Saturday, October 13, 2007

ICE nails foreign gang members in 19 States

(Map of arrest locations courtesy of the ICE website)

Recently, I wrote about how counterfeit documents enable all kinds of undesirable people to blend into our communities. The point of the article was that these documents are used by more than hard working illegal immigrants seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

ICE issued a press release, which shows how widespread the problem of undesirable people blending into our communities has become.

From the press release:

A comprehensive national law enforcement operation led by federal agents and officers of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resulted in the arrest of 1,313 violent street gang members, associates and illegal aliens in 23 cities across 19 states.
Many of these undesirable individuals are involved in narcotics, human smuggling, financial crimes and of course, crimes of a more violent nature.

MS13, which has been written about a lot was one of the targets. Other gangs were targets, also:
In addition to MS-13, targeted gangs included Surenos-13, 18th Street Gang, Latin Kings, Bloods, Crips, and Vatos Locos to name a few.
While this reflect the most recent statistics from ICE, Operation Community Shield in an ongoing operation and when you take a look at the big picture, the statistics are even larger:
During the last 27 months, Operation Community Shield has resulted in the arrest of more than 7,655 members and associates of approximately 700 different gangs and the seizure of 287 firearms. Of those arrested, 107 were gang leaders. Many of those arrested under Operation Community Shield are prosecuted criminally and eventually removed from the United States. To date, 2,444 have been charged criminally, while 5,211 have been charged with immigration violations and processed for removal.
And it seems (finally), ICE is gathering support from local law enforcement, who have been forced to stay away from this activity, mostly because of political mandates. Here is a quote from a Sheriff in Florida:
Collier County, Fla., Sheriff Don Hunter notes that, "Criminal illegal immigrants are committing crimes and victimizing our residents and it is our responsibility to investigate their immigration status thoroughly while investigating their other crimes. We have the resources and tools to do that now. It is part of our mission."
ICE press release, here.

A few days earlier, an extensive ICE operation in California netted a lot more of these undesirable foreign types, including a large number of them eating up tax dollars in local jails. What is amazing -- if you take the time to read this press release, are specific references to arrests of individuals (not only in the jails) --who had previously been convicted of serious crimes.

In other words, when they were picked up, they were running around in our neighborhoods.

Previous press release, here.

Here is the post, I mentioned in the first paragraph, which describes how a lot of these people blend (sneak) into our society:

Operation Paper Tiger - the true story, which reveals why our borders aren't very secure!

America is a land of immigrants, and should continue to be considered that. After all, a lot of us believe that this diversity is what has made this the greatest nation in the world.

Please note that there are a lot of legal immigrants, who earn the right to become citizens, also. We shouldn't be handing over the fruits of our society to anyone, who can sneak over the border. It simply isn't fair to the people, who follow the law and prove they have what it takes to uphold the best interests of our society.

Some of them value the right to be called an American so much that they are serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan as I write this. By the way, this is nothing new, many citizens of our country have earned their right to be called an American by serving it.

The problem is all the illegal activity, which goes hand-in-hand with illegal immigration, enables a lot of undesirable people to blend into our society. These people are not making our society a better, or a safer place to live.

If we allow this to continue, we risk losing our status as the greatest nation in the world.

We need to remember that "We the People" are what made this nation great.

In closing, I've seen the folks at ICE bashed quite a bit this year for trying to make an impact on a serious problem. There are some of us -- who appreciate the fact that they are doing their jobs, and by doing so -- trying to make this country a safer place to live.

In my opinion, these fine citizens deserve to be commended instead of being picked apart by certain factions in the media.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Resources to avoid those dangerous Chinese products

There has been a lot in the news lately about dangerous Chinese products. At this point, there seems to be too many of them for the average person to keep up on.

I happened to be taking a look at Lou Dobbs' site and found some great resources that the average person can use to determine, whether or not, they are making a safe buying decision.

Since there doesn't seem to be enough oversight by our government to ensure our safety, I highly recommend taking matters into your own hands. Especially with the holiday season rapidly approaching.

On the site, I found a link to a U.S. PIRG page on recalled toys, here.

Additionally, the page had a safety blog set up by, here.

Also, on the page, is a message from Mattel about products they have voluntarily recalled, here.

Of course, the Chinese haven't only been in the news lately for exporting dangerous products.

Here are some posts about other things they are doing that might be considered dangerous to the rest of the world:

China caught stealing government information again!

The Hackers from China are at it AGAIN!

How Dangerous is China

Here are another posts, I've done (with lots of references) about unsafe products from China.

The new red menace, global commerce from China

Of course, we can't only blame the Chinese. There are other forces in this equation, who are making a lot of money doing business with China:

The problem of unsafe products from China are just a symptom of the bigger problem!

Maybe if we started making more educated shopping choices, some of these problems would go away?

After all, the almighty dollar has a lot of power!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Operation Paper Tiger - the true story, which reveals why our borders aren't very secure!

(Mohammed Atta of 9/11 infamy used counterfeit documents to get this legitimate Florida Driver's License. Counterfeit documents used to get legitimate ones are known as "feeder documents.")

Border security has become a major concern for all us ever since 9/11 revealed how vulnerable we really are.

Counterfeit documents paved the way for the terrorists in 9/11 to get into our country and cause the terrible event, which has forever changed the way we live.

In 2006, Suad Leija, who was raised as the stepdaughter of the founder of the largest counterfeit documents cartel in the United States began assisting the federal authorities in discovering how widespread this problem has become.

Suad has been able to identity members of the organization, who were previously unknown to law enforcement and provide historical data on the organization dating back to the late eighties.

The story begins with Suad meeting and marrying an American businessman, who runs businesses in Mexico and Central America.

Although, this part of the story still isn't completely clear, her husband turned out to be a little more than a person operating businesses in foreign lands.

Saud discovered her husband was trying to gather intelligence on suspected terrorists the cartel had supplied with counterfeit documents. The information he was interested in was contained in an extensive database of the cartel's business dealings.

Upon this discovery, Suad had to make a hard choice. The choice was between her family, or her husband and the United States.

After her husband described the terrorist threat -- comparing it to the violent drug gangs operating in Mexico, she chose to support him -- and ultimately the United States of America.

There is an excellent description of how this occurred in a La Raza article, which has been translated into English on the Paper Weapons site, here.

I found it interesting that La Raza was covering this story, given their political agenda. La Raza isn't the only Spanish media outlet covering the story, Saud has been featured on La Opinion and Univision, also. This would indicate to me that a lot of Hispanic Americans are worried about the criminal and possible terrorist implications that counterfeit documents pose to all of us.

Eventually, Suad and her husband fled to the United States and this is where Operation Paper Tiger begins.

Operation Paper Tiger documents the federal investigation into the widespread use of counterfeit documents in the United States, which are available to anyone, who can come up with the money to pay for them. It also reveals how these documents, which are produced in large numbers, aren't very expensive, either.

The book introduces a term (Paper Weapons), which might unfamiliar to the general public:

Counterfeit documents are Paper Weapons. The first weapon a terrorist needs to "FIT IN" in the United States is a document. Once he has this weapon and cover he can then go about his business of causing great harm to the United States and its citizens.
Here is a description of the cartel and their scope of operations:

The Castorena Leija-Sanchez crime organization is the major supplier of counterfeit documents/paper weapons in the United States. They are Mexico based and have been operating in the United States for 17 years. They are in every major American city and earn approx.300 million dollars per year. They also deal in narcotics and human smuggling. They are the new silent terrorist. Just about every illegal immigrant has purchased documents or knows some one who has from this organization. This book will go into the history, organization in Mexico and the United States, money laundering, illegal document manufacturing, human smuggling and murder.
Counterfeit documents are easily purchased in most major U.S. cities. Most of us have been led to believe that they are used by illegal immigrants, who are trying to make a better life for themselves.

While this is partially true, these documents are also used by criminals to commit a lot of different crimes and have been used by terrorists to blend into our society. The book is able to substantiate this with factual information from government sources, as well as, information revealed during Operation Paper Tiger.

If you were to consider the criminal activity alone, it would include narcotics, white slavery, and a host of financial crimes. More violent crimes result out of these so-called lesser crimes, also.

In fact, Suad once asked her grandfather if the family would sell documents to terrorists. His reply was chilling, “terrorism is an American problem, not a Mexican one.”

The novel includes actual transcripts of wiretaps, revealing a lot of criminal activity, including a pretty gruesome description of a murder within the cartel.

Also revealed are some amusing blunders made by members of the cartel and how the business of counterfeiting documents is set up much like any other successful organization.

It even shows how inmates in prison are serving their sentences under assumed identities.

Operation Paper Tiger shows how these documents are enabling benefits fraud and points out that most of the people, who immigrate here are poor and need assistance. In other words, it shows how the American taxpayer is picking up the cost for all this.

Benefits fraud is another growing problem. In 2006, Los Angeles was losing an estimated $1.5 billion dollars to benefits fraud.

Also revealed is how the recently defeated amnesty legislation wouldn't have done much to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across our Southern border. Quoting the book, itself:

Border Patrol agents have found fraudulent utility bills -- dating back more than five years, and thus proving residency under the Senate's bill --in the possession of those illegally crossing the border into the United States. Many of the immigrants with the documents had never visited or lived in the country, said one Border Patrol agent who requested anonymity.

This fact is substantiated in the wiretaps, which are available in the book.
Quite simply had this legislation passed, counterfeit documents would have made it easy for just about anyone to qualify as having been here for five, or more years.

Given this, it's possible the bill would have caused a rush to our borders by people seeking to get in on the amnesty provision.

If you are interested in knowing the truth about all the criminal activity, which is hidden in illegal immigration, Operation Paper Tiger is a must read.

Suad has paid a price for revealing this information. Her life has been threatened by the cartel and she is forced to remain in hiding. Since she is hiding with the borders of the United States, one has to assume this cartel has a pretty far reach.

Operation Paper Tiger can be bought directly on the Paper Weapons site, here.

Suad has been interviewed extensively by the mainstream media, including Lou Dobbs, Paula Zahn, Fox, CNN, Univision and La Opinion. Many of these stories are linked to the Paper Weapons site.

She has also produced her own set of YouTube videos, which can also be seen on the site.

I highly recommend reading this novel, which reveals Suad's and the government's efforts to keep us out of harm's way!

Pedro Leija-Sanchez serving time in prison under an assumed name.

Previous posts, where Suad is mentioned can be seen, here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The continuing saga of Vladuz and Phishing on eBay

Here is an update to the ongoing saga of Vladuz versus eBay. Apparently, Vladuz, or someone claiming to be him, accessed eBay's servers and suspended some eBay accounts.

Ina Steiner reports on the AuctionBytes blog:

eBay confirmed that a known fraudster had limited access to a very small number of eBay accounts on the site and the company appeared to have reacted quickly to block him on Friday. eBay spokesperson Nichola Sharpe said, "At no point did the fraudster get any access to financial information or other sensitive information." In a strange twist, some users reporting the incident said they had been openly critical of a hacker calling himself Vladuz and had been suspended briefly during the incident.
It is strange that some of the people suspended were openly critical of Vladuz?

Notably, this is the first time eBay has admitted Vladuz accessed their servers.

In another development, eBay, PayPal and Yahoo are joining forces to combat phishing. Phishing is a phenomenon that has caused a lot of eBay and PayPal account holders a lot of grief. Experts maintain that eBay and PayPal are the two most phished brands out there.

Phishing is where an account holder is duped into giving up their access information via social engineering (trickery).

The intent of the phishermen, who target eBay/PayPal accounts is normally to take the account over and commit even more fraud.

This activity gets more sophisticated all the time with crimeware (malware) being used (which steals the information automatically), and DIY (do-it-yourself) phishing and hacking kits being marketed in underground Internet forums.

Reuters, courtesy of the Washington Post is reporting:
EBay and PayPal have upgraded their computer systems to support an emerging technology standard known as DomainKeys invented by Yahoo that authenticates e-mail senders are who they say they are, allowing Yahoo to block fake e-mails.

The technology upgrade will be made available to Yahoo Mail users worldwide over the next several weeks, the company said.
If you are interested in how bad the phishing phenomenon is getting, the National Consumers League has a very well written and informative paper on the subject, here.

They also have an interesting document, which although is a little dated, shows the increase in auction fraud and calls out that eBay severed their ties with them.

It should be noted that auction fraud doesn't only occur on eBay. It can and does happen on all the auction sites. The reason we hear more about it on eBay is because they are the used by more people than the other sites.

For the scammers that means there are more potential victims to harvest there.

NCL article on auction fraud, here.

AuctionBytes blog post on this, here.

Reuters story on eBay/PayPal's efforts to combat phishing, here.

Here is my most recent post about Vladuz allegedly raising his head again:

Did Vladuz hack eBay, or is stockpiled stolen information being used to make it look like he did?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The somewhat slow response to the hacking of

With all the technology that California is famous for, you would think their government websites were state of the art, when it comes to security.

Apparently, this is NOT the case. The result has been a lot of misdirection to sites of a pornographic nature.

Alex Eckelberry, CEO of Sunbelt Software, has been blogging on this subject:

Yesterday, we reported on a federal shutdown of “” sites to fix a hack.

Well, we have a little more information on this. It was the Marin County government website that started all of this — something we reported back in September 12th.
Does anyone besides me wonder if there wasn't much of a sense of urgency on this issue?

Bezhou Feng at reported that:

The shutdown, initiated by the General Services Administration (GSA), a US agency in charge of all top-level ".gov" domains, began at roughly 4:00PM (PST), quickly turning into such a problem that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger even considered calling the President himself.

While the porn aspect is either amusing, or disgusting (depending on your viewpoint) -- this clearly shows that .gov sites should wake up and listen when experts are trying to tell them something is wrong.

After all, this type of activity could have been something far more serious than something that is disgusting, or amusing!

Of note, as of this writing, I ran a search on Google and the Marin site (TAM) is still misdirecting users to a number of pretty nasty porn sites.

As I've written before -- exercise extreme caution when clicking on porn sites, they often make your computer come down with a virus (or worse)-- especially if "safe surfing practices" aren't being used.

Sunbelt blog post, here. story, here.

Update 10/09/07: Alex Eckelberry (Sunbelt), who has covered this problem for over a month did (what I consider) an amusing post to follow-up on this one, here.

Alex and his team at Sunbelt are my favorite place to learn about computer security issues. They routinely help a lot of people free-of-charge and are experts in what they do.