same month for land in Nevada wasn’t any more successful. Of 208 parcels of land offered, only 17 were bid on with the highest bid of $2 per acre, the lowest bid allowed by the federal government.

According to a review of offshore oil sales by Reuters, increasing revenue may just be as unlikely in oceans.

Looking at the oil rich Gulf of Mexico, the amount of money per acre that oil companies spent last year was about a third of what they spent in 2013 when oil prices were higher, Reuters reported.

It’s funny money,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources committee.

“[Interior is] betting on the idea that opening up the public lands will generate revenue. Stupidly, mineral extraction doesn’t provide one penny of royalties to anybody,” he said. “Gas and oil royalties pay 8, 9, 10 percent depending, and that is not going to be enough. There are already thousands and thousands of permits that have never been used.

However, others argue that Zinke’s proposal is still a step in the right direction and signals to industry and Congress that the administration is determined to remove barriers to drilling.

“Companies definitely avoided federal lands during the Obama administration for all of the obstacles it threw up, and you could get a lease but you had no assuredness that you would be able to actually operate on that lease,” said Kathleen Sgamma president of the Western Energy Alliance.

“With the clear signal from Secretary Zinke that the administration is willing to move forward, [it] signals to companies that, ‘Hey maybe it would be worth while to acquire.’”

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources, said he supports the plan regardless of its pitfalls.

“However you work it through, it is a good idea because it’s based on the assumption that we need to be producing more energy,” he said. “There is never enough money for everything … there will never be enough money, but to prioritize that is what should be done.”

– Timothy Cama contributed to Trump plan to fund infrastructure with drilling on public lands draws bipartisan opposition https://t.co/dpHZk9F8lG pic.twitter.com/NqdcfGrnad
The Hill February 19, 2018

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here https://t.me/acenewsdaily and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews

(MALAWI, Africa.) Latest: #Cholera outbreak as cases have increased to at least five hundred with eight dead #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Feb.19: #Cholera cases in Malawi have tripled and four more people have died, the Ministry of Health said on Monday, a month after the spread of the disease from Zambia was thought to have been contained #AceNewsDesk reports

Ministry of Health spokesman Joshua Malango said the number of cases had increased to 527 from 157 recorded in January, and that deaths had doubled from four to eight: He said new cases continued to emerge in Central and Northern Malawi districts, including the administrative capital, Lilongwe where 10 new cases were recorded at the weekend.

“It’s mainly due to drinking of water from contaminated, shallow sources. We’ve intensified chlorine spraying in the localised infection centres,” he said.

Malawi Cholera Cases Pass 500, Eight People Dead https://t.co/zgGeTorus3 pic.twitter.com/0NRTwWOXiY The Voice of America February 19, 2018

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here https://t.me/acenewsdaily and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews

REPORT JUST IN: Last night at 02.30 00.30 GMT, the Israeli Defense Ministry together with the US Department of Defense conducted a successful test of the Hetz 3 anti-missile system designed to intercept ballistic missiles above the atmosphere,” the ministry said #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Feb.19: The Hetz 3 has successfully fulfilled its task, the ministry noted. The launch was held in the central part of Israel under the leadership of Israel Aerospace Industries and Israeli Air Force #AceNewsDesk reports

Israel Missile Arrow 3
© AP Photo/ Israel Aircraft Industries
Missile Glitch: Israel Cancels Another Arrow-3 Interceptor Test

The Hetz 3 is a system that intercepts ballistic missiles during the space-flight portion of their trajectory, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) carrying nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads. The reported flight range of the Hetz 3 missile is up to 1,500 miles and may be used as an anti-satellite weapon.#Israel & US successfully test #Hetz3 exoatmospheric anti-missile system https://t.co/NEPGWZo74X pic.twitter.com/mTflOsGDP9
Sputnik February 19, 2018:

#AceRelatedNews: Tel Aviv Registers Alleged Rocket Launch From Gaza Targeting Southern Israel

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here https://t.me/acenewsdaily and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews

(NEW DELHI, India.) Latest: Hackers who tried to steal nearly $2 million from India’s City Union Ban k this month used tactics similar to those employed in the unsolved cyber heist of $81 million from Banglade sh’s central bank in 2016, City’s CEO said on Monday #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Feb.19: Editor says as ‘ Governments and Bank Security Officials ‘ begin to link ‘ Cyber Heists ‘ together they begin to look at a ‘ Global Picture ‘ and the perpetrator in this case and unknown hackers disabled the City printer connected to global payments platform SWIFT on Feb. 6, preventing the bank from receiving acknowledgement messages for three fraudulent payment instruction sent that evening until the next morning: “Nobody suspected that it was an attack and thought it was a systemic network failure,” N. Kamakodi told Reuters by phone. “The system department people, everybody assembled, analyzed the problem, rebooted, they closed shop only around 10-10.30 in the night.” #AceNewsDesk reports

image1.jpeg

The next morning, bank officials managed to reconcile the previous day’s transactions and found out “three transactions which were not originated from our bank”: The bank had been able block only one of the transfers worth $500,000, while attempts were under way to retrieve the rest, he said. It first disclosed the heist on Saturday. (reut.rs/2ohQElt)……..In the case of Bangladesh Bank, hackers infected the system with malware that disabled the SWIFT printer. Bank officials in Dhaka initially assumed there was simply a printer problem. (reut.rs/2jk1W74)

The hackers stole the money from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using fraudulent orders on SWIFT. The money was sent to accounts at Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines……….Nearly two years later, there is no word on who was responsible and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator………“We definitely see similarities between the Bangladesh case, and the similarities are being factored into the investigation,” Kamakodi said.

