Hundreds of suspects have been arrested in a global sting operation after crime networks were tricked into using an app used by police agencies around the world. The encrypted communications platform—known as ANOM—has been secretly run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Europol, and the Australian Federal Police since 2018.
The app was installed on stripped-back cell phones that were purchased on the black market, with the platform hidden within the calculator feature (see how it works). Criminals then divulged plans for drug trafficking, murder plots, money laundering, and more. Police in more than a dozen countries, in an operation dubbed Trojan Shield, were then able to access more the 27 million messages across 20,000 devices—leading to more than 800 arrested, 32 tons of drugs seized, and more than $148M in cash and cryptocurrencies recovered.
Read about the fugitive who inadvertently helped the operation get off the ground here.
Failure at the Edge
A number of major websites were knocked offline for hours yesterday morning after a technical glitch at a third-party internet services company. Analysts said the incident, which did not involve a cyberattack, reflected a weak point in an increasingly global and distributed internet infrastructure.
Parts of Amazon, Reddit, Twitch, The New York Times, and other major sites were affected. At the center of the problems was Fastly, which operates a content delivery network
using what is known as edge computing. The approach refers to servers geographically placed near customers around the world in an effort to speed up access times. For example, the company says a European customer accessing a US-based site will see load times up to a half-second faster.
The consequence of the globally connected network means sites across the world could crash when such
companies experience issues.
Federal officials are investigating the release yesterday of a sweeping set of tax filings from some of the wealthiest Americans. Published by ProPublica, the leak included returns from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and others.
The report claims the top 25 richest
Americans saw their wealth increase by $401B between 2014 and 2018, while paying about $13.6B total, or 3.4%—a term the report refers to as a "true" tax rate. For comparison, households with a median average income of $70K pay about 14% in taxes.
Critics argued such individuals typically have large stakes in the companies they own, which rise in value—thereby increasing wealth—but generate no income. Known as unrealized gains, this rise in value is not taxable until shares are sold, a rule which applies to all Americans when their assets appreciate. Upon
selling, this rise in value would become taxable.
Investigators are probing whether the confidential documents were leaked from inside the IRS, which would be a crime. ProPublica did not disclose who provided the returns, and said it would use the data to publish a series of articles covering specific tax mechanisms used by the ultrawealthy in the near future.
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WORRIED ABOUT FORGOTTEN REWARDS?
We've all got them—gift cards, loyalty points, rewards programs, perhaps even some unaccounted-for Bitcoin—sitting unused in the void of the internet. But what if there were a place to bring them all together and unlock hidden value?
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Historybook: Roman emperor Nero commits suicide (68); RIP author Charles Dickens (1870); HBD Michael J. Fox (1961); Secretariat wins horse racing’s Triple Crown (1973); HBD Natalie Portman (1981).
"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
- Michael J. Fox
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