City Union, a small private lender based in south India, said the three money transfer instructions were sent via correspondent banks to accounts in Dubai, Turkey and China: He said SWIFT was helping it investigate the matter, and that the hack happened despite the bank adding new security measures days before.

“It’s a cat and mouse game,” he said:

SWIFT said it did not comment on individual customers or entities:

Russia’s central bank said last week that unknown hackers stole 339.5 million rubles ($6 million) in an attack via the SWIFT international payments messaging system in Russia last year. (reut.rs/2Gl0Hxu)

($1 = 56.4 rubles) (This version of the story corrects last paragraph to say hackers stole via the SWIFT platform, not on the platform)

India bank hack ‘similar’ to $81 million Bangladesh central bank heist https://t.co/DvDzHFMQNO pic.twitter.com/R7ZqoNbi8o Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Krishna N. Das and Nick Macfie
Reuters Top News February 19, 2018:

North Korea-linked hackers are attacking banks worldwide

exp TSR.Todd.North.Korea.linked.to.more.bank.hacks_00001401

Saint Maarten (CNN)North Korea’s hacking operations are growing and getting more bold — and increasingly targeting financial institutions worldwide.

North Korea is now being linked to attacks on banks in 18 countries, according to a new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

And the stolen money is likely being spent advancing North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, according to two international security experts.

Banks and security researchers have previously identified four similar cyber-heists attempted on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.

But researchers at Kaspersky now say the same hacking operation — known as “Lazarus” — also attacked financial institutions in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Uruguay.

North Korea's mysterious Lazarus hacking operation has been blamed for several large international cyberattacks in recent years.

North Korea’s mysterious Lazarus hacking operation has been blamed for several large international cyberattacks in recent years.

The hackers can be traced back to North Korea, according to Kaspersky researchers.

To hide their location, hackers typically launch cyberattacks from computer servers far from home. According to Kaspersky, the Lazarus hackers carefully routed their signal through France, South Korea and Taiwan to setup that attack server.But there was apparently one mistake spotted by Kaspersky: A connection that briefly came from North Korea.

“North Korea is a very important part of this equation,” said Vitaly Kamluk, who leads Kaspersky’s Asia-Pacific research team.

Researchers disclosed their findings publicly on Monday at Kaspersky’s Security Analyst Summit, a cybersecurity conference on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten.

Kaspersky is one of the world’s top cybersecurity firms, providing popular anti-malware protection to computers at homes and companies worldwide. Its researchers are known for exposing some of the most complex global hacking operations. US law enforcement remains suspicious of the firm’s ties to the Russian government, but Kaspersky strongly denies Kremlin influence on the company’s business.

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky denies ties to the Russian government.

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky denies ties to the Russian government.

North Korea’s targets have been shifting in recent years.

In 2013, when South Korea’s banks and broadcasters were attacked, that government blamed its neighbor to the north. In 2014, the US government blamed North Korea for the the hack on Sony Pictures. Clues in both cases pointed to Lazarus.

By late 2015, the Lazarus hackers shifted their attention to the global financial system, according to researchers at BAE Systems, FireEye and Symantec.

The earliest known victim was a Vietnamese commercial bank. The latest attacks, observed by Kaspersky in March, included operations attacking financial institutions in Gabon and Nigeria in Africa.

Though most of the attacks were not successful in stealing money, several were, according to Symantec.

And researchers said these hackers intend to attack major Western banks using increasingly sophisticated methods.

One recent example is a trap set at the website of Poland’s financial regulator. Hackers embedded malicious code onto that Polish website, according to BAE Systems. And they limited the infections to visitors from particular internet addresses — employees at banks.

The code showed that Lazarus hackers created a list of 150 internet addresses that served as “a hit list,” said Eric Chien, a researcher at Symantec, which issued its own warning about North Korea hacking earlier this year.

CNN ran those addresses through internet records kept by DomainTools, a cybersecurity firm. Those IP addresses belong to the World Bank, as well as the central banks of Brazil, Chile, Estonia, Mexico and Venezuela, as well as a wide range of well known global banks.

Kaspersky said its defense software has blocked more than a dozen infections from Lazarus. It’s unclear which banks were ultimately infected.

Researchers at several cybersecurity firms theorize that North Korea is attempting to build a network of infected banks to move around stolen money.

For example, millions of dollars were taken from Bangladesh’s account at the New York Federal Reserve last year and moved to Sri Lanka and a casino in the Philippines, according to investigators.

North Korea tried to funnel some of that money through one infected bank in Southeast Asia, according to a researcher at FireEye. But an emergency team at FireEye managed to block it in time.

American prosecutors in Los Angeles are now investigating the Bangladesh bank hack, a federal law enforcement source told CNN.

And the money may be going to help develop North Korea’s nuclear program.

“This is all for their nuclear weapons and missile programs. They need this money for building and researching more ballistic missiles,” said Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow for Foundation for Defense of Democracies who tracks North Korea’s illegal behavior.

North Korea’s secret banking

This aggressive hacking operation coincides with a global effort to block North Korea from the financial system as punishment for its nuclear program. United Nations sanctions block countries from allowing banks to do business with the tightly-controlled regime of Kim Jong Un.

But in February, a UN investigation revealed that North Korea is using a network of front companies and secret agents to access global banks. For example, North Korea used electronics and shipping companies to move millions of dollars, essentially making them financial institutions. The regime also set up several banks as subsidiaries of Chinese and Malaysian firms, masking their true ownership.

Cyber heists play a role in this illicit scheme, because stolen funds can be used to prop up those front companies, according to Sung-Yoon Lee, a Korea expert who teaches at Tufts University.

“We tend to patronize North Korea and mock them. But over the past decade, they have shown the world they are… very capable when it comes to cybercrime,” he said.

CNN’s Scott Glover contributed to this report CNN.Com

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here https://t.me/acenewsdaily and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews